Senior Rugby: The Senior side kept their winning run intact on Saturday with what was their first ever win in Gibson Park, home to the basement side in Division 2A right now, Malone RFC. Despite their lowly placing though experience has taught Nenagh over the years that this venue is a hostile place to visit and any points gained here are hard earned. Malone are only recently relegated from Division 1A and Nenagh’s last visit to the Belfast ground a number of seasons ago coincided with Malone’s crowning as Division 2A champions at the time. With many of the players that featured then still in harness there is no doubting the capability of the Malone side if they can turn around their recent slump in form. Ultimately Nenagh had too many bad days out against them in the past to be caught napping and while far from perfect, the performance was enough to take a valuable four points home from Ulster.
It was a rocky start from Nenagh with two early penalties failing to find touch and handing back the initiative to the home side. On the third time of asking the kick made the touchline and a good set piece move put Nenagh on the attack. Again though the execution let Nenagh down and from a midfield knock on a scuffle developed leading to Nenagh going a man down with John Healy sent to the bin.
With Nenagh enjoying plenty of chances but little joy on the scoreboard it was actually slightly against the run of play that they did in fact break the deadlock. Ben Pope has been making something of a habit of reading the passing intentions of the opposition and from a promising looking set play Malone will consider themselves unlucky to have had their pocket picked by the New Zealander who kicked ahead for Davy Gleeson to regather and score. Conor McMahon added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Having had the boost of a score Nenagh began to express themselves a bit more and further pressure led to a penalty concession from the Belfast side. The kick from Conor McMahon was good and Nenagh’s lead stretched out to 10-0.
Shortly after the restart Nenagh again went on the attack. Again Malone coughed up a penalty under pressure. This time Nenagh elected to tap and go. The option proved the right one when John Healy barrelled over for another 5 pointer. At 15-0 up the odds would have been shortening on a bonus point victory for Nenagh.
Unfortunately, while Nenagh did add one more try through Colm Skehan, the real story of the remainder of the game was the succession of chances that Nenagh squandered in the Malone 22. The Nenagh attack was held up short of the line on one occasion from a promising maul and on two further attacks where tries looked imminent they were undone by handling errors.
Either through Nenagh losing their patience a little or perhaps under pressure from a vociferous home support the trend of penalties from the referee seemed to swing towards the home side too and rather than a score for Nenagh to take maximum points the last try of the game came from the home team for a final tally of Nenagh 24 to Malone’s 10.
Given their dominance of most facets of play Nenagh will perhaps feel a little disappointed to have come away with just 4 points but as mentioned earlier this is not a place where Nenagh have taken any joy in previous seasons so a win is a win and on to the next challenge.
That challenge comes quickly as Nenagh return home to Lisatunny on Saturday for the visit of Wicklow outfit, Greystones RFC in the final home Energia League game of 2023. As the last opportunity to see Nenagh on home turf this year, we hope to see a huge local crowd out to shout the lads on to what will hopefully be their place at the summit of the league for Christmas. Kick off is at 2.30pm in new Ormond Park.
U14: Nenagh Ormond played UL Bohs away last Sunday in the league cup semi final. Bohs were unbeaten in the group stages so it was always going to be a tough contest. From the kick off Bohs took the game to Nenagh and tried to turn the pressure into points. Nenagh defended very well and at one stage held the ball up over the line. The game ebbed and flowed and Nenagh finally got the first breakthrough. Bohs were inside their 22 and tried to move the ball wide but the eagle eyed James O Dwyer intercepted the pass and dotted under the posts. Kaden Fogarty added the extras. From the kick off Nenagh seemed to drop concentration and conceded a sloppy unconverted try. The rest of the first half was a ding dong battle with both teams on top at different stages. The half time score was 7-5.
The second half kicked off and Nenagh took the game to Bohs. Bohs turned over 2 crucial turnovers when Nenagh were inside the opposition 22. However Nenagh were next to score. From a penalty just outside the 22 Nenagh opted to kick for goal from which Oisin Hogan split the posts. That left the score 10-5 in Nenagh's favour. Bohs came back with intent but in fairness to Nenagh they withheld that siege and cleared their lines on plenty of occasions. Nenagh were very unlucky not to score next. A kick in behind was collected by Donagh Carmody who beat the winger and then had only the full back to beat. He stepped him but another scrambling defender appeared to haul him down just before the line. Bohs managed a turnover and this seemed to drive them on. The next score was a try from Bohs. Their 10 intercepted a pass to score an unconverted try. That left the score 10-10 with Nenagh destined to win on the first try rule. The game entered into the last 3 mins and Bohs won a line out from a 50-22 kick. They won the lineout and hit up the middle. A brilliant tackle in midfield looked to have snuffed out the opportunity but the Bohs attacker offloaded it to a player out wide who scored. Even worse for Nenagh the conversion was added. Nenagh had 1 min to try to create an opportunity but it wasn’t to be. The final score was 17-10. It was a monumental effort from all. The tackling, turnovers and line speed were exceptional. Sometimes big games come down to small margins and unfortunately these margins went against us today. Training continues Wednesday evening with Ennis away next Sunday
Split the Bucket: Well done to our most recent winner Enda Brennan. 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.
Your Club Your Country Draw: The club wishes to thank all our supporters who kindly supported our juvenile section’s fundraising efforts through the Your Club Your Country Draw. Check out irishrugby.ie in the coming days for the results of the draw.
Senior: Nenagh vs Greystones RFC. Saturday @ 2.30pm. (Lisatunny)- Energia AIL
Senior 2nds:: Nenagh vs Midleton. Sunday @ 2.30pm (Lisatunny)- Munster Senior Seconds League
U18.5: Nenagh vs Bruff RFC. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Kilballyowen Park)
U16: Nenagh vs Kilrush. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Kilrush)
U15: Nenagh vs Crosshaven. Saturday @ 12.00pm (Crosshaven)
U14: Nenagh vs Ennis RFC. Sunday @ 10.30pm. (Ennis)
U13: Nenagh vs UL Bohemians. Sunday @ 12.00pm (Ann