MATCH REPORT SOURCED WITH OUR THANKS
Sunday’s Well 19 Clonmel 27.
Clonmel made a strong start with several strong carries. As in the previous game; they were looking to offload around the tackle and Niall Campion and Dave O’Gorman punched some holes. However; the ‘Well stayed dogged in defense and kept their discipline. Eventually turning the ball over.
A penalty allowed the ‘Well move downfield from which they produced a magnificent driving maul of over 20 metres. The forwards were well organised as they drove straight and forward up the Twenty-Two and with a series of penalties awarded; they opted to take one for off-side in the middle of the field. Fabien Loughrey slotted the ball to put the ‘Well into the lead after six minutes.
The ‘Well were doing well in defence, winning another penalty. However, this kick was batted back into the field by Clonmel winger, but without control. Dylan Cadogan tried to clim the ball but the onrushing and ever alert Shane Keevers was on the chase. Keevers managed to get his toe to the ball before Cadogan could claim it; and another kick bought the ball over the line with the ‘Well winger touching down; giving the ‘Well an 8 point lead.
The scrum was being very keenly contested; with both sides getting the upper hand at different stages. Overall though Evan O’Connell and Mike McCarthy with the support of their strong pack were getting the upper hand to relieve pressure. Clonmel were giving away a series of penalties but their disruptive line-out saw the snatch the ball on some attacking ‘Well throw-ins.
Clonmel were creating some breaks with Andy Daly Dan Hosek powering through. They had their best series of phases just after the half hour mark, going to the corner with a penalty opportunity. A clean take saw the ball moved out to Dan Hosek who powered over the line with Dylan Cadogan converting.
The ‘Well were starting to lose discipline; with a push off the ball leading to the referee overturning a penalty in the ‘Well favour. This allowed Clonmel mount further pressure close to the line and after a series of line-outs they eventually got over courtesy of Niall Campion with Dylan Cadogan extending his side’s lead to six points.
Sunday’s Well responded at the end with some big carries by Jamie Leary and Evan O’Connell in the 22. With a penalty earned at the death; Loughrey slotted over to leave his side three points in arrears at 11-14 come the half-time whistle.
An excellent kick-off gave the ‘Well an ideal attacking position from the resumption. They had a line-out that they drove to within feet of the Clonmel try-line. The Tipperary side managed to halt the ‘Well’s momentum and when the ball went out the hosts couldn’t quite capitalise.
A great burst by try-scorer Niall Campion bought Clonmel on the front-foot and he was rewarded when his side won a penalty that Cadogan slotted over. A magnificent steal from Cormac Kelliher; making his return off the bench following a long lay-off allowed Loughrey to cancel out Cadogan’s effort; making the score 14-17. This itself was cancelled out with another Cadogan opportunity on 55 minutes; restoring Clonmel’s six-point advantage on 55 minutes.
The game was beginning to open up with Harry McHenry making a decent half-break but, Clonmel continually were dangerous on the counter. A smart interception had the ‘Well’s defence scrambling and when Alex Sheehan gathered the ball on the left touch-line; there was oceans of space for him to run into. He touched down with Cadogan converting.
Just as the ‘Well needed a moment of inspiration, Captain Conor O’Brien provided it. A magnificent surge and carry from half-way into the Twenty Two, A cross-field kick by Harry McHenry allowed Shane Keevers to receive the ball and set up Josh Featherston for the try.
The kick didn’t make it; leaving Clonmel with an 8 point advantage and both sides chasing a bonus point at the closing stages. Both teams defended stoutly; with O’Brien once more creating the most notable break for the ‘Well; but there were to be no further changes to the score.
Scorers: Sunday’s Well: J Featherstone, S Keevers tries; F Loughrey 3 pens.
Clonmel: D Hosek, N Campion, A Sheehan tries; D Cadogan 2 pens, 3 cons.
Sunday’s Well: J Featherston; S Keevers, J Leary, R Geary, G Downey; H McHenry, F Loughrey; E O’Connell, J McHenry, M McCarthy; A Mintern, K Holland; F MacFhlannchadha, D O’Brien, C O’Brien (c). Replacements: J Downey, C Axson, R Mintern, C Kelliher, K Maye.
Clonmel: D Cadogan; D Slattery, L Hogan, L Noonan, A Daly; A Fronek, A Sheehan; N Campion, R Wynne, D O’Gorman; T Cantwell, D Brannock; D Devaney, J Lonergan, D Hosek. Replacements: B Delicato, L Ryan, B Coffey, J Gallagher, M Hynes.
Referee: D O’Riordan (IRFU)