It’s going to be an all-Limerick Munster Junior Challenge Cup final, reports Aidan Corr
Clonmel 9 Richmond 10
EARLIER this week Richmond head coach Stephen Clancy spoke about his squad’s determination to win silverware this season and the club’s first team certainly stepped up to the mark last Sunday when they beat holders Clonmel on their own patch to reach the final of the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup.
It is quite a significant result with the Tipperary side also on very good run at present.
Richmond are now qualified for three finals, this one, the McInerney Cup (seconds) and the Transfield Cup.
It took a drop goal by Wayne Murphy with five minutes remaining to win this hard-fought game and Richmond will now meet a much-improved Galbally in the decider.
Conor Cooney kicked two early penalties for Clonmel but as the game developed it was clear that the Limerick pack was going to cause problems for the home side. A well-timed surge by the Canal Bank eight led to a touchdown by Eoin Hanley which was converted by Wayne Murphy and at half time it was 7-6 to the visitors.
With ten minutes remaining Clonmel went back into the lead thanks to a third successful penalty from Conor Cooney but Richmond never gave up the fight. On top at the scrum and maul, they found good territory in the Clonmel half and Murphy’s neatly taken drop goal gave the Limerick side victory and a place in the final.
CLONMEL: Darren Cass; Greg Carroll, Luke Hogan, Luke Noonan, Conor Tobin; Conor Cooney, Alex Sheehan; Billy O’Keeffe, Gareth Mulcahy, Padraig Keating; Shane McHugh, Diarmuid Devaney; Ciaran Burke, John Gallagher, Tony Cantwell. Replacements: Joseph Keane, Brendan Lawlor, Paul Denn, David Lonergan, Keelan McDonald.
RICHMOND: Wayne Murphy; Finbar Hogan, Gareth O’Hanlon, Michael Kelleher, Luke Kennedy; Brian Mullins, Tomas O’Brien; Corey Wells, Pat Humphries, Patrick McNamara; Dimiprij Zarinouf, Dean O’Halloran; Vinny Maloney, Gearoid Phelan, Eoin Hanly. Replacements: Thomas Madden, Joe Powell, Stephen Collins, Keelan Stephenson, Stephen Clancy.
St Senan’s 11 Galbally 12
The County Limerick side came away from Jim Slattery Park very pleased with a narrow victory that gives them a place in the final of the Junior Clubs Challenge Cup against Richmond.
This was a thrilling encounter played in almost perfect conditions and Galbally hit the ground running from the start with a try from Mark Sweeney, soon followed by a second from Tony Henebry which was converted by Jack O’Mullane.
That was to be their last score of the game as the Shannon fifteen came more and more into the game. It was 12-8 to Galbally at the break after St Senan’s had two scores.
The first came from a Declan Rowe penalty and almost on the half time whistle former Thomond winger Warren Kelly got over for a try which was not converted.
The second half was exciting to watch, Senan’s set up a thrilling finish with a penalty from Declan Rowe but try as they may, the home side could not get the next crucial score that could have given them victory.
ST SENAN’S: Shane Thompstone; Fernando Gallant, Warren Kelly, Aidan McMahon, John Mulready; Declan Rowe, Thomas Cronin; Pat Ryan, David Walsh, Fergal Lawler; Richard Mulcahy, Martin Corbett, Jayme Keogh, Thomas Galvin, Niall Mallon.
GALBALLY: Tommy Childs; Mark Sweeney, Owen Bourke, Kevin O’Donoghue, Daniel Hayes; Sean Bourke, Jack O’Mullane; Mark Johnston, Stephen Hayes, Tomas Coffee; Patrick O’Donoghue, Brendan Childs; Oisin Walsh, Tony Henebry, Jack Hogan. Replacements: Niall Keating, Timmy Casey, Gordon Peters, Jack Donovan, Niall McNamara.