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Newcastle West can make it an all-local junior cup semi-final

By Aidan Corr
TOP of the pile in a busy fixtures schedule this week-end on the junior rugby scene is the meeting of Kilfeacle and District and Newcastle West in the quarter final of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup.
Last week-end Kilfeacle caused a major surprise, beating Shannon convincingly in Coonagh. It wasn’t just the the defeat as much as the margin of the Tipperary side’s victory, a whopping 34-5 result that makes them hot favourites to reach the last four.
Home advantage is always a factor when Kilfeacle and Newcastle West come into combat and that is another plus for the ‘District’ on Sunday. Their pack completely out-manoeuvered the Shannon last week-end, mauling them back on numerous occasions, and Newcastle West will need to be prepared to cope with this threat.
The game provides coach Declan Edwards with a big challenge. The former Young Munster back-row, who took over the reins from Ger Earls earlier in the season, is a seasoned campaigner and no doubt he will have his charges well up for this one. Reaching the last four would be a fantastic achievement for Newcastle West but they will have to be at their best to set up a meeting with Richmond.
Also on Sunday next there is an interesting clash in the Transfield Cup when Richmond take on Shannon in Richmond Park. This competition has staged some junior rugby classics since first established and this game promises to be a close affair.
Garryowen are also in action on Sunday, they host Highfield in Dooradoyle with the prize of a place in the final of the Munster Seconds League. The light blues can field a strong side at this level but the Parish boys have also been having a good season. A close encounter expected in this showdown.
All games kick off at 2.30 unless otherwise stated.
Fixtures, Sunday, April 15, Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, Cork Constitution v Clonmel, Temple Hill; Kilfeacle and District v Newcastle West. Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate, Fethard v Clonakilty, Fethard; Mallow v Thurles, Mallow; Munster Junior 3 League play-off final, Ennis v Fermoy, Ennis. Munster Seconds League semi-final, Garryowen v Highfield, Dooradoyle. Transfield Cup, Richmond v Shannon, Richmond Park. Wednesday, April 18, Munster Junior Clubs Shield Final,Ballincollig v Clonakilty, Irish Independent Park, 7.30pm.
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup:
Shannon 5, Kilfeacle and District 34
Shannon crashed out of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup on their home patch at Coonagh last Sunday. This was expected to be a close game but the margin of defeat highlights the difference between the sides.
Winners of the cup in 2015, the Parish side must have considered their home venue an advantage and they got a great start. Paul Curtiss made a good break which was carried on by Mike O’Gorman and Gervin ‘Vinny’Rossown got over for a try that was not converted.
Kilfeacle soon got into their stride and they levelled the tie at 5-5. An attempted clearance was blocked down, opening up a clear path to the try line after Shannon had failed to add to their early score from a penalty. The District added a converted try and a penalty before the break and at the short whistle it was clear that Shannon had an uphill battle.
With their superior pack gaining 20 and 30 metres at times, Kilfeacle used their advantage to score three further tries in a one-sided second half, the last one an opportunist intercept. Scorers for Kilfeacle were tries by Jamie Heuston, Darren Lowry, Oisin O’Meara, Pat McNamara and James Ryan with Shane Looby kicking three conversions and a penalty.
Understandably, Shannon were disappointed with their performance but pointed out that with the club fielding four adult teams this week-end (senior, junior, Gleeson League and under 19), there were a few tired bodies out there. Kilfeacle now go forward to meet Newcastle West in the quarter final on Sunday.
MJL division two: Crosshaven 61, Killarney 24. This result put paid to any hopes that St Mary’s may have had of being crowned champions of this league division. Already relegated, Killarney were up against the second placed Cork side and the bonus point win saw them leap-frog the ‘Saints’ and take the silverware.
“We are happy enough with the runners-up place,” St Mary’s Christy McNamara told us, “and the lads gave it their best shot. We missed out on a few possible winning bonus points during the season and with seven away games and five at home, it was always going to be difficult for us. Thankfully, we got promotion to division one so we will be build from here for the new season.”
In other games Garryowen beat Shannon 17-10 in the Gleeson League with Shannon’s scores coming tries by Conor Downes and Conor Mulqueen and two conversions and a penalty from Kevin McEvoy.
The final of the Munster Junior Bowl final between Bantry Bay and Bruff in Cobh.
The Webb Cup game between Old Crescent and St Mary’s has been fixed for next Saturday but there was a request from Crescent to play that on the Friday night in view of the expected celebrations in Rosbrien when they are presented with the AIL2B trophy.

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