Skibbereen 8 – Newcastle West 20

Kelly return and scores a super try.

It is 330.6 KMs round trip from Newcastle West to Skibbereen ,but it was a short trip home for all our players and supporters who made the journey and returned with a great win in what is known in Junior rugby terms as a fortress. Skib don’t loose to many games at home.

The game was always going to be tight and two packs of forwards were going to slug it out up front, although the visitors pack was heavier the home side were not found wanting and rom start to finish the made life very difficult but legally and illegally.NCW concede a number of penalties early in the game and gave Skib the lead with a converted penalty in the sixth minute. Our pack were beginning to get the upper hand and probing kicks by Conor Whelan kept them going forward .It was from one of these kicks that saw the home centre take the ball but a great follow up tackle from Sean Berkery and failure to release gave Conor his first kick which he duly converted in the nineteenth minute.

What can sometimes happen after you score is a lapse in concentration and some poor tackling allowed Skibbereen in for an easy try to take the score to 8-3 at twenty minutes. It was nip and tuck and up and down the field up to just before half time, when the forwards combined to carry the ball forty metres with 12 phases of play. They got to 7 yards from the line Richard Langford picked and drove but was stopped short, Shane Magner picked and drove but was stopped short, but then that man James Kelly arrived from the wing picked and drove under three skibbereen forward to touch down just to the left of the post, Conor added the conversion and half time arrived with the score being 8-10.

Conor stretched our lead with an excellent penalty in the sixth minute of the second half, from here on it was defence as the home side attacked at every opportunity, the introduction of fresh legs in the pack was a great coaching move and Declan, Sean Leahy, Sean Corbett and John Sheehan would play a big role in securing a great win. All was going to plan, but we were failing to convert opportunities in to scores and were still conceding penalties. With twelve minutes remaining Skibbereen threw everything at us and we were fortunate to hold them out on two to three occasions, a bit of a melee under our posts saw three players finish in the sin bin, two from NCW and one for the home side. Reassure on again, cometh the hour cometh the men, and the four subs worked together carrying and combing with the back where a great kick by Conor in to the corner created a line out for NCW.The clubs top try scorer to date Declan Moloney gathered a ball from the back of the line out and burst through seven skibbereen players to score a super try, Conor converted and the referee blew the whistle for a memorable win.

A great win on the road but only the beginning of journey. The first fifteen now have six competitive weekends in a row and the seconds begin their campaign in the Gleeson League on this Saturday.

If you are reading these notes and played rugby in the last few years with us we need to build our squad for the seconds and the first. Training is on Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30 pm. DON’T WAIT FOR A PHONE CALL THIS IS AN INVITE TO ALL

Man of the match was TJ Relihan, closely followed by James Kelly, Gary O Donnell and Murley Sheehan.

Mike Sheehy was given the most appropriately dressed supporter award.A huge thank you to all who travelled such a long distance,it is appreciated by the team and management.

Squad: Declan Moloney(1 Try), Sean Corbett, Shane Magner, Dave Foley, TJ Relihan, Sean Leahy, James Corbett, Michael Culhane, Pa Galvin, Gary O Donnell, Conor Whelan (2 Penaltys,2 Conversions), Karl Hayes, John Sheehan, John Sheehan , Seamie Scanlon, Sean Berkery, Padraig Fogarty, Donal Egan, Richard Langford. James Kelly( 1 Try)