Following two distinguished campaigns with many a tense moment and much exciting rugby, both our Senior and Junior Teams were obliged to depart the cup competitions at the semi final stages in matches that were each decided by a single score…
Roscrea 24 Clongowes 18
The Seniors were first to depart following a narrow defeat to holder’s Roscrea in a semi final that was in doubt until the last kick of the ball. With two minutes left on the clock Clongowes – trailing by six points – were awarded a penalty in the opposition ‘22’ and elected to kick for touch. The lineout was won and the maul rumbled infield, mindful that a conversion would need to be added to any try that might be scored. Unfortunately the ball was turned over and the game finished with the Roscrea scrumhalf kicking the ball dead in some relief while Clongowes was left to rue what might have been.
The match had started brightly for Clongowes and centre Ben O’Shea made good use of the stiff breeze to tap over an early penalty before adding the conversion to Michael Silvester’s try in the 17th minute. The touchdown followed good work from the halfback pairing of Joe Murphy and Tom Monaghan and a tasty change of direction by hooker Dan Sheehan early in the build up. Roscrea pulled one back with a try in the corner (unconverted) before O’Shea saw out the half with another penalty to give an interval lead of 13-5.
The second half ebbed and flowed before a break out of defence saw the Roscrea forwards combine for a converted try that made it a one point game before a turnover in midfield saw Clongowes pounce and move the ball wide to winger Fiachra Lynch, who dotted down in the corner. Roscrea overhauled the six point margin with a try of their own that was converted from wide on the left before adding a second in five minutes to leave them six points clear and Clongowes requiring a converted try that, sadly, never came. (Full report and pictures here)
CWC 15: St Michael’s 20.
Alas the Clongowes Juniors JUST came up short when falling to St Michael’s in a closely contested semi-final at Donnybrook. Unlike the previous round, the late try scored by Barry Dooley following a trademark break by full back John Maher was not sufficient to allow a determined Clongowes side that never said die to escape to victory on this occasion. The young men trailed by ten points to nil after twenty minutes before reliable stand-off David Wilkinson slotted a penalty to narrow the margin. However, a St Michael’s penalty restored the advantage at the interval and things were looking bad for Clongowes.
The game might well have turned in the second half following an intercept by replacement hooker Ethan Noone that was added to by David Wilkinson before Noone was given the credit for the pushover try that ensued. But it was not to be as a converted try for Michael’s pushed the advantage out to twelve points. Clongowes never said die and the likes of Ryan McMahon, Calum Dowling and Barry Dooley led wave after wave of attack but it took until the endgame for that late late (converted) try by Dooley to arrive and Clongowes had simply run out of road, but not before leaving everything out on the pitch and departing with much pride and honour. (Full report and pictures here)
Declan O’Keeffe. Head of Communications