Abbeyfeale RFC

U16 who played Newcastlewest/Estuary on Saturday 8th November


11 -14 -18 – 30

4 LUCKY DIPS, €25 each

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Abbeyfeale 16
Castleisland 13

The once revered American football coach, Vince Lombardi, once said that “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing”, a statement that was sure to circle the minds of all players involved on Sunday last at the Grove Grounds. Castleisland were entering the fray on the back of four consecutive wins in their league campaign and after having beaten Thurles the previous weekend, they were coming into this game with high expectations as well being tagged as favourites. However, with local derbys, you never know who’s going to win, but one thing you do know for sure though, is that it’ll be one hell of a battle.

Abbey played up in the first half and with a strong breeze behind them they were looking to take advantage of it in order to get points on the board. But as has been the case in so many matches this year, Abbey started off poorly when they knocked on directly from the kick off. With ‘Island possessing a big pack, Abbey knew they needed to show some dominance from the beginning. From the scrum ‘Island No. 8 picked from the base and worked his way down the blindside. With pressure mounting up, Abbey were forced to concede a penalty just shy of their own ten metre line. In what was a kickable position, ‘Island opted for the corner instead and ended up on Abbeys five metre line. Stern defence from the home side kept ‘Island at bay, but after a number of pick and drives, Abbey again were penalised for not releasing. Again, ‘Island eschewed the opportunity for three points and instead sought touch. But their decision was to pay dividends when from a well worked line-out, the ball was popped down from the jumper to his wing forward looping around, who in turn offloaded to his hooker who broke through the tackle of Kieran McCarthy to dive over for the games first score. It was a dubious decision to say the least as the ‘Island hooker was adjudged to have his foot in touch. However, the referee disagreed, much to the dismay of the home sides support.

Abbey were somewhat rattled from this early pressure from Castleisland, but they slowly began to gain parity in the game. After a solid take from a high ball, Abbey full back, Philip Collins took it into contact, but with Castleisland rushing up they were penalised for being offside. With points on offer and the wind with them, Tom Hassett opted for the posts but the attempt went begging. Abbey were still in ‘Islands half and from the 22 metre drop out, they attacked again. They worked their way out wide and were making steady ground until a knock on stopped their progress. Abbeys scrum was proving to be an asset, operating more efficiently than the performance suggested against Thurles earlier in the campaign. With ‘Islands scrum being put under pressure, their No. 8 picked from the base, however, a superb tackle from John Browne resulted in Abbey being awarded a penalty just inside the away sides 22. Having missed one just moments earlier, Abbey opted for the corner this time and were looking to showcase their maul. A crooked throw in spurned any opportunity for the Fealesiders, but they were to be given a lifeline when from the resulting scrum, the away side conceded a penalty for hands in the ruck. After having enjoyed much of the territory in the opening minutes of the game, they needed to convert this into points. Abbeys goal kicker, Tom Hassett duly obliged and got Abbeys first points of the game.

Castleisland pressed ahead from the restart, attacking Abbeys half at will with a number of drives, but a loose ball which was hacked on by Michael Roche had the ‘Island defence scampering back. However, ‘Island were to concede a penalty, when after a great tackle from Abbey centre John Murphy, the away side were penalised for holding onto the ball. With Abbey opting for the line-out, they mauled their way closer to the visitors line but ‘Islands defence remained stern. A penalty soon followed for the home side and sensing that ‘Islands line could be breached, they again opted for the corner. However, ‘Island were unnerved by this and when the home side lost the resulting throw in, the away side cleared their lines. Abbey still remained in the oppositions half but when the ball was spread wide, they tried to force the play too much resulting in a knock on. With the referee playing advantage ‘Island regathered the loose ball and made their way to the half way line before conceding a needless penalty. When the resulting kick for the corner went out on the full, the home side were to be dealt with a further blow with the withdrawal of the stoic Liam McEnery.

Castleislands indiscipline was proving costly in terms of territory, with Abbey capitalising to get themselves inside the visitors half. A great take from Philip Daly at the line-out and a resulting maul, pushed Abbey closer. With out half Michael Roche looking for quick ball, he sensed that something was on. Having broke through the first tackle, he offloaded to Michael Enright who just couldn’t release the ball on time, before being tackled. With Abbey having numbers out wide, it was an opportunity lost in an otherwise close knit game.

‘Island were looking to get back into Abbeys half, having been camped inside their own half for much of the first period. A penalty saw them get over half way and from a well worked line-out, they got over the gain-line with ease. With Abbeys backline being stretched, they spread the ball wide where they had numbers. Abbeys defence desperately tracked across but a high tackle from John Browne resulted in Castleisland being awarded a penalty. With ‘Island now on the ascendancy, they opted for the line-out option just on Abbeys five metre line. A further penalty followed and from the resulting line-out, ‘Island mauled their way over for their second try of the day.

From the restart, a thunderous hit from Kieran McCarthy had ‘Island peddling back. The away side desperately cleared, but a fantastic counter attack from the impressive Philip Collins, got Abbey on the front foot. However, the final pass let him down. ‘Island were trying any means possible of breaching Abbeys half and were testing the home sides back three with high kicks. This option was proving to be futile though with Abbey full back Philip Collins coming to the forefront with a number of takes. With Collins spotting a gap in behind the visitors defence, he put through a majestic kick to peg ‘Island back into their 22. A poor clearance followed after some pressure from Abbey winger Robert Browne. Abbeys maul was impressing and having gained a number of metres, Castleisland were penalised for coming in from the side. With a seven point gap between the two sides, Abbey opted for the points to try and claw their way back. However, Hassetts attempt just shaded right and wide. But he was to make amends just moments later, when from the restart, a wicked bounce from a Robert Browne kick through caused all sorts of problems for the ‘Island full back. With Abbey piling on numbers at the ruck, ‘Island conceded a penalty directly in front of their posts. Hassett atoned for his earlier miss to claw Abbey back to within four points.

With half time fast approaching, ‘Island made their way back down field again and were awarded a penalty after a scrum infringement. The away sides out half eschewed the opportunity to kick for goal in favour of setting up a line-out on the Abbey five-metre line. Having scored an impressive try at the beginning of the game through a well worked line-out, ‘Island almost replicated that score only for their effort to be thwarted by an Abbey knock on.

With Castleisland holding a slender four point lead heading into half time, Abbey knew that the next score could prove vital. With their scrum proving to be solid, it was giving the lads a platform to attack the away sides defence. However, indiscipline and poor execution at the line-out were having a detrimental effect on Abbeys game plan.

Stern words at half time were needed for Abbeyfeale and it looked like it ignited them when they began impressively at the beginning of the second half. With ‘Island being penalised for coming in from the side, Abbey sought touch just over the half way line. A loose ball from the resulting line-out was gathered by Tom Hassett who looked to spread the ball, where he found Michael Roche. Roche, spotting a gap, jinked his way through and with Abbey now on the ascendancy, they worked their way through a number of phases. From the base of a ruck, Abbey scrum half, Tom Hassett spotted a slight gap and picked to make a clear break through. Hassett did superbly to fend off one tackle and with players in support, he was able to set up a ruck again. With Abbey piling on numbers and with ‘Island desperately trying to force a turnover, the referee awarded a penalty to the home side when an ‘Island player was adjudged to have not released the player. Hassett went for the kick at goal, but with his effort ricocheting off the upright, John Murphy chased and regathered the rebound. A number of pick and drives ensued from the home side but their efforts were frustrated with a knock on just metres from the opposition try-line.

With ‘Island clearing their lines, Abbey still found themselves camped inside the oppositions half. They again looked to attack, but with the home sides line-out not functioning well at times throughout the game, it was proving to be a bit problematic. A crooked throw in gave the away side a scrum, but having failed to find touch, Abbey winger David Ward counter attacked, slipping through three tackles before offloading to Michael Enright, who crashed up the middle to within metres of the line. Quick ball was needed but ‘Island were slowing it down, allowing their defence to make it back into position. Abbey eventually spread the ball wide and almost made the breakthrough, but with the ‘Island defence holding firm, the home side was finding it difficult to find a way through. Michael Roche changed the direction of play and when the ball was spread from left to right, Abbey seemed to have numbers. However, a poor floating pass from Roche allowed the Castleisland defender to rush up, and when John Browne gathered the loose pass, he was instantly tackled. Abbey were awarded a scrum when the referee adjudged the ‘Island defender to have knocked on the ball, much to the anger of their bench. With Abbey just metres away from the oppositions try-line and with their scrum functioning well, it gave the home side an ideal platform with which to attack. John Browne picked from the base and worked his way down the blindside before offloading to Tom Hassett, who drew in one defender before he too offloaded to Robert Browne. Browne managed to gain yards despite having little or no room to maneuverer. Abbey kept it tight with Kieran McCarthy leading by example, driving at the heart of the oppositions defence. With the ball being recycled, quick ball from Hassett found Michael Roche outside ,who sidestepped magnificently to dart over for Abbeys first try of the game. With Hassett adding on the extras, Abbey now held a three point lead with a 13-10 score line.

There was little time to catch breath with an immediate ‘Island riposte; having worked their way up field, ‘Island found themselves within five metres of Abbeys line. From a line-out the away side set up a maul but with Abbeys defence being stubborn, ‘Island were forced to spread the ball wide. Abbey were penalised just under their posts for not rolling away and with John Murphy being sin binned for the offence, Abbey were now down to fourteen players. The visitors slotted over the kick to draw the sides level after twenty minutes of the second half.

But tensions soon boiled over when a scuffle erupted between both sets of players and when it came to an end, the referee sin binned Abbeys Gerard Walsh while brandishing a red card for the Castleisland hooker.

Abbey made their way inside ‘Islands half, with Michael Enright powering his way through to set up a ruck inside ‘Islands five metre line. A penalty soon followed for the home side and with three points on offer, Tom Hassett duly obliged to put Abbey back in the lead.

But Abbeys good work almost came undone, when direct from the restart, they conceded a penalty for holding on. Castleisland, having passed up on numerous kicking chances throughout the game, opted for the posts this time, but with pressure building, the kick just went left and wide.

Abbeys indiscipline was proving costly in terms of territory, with their penalty count mounting. With this in mind, ‘Island made their way inside the home sides half, when their winger broke through the middle to come within metres of the home sides line. A superb tackle from John Murphy prevented a possible score and with the referee penalising ‘Island for punching, and subsequently sin binning a player, Abbey survived the onslaught.

Abbeys defence was defiant in it’s resistance and with the clock ticking away, they needed to maintain this facet of their play. ‘Island never gave up though and attacked with every opportunity. However, Abbeys doggedness in defence repelled their advances and when Abbey forced ‘Island into an error, it was left for Tom Hassett to kick the ball out to record a moral boosting victory.

Despite securing a fantastic scalp over one of the top teams, the lads will know that there are certain areas to work on. The scrum functioned well along with their defence but a main area of concern would have been the line-out and the coaches would not have been happy with the home sides penalty count which pushed into double figures. Nevertheless though, this is a morale boosting victory and the lads effort must be commended. Castleisland however, will rue some big calls in the aftermath of this match, having passed up on a number of kickable penalties throughout the game. Abbey will now look to get a winning run under their belt when they face Clanwilliam next in quarter final of the Challenge Shield. But, in the words of Lombardi, “Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.” Let’s just hope this habit can’t be kicked for a while.

Team: 1) A. Roche, 2) K. McCarthy, 3) M. Morrissey, 4) G. Walsh, 5) B. Collins, 6) L. McEnery, 7) Philip Daly, 8) J. Browne, 9) T. Hassett, 10) M. Roche, 11) R. Browne, 12) M. Enright, 13) J. Murphy, 14) D. Collins, 15) Philip Collins
Subs: 16) L. O’Connor, 17) T. McCarthy,18) D. Murphy, 19) S. Daly, 20) David Ward

Abbeyfeale 2nd XV…20
Clanwilliam 2nd XV…14

It was 6th against 8th in the next round of Gleeson League fixtures when Abbey hosted Tipperary side, Clanwilliam at the Grove on Saturday last (8th Nov). Having been agonisingly defeated against a much fancied Newcastle West outfit in their previous outing, the lads were looking to bounce back with fashion and claim a scalp against a Tipp side who were also slowly finding their feet in this league campaign.

Like their 1st XV counterparts in recent games, the 2nd XV started poorly when they conceded a needless penalty directly from the kick off. With Clan opting for the corner, they were showing their intent, with their game plan very much focusing on attacking at every opportunity. Despite working their way through a number of phases, Abbey were defending well and were awarded a penalty when Clan were penalised for holding onto the ball.

But Clan were to make amends just shortly afterwards when Abbeyfeale were penalised for a rucking offence. They again opted for the corner and mauled their way closer to the line. When the ball was spread, the Clan out half gave it to his inside centre who in turn gave a delightfully deft pass to his oncoming centre partner, who took a great line to run unopposed under the posts to register the first points of the day.

Abbey, reeling from this early setback, needing a response and they couldn’t believe their luck, when straight from the restart Clan knocked on just short of their 22. This gave Abbey a platform to attack and with the home side possessing a potent backline, nothing less than a score would suffice. A solid scrum from Abbey followed and when the ball was spread to Cormac Roche, he found Donagh Kelly, who crashed up the middle, getting over the gainline, before offloading out of the tackle to his centre partner, James O’Mara, who in turn found the mercurial Cormac Roche looping around to finish off the move in style for Abbeys first try.

Abbey were looking to continue playing an expansive game, one which proved to be successful against NCW. When Abbey were awarded a penalty after Clan pulled down a maul, Roche opted for the corner, and with Craig Smith impressive at the line-out, the lads sensed a scoring opportunity. Quick ball was spread wide and when it found debutant Tom McCarthy, he placed a neat kick through to force Clan to scamper back. From the resultant line-out, and after numerous warnings from the referee to use it, the Tipp side were penalised. But Abbey coughed up the opportunity due to indiscipline at the scrum, much to the disgust of their coach.

The tempo of the game was beginning to ebb and flow with both sides trying desperately to find a way through, but with the rain now beginning to force it’s way down, mistakes and indiscipline were creeping in on both sides.

Abbey finally made the breakthrough when the ball was spread wide to Paul Murphy who placed a neat kick through, to put Clan under pressure in their own 22. The Tipp side desperately cleared their lines, however, having not found touch, Tom McCarthy counter attacked before passing to Donagh Kelly. Kelly fended off a couple of would-be tacklers before he in turn passed a deft offload inside to Cormac Roche, whose support line was fantastic, to find himself crashing over for a wonderful worked try, to give the home side a 12-7 lead just before half time.

Abbey started the second half in bright fashion when Dean Smith gathered a loose ball following a Clan knock on. With the ball being spread wide by Smith, it found the enigmatic Cormac Roche who showcased his magical feet by sidestepping a number of Clan defenders before passing outside to the speedy Gavin Dillion, who made no mistake by racing unopposed for a try to extend the home sides lead.

Abbey weren’t letting their foot off the accelerator, when from the restart, they made massive inroads up the field. Gavin Dillion, not long on the field, was causing problems for the away sides defence, opening them up with ease. Despite, having this dominance, Abbey needed points to keep the score board ticking over, and when they were awarded a penalty just shy of the half way, Roche duly kicked it to give Abbey a somewhat commanding lead.

Clan were reeling from these early scores and if they had any chance of clawing their way back into the game, they needed to throw everything at Abbey. They did so by piling pressure on the home side with numerous and effective pick and drives. They continued to work through phases, with Abbeys defence desperately defending. The ball was spread wide, and with Clan having numbers out wide, it was a case of who would score it. However, Abbeys never-say-die attitude came to the fore, when Kelly and James O’Mara rushed up in defence forcing the Clan player into making a forward pass, with only the line in sight. The Tipp side were making silly errors when they found themselves in good scoring areas, however, they still continued to battle bravely to get themselves back into the game.

They were duly rewarded for their efforts when, having found their way inside Abbeys half, they drove their way closer to the home sides line. The pressure was telling and when the ball was picked from the ruck, poor defending allowed Clan to score under the posts to narrow the gap to just six points between the teams. Abbey, guilty of taking their foot off the accelerator, needed to control the game better and try and close it out by pegging balls into the corner. However, Clan seemed to be instilled with a new sense of confidence after their try scoring exploits and weren’t letting Abbey have it all their own way.

The home side were beginning to tire but they were still holding on and despite wave after wave of attacks from the visiting side, the homes sides defence stood up. But Abbeys indiscipline was proving costly in terms of territory. With penalties going in favour of the away side, it allowed them to edge closer to Abbeys line. With the clock edging closer to full time, Clan desperately sought a breakthrough and almost did, through a number of crash balls, but the chance went begging when they agonisingly knocked on just short of Abbeys line. The home side were living dangerously but with time almost up and their defence bravely holding out, they needed some bit of luck to finish the game. With the last play of the game, Clan were awarded a scrum inside Abbeys 22 to set up a tense finale. However, the Tipp sides efforts were thwarted when they knocked on to give Abbey the win on the day and record their second victory in the league.

Despite recording a victory here, a main worry for coach JD Harnett will be how tired his players looked towards the end of the game. This played a contributing factor against Newcastle West as well, and although the lads held out Clan, they could be severely punished against stronger opposition if they don’t improve their fitness. With that be said though, the lads do deserve praise with Craig Smith being impressive both in the line-out and in the loose. Abbeys line-out and scrum were solid, and with Abbey playing a more expansive game plan they caused numerous problems for Clan’s defence. Liam O’Connor showed how highly he’s regarded by the coaching staff with an impressive ball carrying display while the mercurial Cormac Roche continues to impress and one could only wonder how long more before he’s promoted to the 1st XV.

1) Danny Hartnett, 2) W. Cremin, 3) W. Walsh, 4) D. G. Harnett, 5) C. Broderick,6) C. Smith, 7) D. Smith, 8) L. O’Connor, 9) C. Hassett, 10) C. Roche, 11) Patrick Murphy, 12) D. Kelly, 13) J. O’Mara, 14) Paul Murphy, 15) T. McCarthy. Subs-G. Dillion.

Abbeyfeale 16
Bandon 33

Abbeyfeale were under no illusions as to what faced them when they entered Bandon rugby grounds on Sunday last (2nd Nov) in the next round of league fixtures. A mammoth task of extraordinary proportions awaited them, a David Vs Goliath task at hand, but one where the eternal optimist perhaps believed that the away team could do what their predecessors couldn’t do so far, and perhaps, just perhaps,sneak the unlikeliest of unlikeliest victories, from a team, riding a crest of a wave at the moment. Ok, right. My mother did tell me I was a dreamer when I was young, but sport, especially for the underdog, can allow oneself to dream of the impossible and perhaps do the unthinkable. Alas, that’s as far as one could have hoped for unfortunately-a dream; for from the moment the game started, the dream became somewhat of a nightmare. Bandon were coming into this game with an impressive unbeaten record, one which was littered with impressive, comprehensive victories, whereas Abbeys sole win over Presentation being the only highlight in their campaign.

With dark clouds settling in and with heavy showers before the game, one be forgiven to assume that a tight knit game could be the order of the day, but with Bandon possessing a potent backline, scoring 28 tries and just conceding one in their first four games, one could somehow never imagine them following the script.

From the off, Bandon attacked at will and turned over Abbeys ball inside the away teams 22. They worked their way through a number of phases down the blindside, shifting closer to Abbeys line. With pressure ensuing, Abbey were forced to give away a penalty and one in which the Bandon out half duly converted. This sluggish start from Abbey was a case of deja vu, having made similar starts against both Ennis and Thurles. Abbey needed a response and from the restart, they were awarded a scrum inside the home sides 22. With an ideal platform to attack, Philip Daly took a crash ball up the middle. Abbey tried to work their way through phases through means of picking and driving, however, they were foiled in their efforts when they knocked on. Bandon, buoyed by the confidence of having such a dangerous backline, tried to play from within their own 22 but their attack was forced into touch just shy of the half way line. Abbey were dealt with a massive blow, when Daniel Ward was forced off the pitch after picking up a knee injury, after landing awkwardly from a line out.

Bandon were setting the tempo of the game earlier on, playing a more expansive game due in no small part to their forwards being effective in clearing out rucks, giving them quick ball.

Bandon began to show their attacking prowess when they were awarded a scrum just shy of Abbeys 10 metre line. A solid scrum from the away side had the scrum wheeling in their favour, however, the Bandon scrum half, sensing that the referee was on the verge of blowing his whistle, picked and made inroads towards Abbeys 22. Faced one-on-one with Abbey full back, Brian Murphy, the Bandon man was looking to offload to an oncoming player, however, Murphy reached a hand out to try and intercept but unfortunately knocked it on. From the resultant scrum, Bandon went blind and when the ball made it’s way towards their winger, he fended off a tackle and superbly passed inside with one hand, to his centre, who raced over for his sides first try.

Bandon were fending off tackles with ease, offloading in the process, keeping the tempo flowing. Abbey were struggling to defend this facet of play, with countless number of tackles being missed and ultimately proving costly. However, Abbeys doggedness, somehow, was keeping the lads in the game. When they found themselves in Bandon’s 22, the lads patiently worked their way through a couple of pick and drives. With the referee playing advantage and with numbers out wide, the ball was quickly spread to the blind side where it found winger David Ward who dived for the corner. However, the try was disallowed as the referee adjudged the final pass to have gone forward. With a penalty being awarded for offside, Tom Hassett slotted over to get Abbey up and running on the scoreboard.

Bandon responded with interest however, after their scrum half, who was proving to be a thorn in Abbeys side, made a telling break through to put Abbey under the cosh. Although the pressure was relieved, it was short lived, as Bandon still found themselves inside Abbeys half. When a loose ball was gathered from a miscued line out, Bandon orchestrated a tight pick and drive play that was causing Abbey to defend desperately. However, Abbey held firm and a notable tackle from Gerard Walsh forced a turnover for the away side, much to the relief of the visiting sides supporters. But, relief quickly turned to dismay, when Abbey conceded a penalty and with Bandon in the hunt for more tries, their out half eschewed the opportunity to kick for goal in favour of setting up a line-out on the visitors five-metre line. From the resultant line-out, Bandon made it all too easy when they mauled their way over for their second try.

There was little time to catch breath with an immediate Abbey riposte; Hassett replying with another penalty kick to leave a seven point gap between the teams. With half time fast approaching, Abbey had one final chance before the interval, when from the base of the scrum, Abbey No.8, John Browne, broke down the blindside inside the home sides 22. A penalty soon followed when Bandon were penalised for being offside, and Tom Hassett, in fine form with the boot, slotted over to close the gap to four points.

Despite having a somewhat sluggish start and with their defending being questionable, Abbey still remained in the hunt and would have been buoyed by the small margin between the teams. However, as with David in David vs Goliath, Abbey needed courage and resilience to shift the tide of this game in their favour in the second half.

As with the first half, Abbey were again guilty of a sluggish start and when they were adjudged to have held onto the ball, Bandon slotted over a penalty to keep their points tally ticking over. Abbey were getting into good positions but were frustrating their efforts with silly little mistakes. Bandon, on the other hand,seemed to up the ante in the second half and were easily finding gaps in Abbeys defence. From a line-out, their impressive scrum half pierced his way through weak tackles before offloading to his oncoming prop, who edged closer to the try line. With Abbey now under the pump, they desperately tried to repel the home sides attack but once they made their way inside Abbeys 22, one could sense that a try was in the offing. With a massive overlap out wide, quick ball came but with Abbeys defence drifting across, the home sides out half had the simplest of tasks, diving over from only a metre out. The extras were added and now Bandon were opening a wider gap with the scores now at 23 points to 9.

If Abbey were to come close to staying in this game, they needed to up their performance levels. However, Bandon weren’t giving them too much to work with, and with their forwards being effective in clearing out rucks and gaining turnovers, it gave them a platform to exert pressure on Abbey with their expansive game plan. When they were awarded a scrum on Abbeys 22, their forwards picked and drove to the right, edging closer to the white wash. With Abbey over committing to the ruck, it left a gap out left, and when the ball was shifted out, Bandon No.17 barged his way over to secure the try bonus point.

With the game fast becoming a nightmare, Abbey needed to get back into Bandon’s half. They kicked for territory but the home sides full back was well positioned to relive any oncoming pressure. Bandon were now playing with confidence, with every pass seeming to stick to their hand. Their out half was orchestrating things with aplomb inviting his fowards and inside centre to crash up the middle. Abbeyfeale on the other hand, were panicking and tried to force their way out from their own half. With the away side now down to 14 men due to a sin-binning, their task became even more insurmountable. When they tried an audacious chip over from inside their own 22, it failed miserably when it was caught by the Bandon winger, who had the presence of mind to offload it. With numbers, they drove their way over to put the final nail in the coffin for the West Limerick side. Abbey did however, end with a consolation try when Robert Browne intercepted to race unopposed to the try line, with Hassett adding the extras.

A disappointing day indeed but a well drilled Bandon side showed their true credentials in their quest for the league title. Abbey will be feeling bitterly dejected after a somewhat abject performance and will need to look at certain aspects of their performance, most notably their defence, if they have any chance of staying up. What better way to rectify these problems?? By only trying to win their next match, a local derby against rivals Castleisland. No body said it was going to be easy this year!!

Team: 1) A. Roche, 2) K. McCarthy, 3) M. Morrissey, 4) G. Walsh, 5) B. Collins, 6) D. Murphy, 7) Daniel Ward, 8) J. Browne, 9) T. Hassett, 10) M. Roche, 11) R. Browne, 12) P. Daly, 13) J. Murphy, 14) David Ward, 15) B. Murphy
Subs: 16) L. O’Connor, 17) M. Enright,18) D. Collins, 19) S. Daly, 20) Philip Collins


4 -12 -14 – 28



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Abbeyfeale 2nd XV…16
Newcastle West 2nd XV…20

On entering the grounds of Cullinagh, one could have been forgiven if fear came to the forefront of ones mind, having witnessed the sheer bulk of the hosts squad warming up before kick off. Having comfortably dispatched of Listowel two weekends previous, the lads knew that they would be facing a much sterner test against a Newcastle West side who were coming into the game with two victories and just one lost so far.

Newcastle were the first to show their intent, when straight from the kick off, they attacked the visitors 22. Having worked through a number of phases, Abbey were penalised for not releasing, and with the kick directly in front of the post, the home sides out half made no mistake in registering the first points of the day. Despite Abbey possessing a predominantly youthful side alongside some old stalwarts such as Liam Herlihy and Morgan McMahon, they weren’t afraid to counter attack Newcastle’s line. Philip Daly, impressive throughout the day, pierced through the home sides defence, brushing off two tackles to get well over the gain line. With the space narrowing quickly, Daly looked for any oncoming support, but the final execution was unsuccessful, when the referee adjudged the ball to have gone forward. Abbey were matching Newcastle’s physicality around the park, making important tackles at vital moments, which forced the home side to cough up possession on a number of occasions. With Newcastle edging the scrums,due to the benefit of a much bigger pack, Abbey knew that they had to spread the ball wide, in the hope of getting through any opening in the home sides defence.

But it was Newcastle who capitalised on an opening, when the home sides out half broke through a weak tackle and edged closer to Abbeys 22. Quick passes followed and when a switch back inside came, the home sides inside centre ran unopposed under the post to widen the gap between the two teams.

This seemed to galvanise the visitors and playing with a sense of youthful exuberance, they weren’t afraid to attack from deep. This was evident when from Abbeys own 10 metre line, Cormac Roche got his backs rolling by spreading the ball out wide. Unperturbed as to what was in front of them, Abbey ran at will, offloading at every opportunity, a passage of play that could only be best described as Barbariansesque . They worked through a number of phases pushing the opposition from left to right. Still they continued to press forward, offloading at will. Quick ball was now needed and when it came, it was spread out wide to Philip Collins, who pinned back his ears to race over in the corner, evading two would-be tacklers in the process, to get Abbey up and running. From a difficult angle and with the rain now coming down heavily, Abbey out half Cormac Roche, kicked a magnificent conversion to claw Abbey back to within three points of the home side.

Despite the inclement weather conditions, Abbey looked more comfortable in spreading the ball, and having gain confidence from scoring just earlier, they attacked Newcastle again. From a line out, Abbey spread the ball wide to Donagh Kelly who got over the gain line with ease, before offloading to the oncoming Philip Collins who, displaying some great attacking instincts, chipped the ball through forcing Newcastle’s full back to scramble back before being forced into touch on the home sides 22.

Newcastle forced their way inside Abbeys half, with their big forwards picking and driving, making valuable yards. Abbeys defence stood firm with some notable tackles from Dean Smith and Danny Harnett keeping the home side at bay. However, the pressure began to take it’s toll, forcing Abbey to concede a penalty just shy of their own 22. Newcastle opted for the kick at goal but the attempt just shaded right and wide.

Abbey pressed ahead again inside Newcastle’s half and when awarded a penalty, they opted for a kick to the corner. Their line out which was functioning well in the game, gave the lads a platform to maul their way towards the home sides line, only for Newcastle to hold it up. It wasn’t long though before the visitors were given another penalty and this time, Abbey out half, Cormac Roche duly obliged to level matters just on the stroke of half time.

The second half started brightly for Abbey when they were awarded another penalty, with the incumbent Roche slotting over to give the away side the lead for the first time in the game. Newcastle’s indiscipline were costing them dearly and with Roche in scintillating form with the boot, one could sense that an upset was on the cards. With a slender lead and with conditions worsening, Abbey were now happy to play a kicking game and play for territory. Cormac Roche, excelling in every facets of play, displayed some excellent tactical kicking, pegging the home side back inside their own half at every opportunity.

Newcastle, with their big ball carriers, were getting the home side up the field towards the visitors half. After working through a few phases, an overlap out on the blindside presented a opportunity for the home side to attack. With the line in sight and the Newcastle player over the line, Abbeys Dan G Harnett somehow managed to deny the home player with a fantastic try saving tackle. A lesson for any young player watching; when close, dive low for a try.

Newcastle again made their way down Abbeys half when they were awarded a scrum on Abbeys five metre line. Newcastle needed something as Abbey were displaying some dogged spirit to repel any Newcastle advances. A knock on at the scrum summed up the home sides frustration with countless handling errors costing them dearly. But they were to make amends shortly afterwards, when they made their way down the blindside. With patience, they picked and drove for a few phases before the ball was popped out blind again and the home player breaking through two weak tackles to dive over for the try. With the conversion being slotted over, Newcastle regained the lead with a slender 4 point advantage.

Newcastle now were seeking to put the game to bed and when they again made their way inside Abbeys 22, one could sense that a try was in the offing. But Abbey were hanging in there and with that doggedness, Abbey full back, Philip Collins pulled off a superb try saving tackle to deny Newcastle what seemed like a certain try.

A further penalty from Newcastle widened the gap to 7 points and with the clock ticking away, Abbey badly needed a response. However, Newcastle were camping inside the visitors half, looking to end the game as a contest. Abbey did get a consolation penalty near the end to close the gap to within 4 points, but with the away team tiring and the conditions worsening, it was not meant to be for the young Abbey side.

Despite the result, this was a dogged and spirited performance from a very youthful side. Despite Newcastle’s bulk, Abbey were not deterred and caused the home side some problems. Abbey handled the conditions fair better than the home side but Newcastle with their experience, had enough in the tank to close out the game. But it should be said, some players stood out today and firmly put their hand up for 1st XV selection, with great individual performances from Philip Collins, Philip Daly, Cormac Roche, Cian O’Sullivan and Donagh Kelly.

The Team was…1) Danny Hartnett, 2) W. Cremin, 3) L. Herlihy, 4) C. Smith, 5) B. Collins,6) L. O’Connor, 7) D. Smith, 8) P. Daly, 9) M. McMahon, 10) C. Roche, 11) T. Moloney, 12) D. Kelly, 13) Cian O’Sullivan, 14) P. Brislane, 15) Philip Collins. Subs-P. Murphy, Dan G Harnett.


2 -17 -22 – 30


Mary O’Leary, Ballaugh, Abbeyfeale

4 LUCKY DIPS, €25 each
1. Anna Mai Lane, Killarney Road
2. Joe Collins, Tullig, Abbeyfeale
3. Jim Lane, New Street, Abbeyfeale
4. Fergal Lynch, Quin, Co Clare

Promoters prize to Denis Murphy
Next Week’s Draw on: Monday Night 3rd November 2014
At The Clubhouse

Jackpot €4,500

If you’re not in you can’t win!
Thank you for your continued support

Sunday 19th October 2014
Abbeyfeale 13
Ballincollig 0 AET

Unfortunately, this game wasn’t one for the protagonists of the sport as it failed to live up to pre-match expectations. With last years encounter between these two promoted teams being a close yet exciting and tense affair, one in which Ballincollig came out on top, you could be forgiven to think that this game could yet again prove to be more of the same. However, the gods above didn’t read the script and with a strong wind on show, an ‘up-the-jumper’ style of rugby was very much on show.

Having been comprehensively beaten by a strong Thurles outfit last weekend, the lads were eager to give a good account of themselves and return to winning ways. Having been short of the services of up to four players through injuries and other commitments, Abbey were forced to re-jig their line up with young Pa Brislane coming into the team for his first outing on the 1st XV.

With conditions playing havoc with both teams attempts to find a way through for a score, one could only wonder where a score was going to come from, if indeed a score was going to be got at any stage of this game.

With the clock ticking away and with there being no real evidence to suggest that a winner could be picked, both teams tried desperately but to of little or no avail. With that, the referee blew for full time, and after 80 minutes of play and no scores, both teams were now faced with a further 20 minutes of extra time, something with which the supporters braving the elements were not too keen on.

Stern words from Abbey coach Eamonn Foley seem to ignite his players and having got his message across that this was ‘cup rugby’, the lads seemed to up the ante in the first half of extra time. Playing with a bit of belief now, the lads counter attacked Ballincolligs half and were duly rewarded for their efforts when they were awarded a penalty after Ballincolling went off their feet. In a kickable position and knowing that one score could prove crucial in this tight game, Abbey’s Tom Hassett stepped up to score the games first points after almost 85 minutes of play.

Ballincollig knew that the pressure was on them now and tried with all their might to force their way down inside Abbeys half, but the visitors, buoyed by Hassetts penalty goal, were sticking to their game plan and were pegging back the home side at every opportunity.

With the clock ticking towards full time, Abbey put the game to bed, when from a driving maul, number eight John Browne forced his way over to score Abbeys first try of the day. They soon followed up on this score when David Collins chipped over the top and raced ahead to score a brilliant opportunistic try and close out the game by 13 points to nil.

Despite this game not being pleasant on the eye for players and supporters alike, this win can only serve as a gradual step for the players with which to gather momentum. Having been well beaten by a strong Thurles outfit last weekend, the lads needed a confidence boosting win. Although, not pretty at the best of times, the lads did however stick it out and were duly rewarded for their efforts. The lads now progress to the next round and resume their league campaign again in two weeks time when they face a much tougher battle against a high flying Bandon team.

Team: 1) A. Roche, 2) K. McCarthy, 3) M. Morrissey, 4) G. Walsh, 5) B. Collins, 6) E. O’Connell, 7) Daniel Ward, 8) J. Browne, 9) T. Hassett, 10) D. Collins, 11) S. Daly, 12) M. Roche, 13) J. Murphy, 14) P. Brislane, 15) B. Murphy
Subs: 16) L. O’Connor, 17) D. Murphy, 18) David Ward


14 -19 -20 – 21



5 LUCKY DIPS, €25 each
1. Jordan Coffey, C/o S.S
2. John O’Connor, Loughill
3. Cliodhana Ryan, C/o Jack Ryan’s Bar
4. Christy O’donovan, Ballybehy North, Abbeyfeale
5. Siobhán Hassett, Elliswood, Abbeyfeale

Promoters prize to The Shauna Sheehy
Next Week’s Draw on: Tuesday night 28th October 2014
At The Clubhouse

Jackpot €4,350

If you’re not in you can’t win!
Thank you for your continued support

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