Historic Transfield Cup win

Updated: August 24, 2014
sTransfield Cup Semi Final


Newcastle West 20
St Marys 19.
Newcastle West created history when they won their first Transfield Cup defeating St Marys in the final in Annacotty last Sunday. This prestigious cup has been in existence since 1895 and it was Newcastle Wests third appearance in the final, having suffered defeat in the two previous finals in 1983 and 2011. Newcastle West played against the strong wind in the first half but retained the ball well and went through numerous phases. They were awarded a scrum on the St Marys 22 after ten minutes and when Saints were penalised for early engagement Karl Hayes took a quick tap to James Kelly who took the ball to five meters with four defenders hanging off him, he set up a ruck with Karl passing to Alan O’Riordan who passed to John Sheehan who touched down for a try. Alan Roche landed a fantastic conversion from a difficult angle judging the conditions perfectly. Saints came more into the game and were awarded a number of penalties which gained them ground before their out half scored from in front of the posts. Unfortunately Sean Corbett was injured in the build up and had to be replaced by James Lane. From the restart James Kelly forced a knock on from the Saints full back and Newcastle West won the scrum, the ball was passed to Tommy Kelliher who drew two defenders before off loading to Brian O’Sullivan who side stepped the winger and full back to score a fantastic try under the posts which Alan again converted to put Newcastle West 14 – 3 ahead. St Marys used the wind well for the remainder of the half and kept Newcastle West in their own half. Some Trojan tackling by Niall Kennedy, Shaun Berkery, Richard Langford and Sean Lehy kept our line in tack. But we gave away a number of soft penalties and Saints reduced the lead with three penalties in the 23rd, 33rd and 40th minutes to leave the half time score 14 – 12.
Newcastle West went on the attack from the kick off and were rewarded with an Alan Roche penalty. From the restart Alan O’Riordan was harshly sent to the sin bin for a late tackle and things went from bad to worse when Declan Moloney followed five minutes later. However the team showed great character and held their line well with Shane Magner, James Corbett and Donal Egan putting in big hits and Saints were unable to cross the try line. Midway through the half the Saints winger broke a number of tackles and a try looked certain but up stepped Tommy Kelliher with a great tackle. However, the ball was off loaded to a supporting player and with the Saints supporters cheering a likely try, Mike Berkery seemed to appear from nowhere and tackled the player and the danger was averted. With six minutes remaining Saints took the lead for the first time with a breakaway try which was converted from a difficult angle. 17 – 19. With normal time almost up the Newcastle West forwards brought the ball to the Saints half and we were awarded a penalty. With both sets of supporters holding their breath, Alan slotted the ball between the posts, 20 – 19. There was still a sting in the tail when Saints were awarded another soft penalty but the out half missed to the left and Newcastle West cleared the ball down field but failed to gain touch, back came Saints who were rewarded another penalty from the same position but this time the kicker missed to the right and the ball went dead, the referee blew for full time and the celebrations began.
The Munster Branch chairman Mike Goggin presented the cup to our captain Declan Moloney who tanked the team for the huge effort that they put in all season, he also thanked the management for their dedication and he also thanked the supporters who turned out in large numbers all season and finally gave three rousing cheers for a gallant Saint Marys team.
Man of the match was Alan O’Riordan with Brian O’Sullivan, John Sheehan and Mike Berkery putting in fantastic displays.
Team: Tommy Kelliher, Shaun Berkery, Niall Kennedy, Brian O’Sullivan, James Kelly, Alan Roche, Karl Hayes, Shane Magner, Sean Corbett, Declan Moloney (captain), John Sheehan, Alan O’Riordan, Sean Leahy, Mike Berkery, Richard Langford. Subs: James Lane, Donal Egan, PJ King, James Corbett, Brian O’Doherty, Sean Neville and Niall Kelliher.


Newcastle West 2nd XV (elite) team play Bruff in the O’Carroll Cup final in Bruff next Sunday 28th April in Bruff at 2,30pm.

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