Kilfeacle and District 38, Sunday’s Well 22.
Two of the top teams clashed in Central Tipperary and the home side came out on top against the ‘Well. A very well controlled second-half saw Kilfeacle them pull away after a helter-skelter high intensity opening forty minutes that saw both sides go for blow with Kilfeacle leading 19-17. It as a great advert for Junior rugby and a tough test for the ‘Well, after an emotionally charged week for Kilfeacle; following the tragic early loss of their great player and servant Darren Ryan. A superb minutes silence put the following eighty minutes into perspective and the hosts are to be congratulated on their deserved win.
Both sides looked to play a mix of power carries up front with some quick and dynamic back movements. An excellent driving maul by Kilfeacle gave them an early attack and a couple of excellent offloads followed with flanker Brian Barlow finishing off the move to score the opening try.
The ‘Well managed to make some strong carries. Kevin Holland and Shane O’Neill worked tirelessly around the field while Gary Downey had an outstanding effort at full-back with some magnificent kicks and weaving runs. One kick gave the ‘Well a throw-in inside the opposing Twenty-Two. After a strong drive; the ball was recycled and Finn MacFhlannchadha managed to force his way over the line with Logan Henry converting to nudge the ‘Well in front.
Kilfeacle applied pressure from kick-off and their star man Jacques van Wyngaardt crashed over close to the line; with Luke Heuston converting. Ian Casey then led the fight back with some dazzling moments of play; one that turned defence into attack with a great chip and gather. He then finished off a great move when excellent runs and passes by Logan Henry and Jamie O’Leary created the chance for Casey that he finished off. Henry’s conversion re-established the ‘Well’s two point advantage at 14-12
Unfortunately, O’Leary had to go off following his part in the play but the ‘Well looked to build on the lead. They produced some excellent runs and looked to spread the ball out wide with space created. However; Kilfeacle’s star-man, van Wyngaardt in the centre sensed the jeopardy and pushed up taking an intercept and racing almost the length of the pitch with the ‘Well players caught flat-footed. It was a major turnaround, and while Logan Henry kicked a late penalty – Kilfeacle enjoyed the lead of 19-17 at the break.
The second-half was a difficult one for the ‘Well. Any penalties in their half were punished by Heuston who made four kicks – and Kilfeacle also secured a bonus point when their star centre secured his hat-trick try after intense pressure close to the line.
After the concession of two penalties; Adam Browne powered over after excellent maul which Shane Desmond and Cormac Kelliher were the lynch-pin of. However; Kilfeacle immediately got their next try and continued to pull away; and while the ‘Well pushed hard late on for a bonus-point; with Luke Jordan coming agonisingly close on a couple of occasions; they were to come away with no points from the game.
Scorers: Kilfeacle: Brian Barlow, Jacques van Wyngaardt (3) tries; Luke Heuston 4 pens, 3 cons.
Sunday’s Well: Finn MacFhlannchadha, Ian Casey, Adam Brown tries; Logan Henry pen, 2 cons.
Kilfeacle and District: Kevin Doyle; Killian Noonan, Jacques van Wyngaardt, Keith Bourke, Dubhan O’Grady; Luke Heuston, Gavin Heuston; Brian Barron, Brendan Barron, Simon Barry; Darragh Kennedy, Bob Purcell; Brian Barlow, Thomas Fogarty, Kevin Kinane. Replacements: Cian Carroll, Richard Whitney, Cormac Ryan, Gavin McCormaack, Kyle Morris, Maurice O’Sullivan, Fiachra O’Grady.
Sunday’s Well: Gary Downey; Ian Casey, Jamie O’Leary, Alex Lane, Emeka Asiegbu; Logan Henry, Fabien Loughrey; Evan O’Connell (c), Adam Browne, Michael McCarthy; Kevin Holland, Shane O’Neill; Cormac Kelliher, Finn MacFhlannchadha, Conor O’Brien. Replacements: Luke Jordan, Rob O’Keeffe, James Mulcahy, Shane Desmond, Damian Kozik, Alex Guerin.