Nenagh Ormond 28 Ennis 25
Nenagh Ormand u15’s played Ennis in the North Munster cup quarter final in Nenagh on Sunday in perfect conditions. Nenagh hadn’t played for a number of weeks since the league concluded and had played Shannon in Coonagh the previous Friday week and came away with an excellent victory 19-5 with tries from Luke Conneally (2) and Tadhg O’Brien and two conversions by Joseph Gleeson. The build-up to the match was disrupted with an injury to Joseph Coffey in the Munster trial on Wednesday evening and illness affecting Jack O’Flaherty and Adam Hall, leave the back three positions short. However, rugby is a squad game in the modern context and the players that stepped in performed admirably, especially full back Donagh McSherry who brought off two try saving tackles on much bigger players during the game. Nenagh started very poorly conceding an early try that was not converted. A short time later a second try as a result of some poor tackling, again unconverted saw the visitors race into a 10-0 lead. Another bout of pressure saw Nenagh concede a penalty in front of the posts that was duly dispatched to leave the visitors 13-0 ahead and a stiff task ahead of the local boys. However, some excellent counter rucking saw a turnover inside the Nenagh half and some goods hands released speedster John Donovan and he scorched down the stand side to run under the posts to leave an easy conversion for Joseph Gleeson. Nenagh went on the attack again shortly afterwards and some sustained pressure saw James Simons score wide on the right and Luke Conneally kicked a super conversion to give Nenagh a 14-13 lead. With the momentum in their favour outhalf Joseph Gleeson, who played well in general play, made a searing break from just inside his own half and at the 22 linked up with Justin Dimitru who was well tacked but with the support a bit behind play and we were turned over at the ruck. A good hit allowed Joe Shanahan to regain possession and a couple of phases later Joe burst over for a great try and Joseph landed a good conversion. Half time came with the score 21-13 to Nenagh but they would face the wind in the second half, so a huge effort was needed. The match ebbed and flowed in the second half Ennis scored first to narrow the gap but some excellent phase play by Nenagh kept the pressure on Ennis and after a close in penalty
Tadhg O’Brien got over beside the posts and Josephs conversion left us 28-18 ahead. A break from their own have an a long kick through ended in a 22 drop out to Nenagh and from the resultant pressure Nenagh conceded numerous penalties and Ennis score wide on the right and again crucially the kick was missed. Nenagh defended well and held out for the win 28-25, much to the delight of the players and supporters. There were some stand out displays, Justin Dimitru gave an exhibition of tackling and his return to the team has had a transformative effect on the teams defence. All the subs played their part and Nathan Ryan carried very well and Alex Maloney’s second half performance at scrum half quickened up our back line and we played some good rugby after the poor start. A semi-final awaits against either Old Crescent or St Senans possibly next Sunday depending on the other fixture. Team; Callum Simons, Sam O’Brien, Joe Shanahan, Paddy Griffin, Ciaran Carey, Tadhg O’Brien, Luke Conneally, Mikey Doyle, Sean Moylan, Joseph Gleeson, Alex Morrissey, Justin Dimitru, John Donovan, Sean O’Callaghan, Donagh McSherry, Jack Butler, Sean T Ryan, Mateli Halmagne, Luke Nolan, Alex Maloney, Nathan Ryan, James Simons, Shane Stanley.