(Picture shows a soaking wet but ecstatic NORFC U13 side after collecting the Pat Lawler Tournament Trophy last Saturday in Annacotty)
Senior: Coming off a well earned down week, just like Andy Farrel’s men in France the Nenagh Senior team are back with a bang this weekend as they kick off their Energia AIL Division 2A campaign with a home tie against UL Bohemians RFC on Saturday at 2.30pm in Lisatunny. After falling just shy of promotion to Division 1B last season and coming out of a preseason that featured two wins over Division 1 opponents, Nenagh will be quietly confident of making the final step this term.
With the Ireland game to follow on TV later in the evening there is no doubt that New Ormond Park should be rocking on Saturday afternoon so be sure to get out and cheer on the lads for what will hopefully be a great day of rugby.
U20.5: The U20.5 side also kick off their main competition of the year, the Donal Walsh Trophy, this week with a fixture against Old Crescent RFC on Wednesday night in Rosbrien at 7.30pm. The side have played some cracking rugby in their two North Munster League games played so far and there is plenty of talent in this squad. We encourage all supporters who may be available to get to Limerick on Wednesday night to support the boys.
U14: Nenagh Ormond under 14s made the short journey to Clarisford Park on Sunday to play Ballina/Killaloe who are amalgamated at this level with Scariff and Newport. Nenagh started well but struggled to turn pressure into points. Nenagh finally made the breakthrough with the ball going through the hands and finally making its way to Daniel Boland. He did well to ground the ball under pressure. Our next score was a try from Aidan Ryan who did well to spot a gap in the defence to dot down. Nenagh kept the pressure on and Scott Powell scored a good try in the corner. Donagh Carmody got on the score sheet with 2 tries, the second one a good team try with Donagh finishing off after some good work by the forwards. Oisin Hogan also added a try and made a brilliant tap tackle to stop a definite try at the other end. Nenagh did concede a try from some sloppy play in the backs. A good performance overall with all players getting game time. Training continues Wednesday with a tough tie with Garryowen to come at home next Sunday.
U13: Pride of place this week goes to our Under 13s who had a very big achievement last Saturday. Probably the most prestigious Under 13 tournament in Ireland, the annual Pat Lawler tournament is held in UL Bohs every year in honour of the late Pat Lawler father of former Munster player and now Munster coach Mossy Lawler and grandfather of Irish scrum half Craig Casey. Teams from all over the country attend this tournament, with fierce competition and a very high standard required to win it. With many Irish Internationals on the roll of honour over the years and current Irish coach Paul O Connell coaching UL Bohs to win it last year. It is now in its 40th year and Nenagh Ormond had never won the tournament in 39 previous attempts, until now. In terrible conditions the Nenagh boys arrived a little bit under the radar, however the coaching ticket were quietly confident that if the lads could negotiate the pool stages and get top seeds for the semi finals they might have a chance. The tournament is 15 a side with short games and no conversions. The first game against Young Munster was a tough encounter in a deluge of rain but the handling from Nenagh never let them down and they emerged winners on a 15-0 scoreline. The next match was a real test against a big and well capable Clonmel team with some big ball carriers. The lads again knuckled down and held onto the ball very well, emerging 10-0 winners. The third group game involved a right battle against a side with great underage pedigree, Bruff from County Limerick. The lads trailed 5-0 in awful conditions and as the clock ticked by handling errors and mistakes crept in and kept Bruff in the game even though Nenagh were makin most of the running. However with the clock ticking to full time Liam O Meara barrelled his way through 3 tackles to force his way over and level up the game. Then from the kick off the forwards took the play right up the field and with some great hands out the back line Fionn Tucker found himself in space. The right man in the right place, he fed an overlapping Christopher Ryan with a pass and Chris put on the burners and out paced the cover to seal the win on a 10-5 scoreline. This meant we topped the seedlings and entered the cup semi final against an excellent Newcastle West team with the old firm of Garryowen and Shannon on the other side waiting for the winners. Like a lot of semi finals, nerves abounded and many mistakes were made. Nenagh were the better team no doubt but errors kept Newcastle West in the game although they never looked like breaching the Nenagh defence. However in one of the best moves in the tournament Nenagh found a way through with a magnificent try featuring forward and back inter play as well as offloading aplenty and once Evan Jones gets a yard of space there is only one outcome. He crashed into the far corner to send us on our way to the cup final.
Shannon got the better of Garryowen and we faced them in the final. The weather finally cleared which helped our freewheeling style and like all great champions we probably saved our best performance until last. Although not small ourselves the Shannon pack carried hard at us. Our defence was excellent, with the back row of captain JP Calahan, Eoin Hogan and Jack Comerford more than holding their own. We got a hold on the game and once our backs and Robbie Powell get good ball they can do serious damage. The first try scored by Evan Jones was a carbon copy of the score in the semi final before Oliver Duff finished off a great ball handling try with quick hands that were too much for the Shannon defence. Shannon to their credit never gave up and scored a late try to make it 10-5. There was still time for drama with the referee indicating there was still time for a kick off. Cue hearts in mouths as Robbie kicked off. Aidan O'Gorman rose salmon-like into the air from his wing to gather the ball like Mack Hansen and a couple of rucks later the ball was booted into touch. Cue massive celebrations from all and hard luck to Shannon who were gallant losers on the day. Congratulations to captain JP Callahan who became the first Nenagh man to lift the famous trophy. The whole squad played a part and it is a great sign of things to come and they are a great bunch of lads. Thanks again to the parents who helped out and brought their lads and endured tough conditions to support us on the day.
Squad: JP Callahan, MJ McNally, Michael Donnellan, Conor McCauliffe, Colin Gaynor, Darragh Hanrahan, Sean O’ Kelly, Brian Ley, Tommy Morgan, George Graham, Kevin Quinlisk, Liam O'Meara, Justin Zillioski, Michael Cullinane, Hugo Stanley, Tiernan Dillon, Jack Comerford, Eoin Hogan, Christopher Ryan, Evan Jones, Robbie Powell, Oliver duff, Fionn Tucker, Paraic Sheehy, Aidan O Gorman, Shane O’ Donoghue
Unavailable: Enda Maxwell, Zach Metcalfe, Cian O Looney, Liam Dollery, Harry Quinn and Tommy Ryan
Split the Bucket: Well done to recent winner Michael Slattery. Our Split the Bucket fundraiser continues to hand out a minimum of €500 in prize money each and every week. Enter for as little as €2 per week at nenaghormondrfc.com/products or access the link on any of our social media pages.
Senior: Nenagh vs UL Bohemians. Saturday @ 2.30pm (Lisatunny)- Energia AIL
U20.5: Nenagh vs Old Crescent RFC. Wednesday @ 7.30pm (Takumi Park)- Donal Walsh Trophy
U18.5: Nenagh vs Galtee Rugby. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Lisatunny)- Pan Munster League
U16: Nenagh vs Ennis RFC Black. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Ennis)- Pan Munster League
U15: Nenagh v Bruff RFC White. Sunday@ 11.30am (Kilballyowen)
U14: Nenagh vs Garryowen. Sunday @ 11.00am (Tyone)
U13: Nenagh vs Old Crescent RFC. Sunday @ 11.30am (Old Crescent)