All-Ireland final spot up for grabs as Newcastle West face Kilfeacle

Aidan Corr

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Aidan Corr

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sport@limerickleader.ie

All-Ireland final spot up for grabs as Newcastle West face Kilfeacle

Damien Kelly, Newcastle West, looks to get past Richard Dunne, Enniscorthy, during their sides clash in the All Ireland Junior Cup in Newcastle West. The Limerick side face Kilfeacle this weekend in t

NEWCASTLE West stand on the brink of history this Saturday when they make the short trip to Kilfeacle.

This semi-final of the All Ireland Junior Cup has caught the imagination of the West Limerick town and they are sure to have their biggest travelling support of the season making their voices heard at the Tipp venue.

According to the club this week, Newcastle West will be at full strength and they were not planning any extra training sessions: “It’s just another game for us so we’ll be going through the usual sessions on Tuesday and Thursday,” their spokesman Ger Normoyle told us earlier this week.

When these two sides last met at the end of last season it ended in a 13-13 draw and Saturday’s game is also likely to go down to the wire.

Home advantage could be a factor but after their 30-25 victory over Enniscorthy and the 28-13 win in Enniskillen, Newcastle West will be difficult to beat. For either side, getting to the final of a national cup would be a major achievement and that incentive will add spice to this fixture.

The All Ireland Junior Cup consists of the top four league clubs in each province's junior league at the end of each season and the 16 take part in a knock-out cup competition. Crosshaven are the only Munster side to win the trophy in 2010 while the current holders. Ashbourne will be at home to Ballina in the other semi-final this Saturday.

The only other fixtures of this weekend see Mallow host Ballincollig in MJL2 and Ennis play Killorglin in the semi-final of the Martin O’Sullivan Cup semi-final. All games kick off at 2pm.

There was not much joy for local junior clubs last Sunday with only one team from the five recording a victory. Newcastle West were the only victors, beating Galbally in a closely-fought derby in division one of the Munster Junior League.

There was no joy for Abbeyfeale who lost away to Kanturk or Richmond who suffered a surprise defeat at home to Bandon. In MJL2, St Mary’s failed to get the better of Muskerry in Ellis Park.

MUNSTER JUNIOR LEAGUE 1

Galbally 13 Newcastle West 15

THE West are certainly awake and they moved to within three points of Richmond and four behind leaders Bandon and Clonmel with this victory.

Already in the semi-final of the national All-Ireland Junior Challenge Cup, NCW had to work hard for this win, their star kicker Sean Herlihy once again contributing important scores.

Galbally really put it up to the visitors and belied their position at the bottom of the table with this performance.

They led 10-7 at half time but could only add three points in the second half. Donal O’Sullivan scored a first half try for Newcastle West, which was converted by Sean Herlihy, while a second half try from Sean Murphy and a Sean Herlihy penalty saw them stagger to victory. Right at the death Galbally had a chance to get their first win of the campaign, but the ball, agonisingly for their supporters, came back off the upright.

Kanturk 28, Abbeyfeale 18

A ten point winning margin deprived Abbeyfeale of a losing bonus point with Kanturk scoring a try in the

dying minutes after Abbey had staged a brave come-back.

Kanturk led 21-8 going into the final quarter of this thriller but tries from Stephen Cahill and Derry O’Connor, both unconverted, reduced the lead to 21-18 going into the final minutes only for the home side to seal the victory at the final gallop. Stephen Cahill also scored his side's other try, Stevie Daly kicked Abbeyfeale’s first half penalty but Abbey will regret the missing of three conversions.

Richmond 7, Bandon 13

This was as very disappointing performance by Richmond, going down at home for the second time in succession.

Tadhg Bennett had set Richmond off to a good start with a try and conversion but that was to be their last score. It was 7-3 at half time and Bandon chalked up ten unanswered points in the second half. Richmond’s cause was not helped by some poor kicking from the tee.

This result sees Bandon and Clonmel share the lead in division one on 27 points followed by Richmond on 26.

Munster Junior League 2

Muskerry 9, St Mary’s 3

This was certainly a match that St Mary’s should have won. It was 3-3 at the break, Sean Lyons kicking the ‘Saints’ score and that was still the situation going into the final 15 minutes.

St Mary’s then missed a penalty opportunity to go 3-6 in front, Muskerry replied with a penalty, kicked deep into Saints territory from the restart and within three minutes of the previous score it was 9-3 to the home side, another penalty easily converted.

St Mary’s were without their centres Paul Loughran and Keith McManus for this game and they had two players in the sin-bin at the same time during a tense second half.

They tried to save the game in the dying minutes, were twice over the line after turning down penalty options and right at the finish Darragh Fitzgerald went within inches of a touchdown under the posts. Crosshaven now lead this table on 29 points followed by Clonakilty and St Mary’s on 24 points.

GLEESON LEAGUE

There was also Gleeson League action last week-end. Played in Grove Island last Monday night, Shannon continued their good run with another impressive victory.

It was close enough in the opening stages but as the game progressed, Shannon, who led 26-0 with 15 minutes to go, ran out 12-26 winners.

To their credit, St Mary’s put in a decent finish with Kenneth Duggan and Ger McInerney getting tries, one

converted by Stephen Wyse.

On the scoresheet for Shannon were Dara O’Doherty, Paul Curtis and Ronan Hart a try each with Hart adding the rest of the points with the boot.

On Saturday, Old Crescent travelled to Newcastle West and came away with a 3-45 victory. Scorers for Crescent were Ian McNamara two tries and five conversions, Evan Moloney two tries and one try each from Darren Shannon, Simon Ryan and Billy Leahy.

Richmond, who had former Garryowen hooker Pat Humphreys back in action, went down at home to Scariff 6-13. Ross O'Neill kicked two penalties for the green and whites but it was not enough to save them from a surprise defeat.

In Annacotty, UL Bohemian were beaten by a strong Garryowen side 7-31. Dave Bermingham scored Bohs try which was converted by Dave Keogh while the Garryowen scorers were Charlie Collins two tries and a try each by Dara Shanahan, Mick O'Connor and Dave Leonard.

As usual, Kevin McEvoy had the kicking duties and was successful with three

conversions for the 'Light Blues.'