Nenagh Ormond 22 Bantry Bay 12
Nenagh Ormond U16’s had home advantage against Bantry Bay RFC in the Pan Munster Plate quarter final on Sunday at a damp New Ormond park. Conditions were bright and dry but after all the rain recently the pitch was very soft on top. Both teams served up a very competitive battle in a real cup match that ebbed and flowed over the 60 minutes. Bantry won the toss and elected to play with the strong wind and Nenagh were under pressure for the first 10 minutes and after a number of penalties and a strong lineout drive Bantry opened the scoring with a try after a close in rumble. The conversion was missed. Nenagh settled back into the game after that and some strong carries by Luke Conneally and Joseph Coffey we pressed for a try and were held up and conceded a penalty in the ensuing scrum to allow Bantry to clear their lines. The Nenagh boys kept plugging away and won a vital penalty in their own 22 when Bantry were pressing hard and this allowed them to make their way up field, with one barnstorming run from Luke Conneally, who had a fine game, getting us back in the their half. Some good continuity saw Nenagh apply a lot of pressure in the Bantry 22 and Joe Shanahan cut back in from the wing after multiple phases to score wide out on the left, the difficult conversion was wide, leaving the score at 5 all at half time. Nenagh would have the wind in the second half but knew they were in a real battle with a well balanced opposition. The start of the second half was nip and tuck and Bantry took the lead again with their first visit to Nenagh’s 22, the converted try leaving them 12-5 ahead. Some good carrying by Tadhg O’Brien and Mikey Doyle and much better pressure in midfield was forcing Bantry back and we had a sustained period in their half, a knock on giving a scrum to the away team. After a carry by their no 8 some sloppy ball was shipped backwards and Joseph Coffey got up to block a relieving kick and Luke Conneally pounced on the loose ball over the line to give Nenagh a vital try. Joseph Gleeson kicked an excellent conversion to tie the scores at 12 all. As Bantry scored the first try the Nenagh boys know that they needed to score again under the competition rules and some good bouts of phase play brought pressure in the Bantry half and we were awarded a penalty 30 metres out fifteen metres from the touchline on the club house side. Joseph Gleeson nailed the pressure kick to give us a slender 3 point lead heading into the final 10 minutes. From the kick off Nenagh battled their way upfield and a loose ball was collected by Nenagh but turned over by Bantry on the Nenagh 10 metre line but a good tackle dislodged the ball and Tadhg O’Brien picked on the run and burst through to run from halfway to score under the posts for a vital try. Joseph Gleeson kicked the conversion to give an important two score, 10 point lead. Bantry attacked again and some good defence a booming clearance from Joseph Coffey brought play to the Bantry half and a good kick chase allowed Nenagh to win a penalty to relieve the pressure. Another penalty kick from Joseph Gleeson was narrowly wide and Nenagh saw out the game in the Bantry half for an excellent victory. A tough battle, the lack of a game in the past few weeks showed at times with some rustiness but the team showed good spirt to come back from going behind twice to come out on top in the end. Tadhg O’Brien and Luke Conneally had huge games in the Nenagh backrow and all the players played their part, with a couple of back three players unavailable, it was good to get the win and march on the semi final against Corche Dhuibhne RFC at a neutral venue next weekend. Luke Graham had an outstanding defensive display, cramping towards the end of the match after a massive effort and a mention to Adam Hall who played full back and had a fine game in the tricky conditions.
Squad; Calum Simons, Sam O’Brien, Joe Shanahan, Paddy Griffen, Nathan Ryan, Luke Conneally, Mikey Doyle, Tadhg O’Brien, Luke Graham, Joseph Gleeson, Sean O’Callaghan, Alex Morrissey, Joseph Coffey, Sean Moylan, Adam Hall, Mateli Halmagne, James Simons, Joseph Dooley, Ciaran Carey, Donagh McSherry, Shane Stanley, John Donovan, Jack O’Flaherty.