Victory In Transfield Cup Final: Newcastle West 32 Shannon 8

Updated: December 26, 2014
Transfield Cup winners 2014

Christmas arrived early for the club when the 1st XV secured the Transfield Cup with an emphatic performance. On a breezy afternoon in Cullinagh and a huge crowd in attendance all was set for a competition that is one of the oldest in Munster rugby.

The home side took control from the off and showed that they would not give any respect to a Shannon side containing a number of AIL players and two players with Munster academy contracts. The first scrum set the tone with the pack getting the drive on and winning good quality ball. The first score came in the tenth minute when the forwards pounded the Shannon pack with all players picking and driving, James Corbett was appearing everywhere at this stage and Dave Foley was by his side tracking the ball and putting in huge hit. Held up twice just short of the line it was a crisp pass from Sean Herlihy that put Stephen Kelly in at the corner to finish off the work by the forwards.

It was all Newcastle West at this stage Shannon were not being allowed to play and with great control by a back line who made all first up tackles and were inspiring confidence by going forward with ball in hand or by great kicking. Shannon conceded a penalty on seventeen minutes for going off side and Sean scored from near the touchline.

Twenty minutes in and a great kick by Conor Whelan placed the home side on the Shannon ten metre line, Gary O Donnell stole the line out and the forwards started to drive reaching the twenty two and a break by Declan Moloney saw the Shannon defence split open and he coasted over to touch down under the post which Sean converted to leave the half time score 15-3.

The second half saw Shannon come more into the game and they were trying to spread the ball wide at any available opportunity but the defensive line of Sean, Conor, Sean Neville, John BB Sheehan, The Kelly brothers and Tommy K were making all the key hits in the right area of the field.

A mistake by the Shannon twelve forced by pressure from the rampant James Corbett and a five metre scrum was awarded, the home side drove the Shannon pack over the line and they conceded a penalty try, which Sean again converted. Shannon was rewarded for there never say die attitude when they got an unconverted try in the seventieth minute.

Sean converted a super kick from the halfway line in the seventy fourth minute and this was a great call by the captain to continue to widen the gap rather than going for touch.

With the game entering the last stages and Shannon again trying to run the ball at all costs, Stephen Kelly intercepted on the halfway and scored his second try under the posts, Sean converted .That was to be the final action of another fantastic win in a cup we have now won twice in three seasons.

To pick out one player for man of the match would be very difficult, but having reviewed the video the contribution by John Sheehan, Conor Whelan, Dave Foley, James Corbett and Stephen Kelly was exceptional.

All twenty two who took to the field can be proud of their efforts so this week it is the squad who receive the accolades.

Scores; Stephen Kelly 2 Tries, Declan Moloney Try, Sean Herlihy 3 conversions and 2 penalties, Penalty Try
Newcastle West: Tom Kelleher ,Stephen Kelly, John Sheehan , Shaun Berkery , James Kelly, Conor Whelan ,Sean Herlihy, Sean Corbett, Declan Moloney, Dave Foley ,Sean Leahy, Richard Langford , Gary O Donnell , Shane Magner, Trevor Sexton, Murley Sheehan, Mike McMahon, Sean Neville, Brian O Doherty,Mikey Berkery, Rossa Dooley,Alan O Riordan

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