(Jake O Kelly leads out Nenagh last Saturday on the occasion of his 50th AIL cap for the club. Pic: Ger Ryan)
Senior Rugby:The rugby year for 2023 came to the best possible conclusion for the senior side last Saturday. Wins away in Cashel have been a rare occurrence for Nenagh in senior rugby and in fact up until last season Nenagh had never managed any more than the odd losing bonus point at Spafield, the home of the South Tipp men. This year however Nenagh are in the richest vein of form possible and they arrived to Cashel on the back of an 8 game winning streak. Not to be outdone however the home team were on a hot streak of their own having strung 7 consecutive wins together in their Division 2A campaign since an opening day reversal to Banbridge at the northern venue.All was set for a titanic battle and neither team disappointed.
Ultimately it was Nenagh’s attacking power that made the difference. Nenagh are way out in front as the best attack in the division and always looked the more threatening team in attack. In outscoring their opponents three tries to one they should have been more comfortable in terms of the winning margin.
Cashel however are a really well drilled and resilient side though who showed much better discipline on the day. In Ben Twomey at full back, they had a kicker more than able to capitalise on any Nenagh transgressions in their own half. Their pack are very efficient at the set piece and particularly at the scrum. In the 2nd half in particular they really piled the pressure on Nenagh, completely dominating territory in the final quarter and reducing the Nenagh lead to a meagre 4 points. To the relief of the large Nenagh following on the day though the Ormond men hung in and lifted the siege at the death to emerge victorious. Anyone present from either side will await the return fixture in Nenagh in January with relish as this was as good a display of club rugby as one is likely to see anywhere.
For now Nenagh sit comfortably atop Division 2A with the league at its half way point as it takes a month long hiatus before the Tipp men go toe to toe again. Whatever the outcome one has to feel it will go a long way towards deciding the destination of the Division 2A title for 2023- 24.
The break gives the Nenagh team a great chance to reset now before going in search of a ticket to Division 1 rugby for the first time in the club’s history in 2024. Not all players will be off duty just yet as Sat Dec 30th sees a rearranged fixture vs Midleton in the Munster Senior Seconds League to be played in Lisatunny before focus switches to the triple challenge of chasing AIL, Munster Junior Cup and Donal Walsh Trophy honours in 2024 for the senior, senior seconds and U20.5 teams respectively. All teams sit well positioned in their respective competitions to look forward to the remainder of the season with great anticipation.
Appreciation: The club would like to state its great sadness and sense of loss at the passing of a great clubman last Friday night. Teddy Morgan was a man who was ingrained in every aspect of the club’s history distinguishing himself firstly as a player, then club captain, successful coach and eventually a dedicated administrator over a great many years of involvement. Both teams observed an impeccable minute’s silence in honour of Teddy and a recently deceased member of Cashel RFC, Denis Ryan before kick off in Saturday’s AIL game. Both this and the end result we hope will have done Teddy proud. Condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him on their loss.
U16: Nenagh Ormond U16s continued their Pan Munster Cup campaign with an away game on Saturday in Dungarvan. The boys faced a very physically big Dungarvan side who pressured our lads at times with robust carrying but Nenagh kept their composure throughout the game with huge hits and nobody missing their tackles. This kept the Dungarvan pack at bay, not letting them in for any scores. Nenagh pressure in the first half, eventually led Diarmuid Gleeson to cross for our first try after 27 mins. From a combination of excellent forward ball carrying, turnovers and generally hard graft along with the backs taking on good carries too Nenagh were able to manufacture the score. Dean Carey converted well from the sideline to give the boys a 7-0 advantage at half time.
The second half saw the introduction of our bench who continued with great defensive play and smart attacking. It was a tough battle with Dungarvan also working hard, but unable to break down our solid defence. After massive pressure from our lads for all the half again, we crossed for our second try after almost 27 mins. This time from Darragh Murphy and another great conversion from Dean to give us a 14-0 victory.
The boys are back on the 6th Jan vs Old Christians in Nenagh for the next Pan Munster game. The lads are playing really well and the whole panel is contributing to a very strong, well rounded team. The bench is playing a huge part in finishing out games with great confidence. Alll the u16 panel,coaches and parents would like to wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year. Well done boys.
Panel-Thomas Ryan, Liam O'Brien Dunne, Armandas Kiaulakis, Billy Hodgins, Oisin Ryan, Jack Kennedy, Jack Cleary, Darragh Murphy,Max Austin, Dean Carey, Adam Boland, Martin Heveli, Ben Deegan, Michael Cleary, Diarmuid Gleeson,Shay Óg Kennedy, Brandon Rosney, Shaun Kennedy, Alexander Finn, Keith O'Donaghue,Ronan Maher.
Minis: Thank you to all our mini players who travelled in force to Cashel last Saturday to play their Cashel counterparts prior to the Senior game. They clapped both teams on to the field and stayed on to offer excited and vocal support during the game afterwards. Well done one and all.
Split the Bucket: Well done to all our winners over the course of 2023. Our Split the Bucket fundraiser continues to hand out a minimum of €500 in prize money each and every week translating to over €25000 in prize money over the course of the year. Enter for as little as €2 per week at nenaghormondrfc.com/products or access the link on any of our social media pages. If you are not in yet why not get on board for 2024. Perhaps consider a subscription as a gift to a loved one this Christmas. There are at least 25000 reasons why you should.
Underage Christmas Party: Thank you to all our underage volunteers who worked hard in arranging another highly enjoyable and superbly well attended Juvenile Christmas party on Sunday in the clubhouse. The boys and girls were ecstatic to meet the great man himself, Mr. Santa Clause who was well prepared with selection boxes for everybody in attendance. Thanks especially to Dave Green from Carpets R Us who played the most important part on the day!
Underage Fundraiser: Our U12s are currently fundraising for an upcoming tour to Barcelona in march 2024. As part of their efforts they have arranged an event that will appeal to all rugby followers in the locality. “An Evening with Keith Wood” takes place on Thurs Jan 18th in the clubhouse at 8pm. Tickets are priced at €20 and available on nenaghormondrfc.com/products. All are welcome.
Senior Seconds: Nenagh vs Midleton RFC. December 30th @ 14.30 (Lisatunny)