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Presentation RFC drop down to Gleeson League status

By Aidan Corr
(Pictured, Dan Lillis, Shane Enright and Dan O’Connell celebrate a Presentation success)
IT came as a surprise to most in local rugby circles that Presentation RFC have decided to drop out of the Munster Junior League 2 competition and will now concentrate on participation in the Gleeson League, with just one team instead of two.
They hope to apply for a return to the Munster League within the next two seasons.
Founded in 1917, this year was to be a very special one for city junior club Presentation RFC. A decision followed through last Friday, however, which saw their application to withdraw from the Munster Junior League 2 accepted by the North Munster Branch, was hardly the way to celebrate their centenary.
A number of reasons have been given for the move, such as a significant drop in player numbers, key players moving to other city clubs, no underage structure and a general feeling within Presentation that the current squad would not have the experience to compete in what is a very demanding junior league season.
The club denied that the decision had been based on financial issues but a spokesman did agree that the annual insurance of €2,500 per team is putting extra pressure on local clubs.
The decision at the recent club EGM last week means that the Munster Branch must now decide on whether to continue MJL2 with a team less, or promote another club from the province to fill the vacancy.
“Our decision was inevitable and unavoidable,” Presentation RFC team manager Danny Lillis told us this week. “This time last year, for instance, we had 45 players training for the new season. Last week we had 19 and most of them were young and inexperienced. We lost players to other clubs like Thomond and St Mary’s but you can’t avoid that. Of course, we are very disappointed that we had to make this decision but player welfare had to be taken into account. Last season we were depending on the ‘old reliables’ like myself and John Higgins in the front-row and Shane Enright in the second-row. I have played with Pres for the last 20 years and you need good talent coming through.”
With the century chalked up, Pres are now hoping for a renaissance. They have handed Eoin Lynch the captaincy, Brendan Fleming is in charge of recruitment and they have appointed Niall McNamara, winner of an AIL medal with Young Munster in 1993, formerly of Thomond and coach of Newcastle West for the past few seasons, to take over the Gleeson League team. Emphasis will be on grooming young talent and the appointment of this new coach could prove to be the start of the road to recovery.

Junior Rugby Round-up (week two)

By Aidan Corr
THE Munster Junior Leagues kick off this coming Sunday. In division one, Richmond travel to Galbally for what should be an interesting contest. The city side has shown promise in early season but this league opener will provide a stiffer test.
Newcastle West are at home to Clanwilliam while Abbeyfeale travel to Shannon Town to take on St Senan’s.
In division two, the main talking point this week has been the withdrawal of Presentation, which leaves St Mary’s the only Limerick representatives in this division. Pres were to meet Waterford City in their opening league game.
The Saints have had a few problems with injuries and work commitments and with a key member of their squad getting married the day before this opening league game, they are keeping their fingers crossed that they can field close to full-strength for their meeting with Ballincollig in Tanner Parki.
All games kick-off at 2.30.
Richmond, Shannon, St Mary’s and Newcastle West retained their interest in this season’s Transfield Cup with wins last Sunday while in the McInerney Cup the previous day, there were wins for St Senan’s, Shannon and Richmond.
Transfield Cup, Newcastle West 29, St Senan’s 13: The West were in fine scoring form on their home patch, adding 23 second half points to their 6-3 half time lead. Sean Herlihy kicked a brace of first half penalties for the County Limerick side and second half tries from Cian Mulcahy and Cian Hinchy as well as two conversions, two penalties and a drop goal from Sean Herlihy, sealed the victory.
Old Crescent 22, Shannon 41: Plenty of scores in this game in Rosbrien as Shannon rolled along to the latter stages of this competition with an emphatic victory. Ethan Moloney was in fine form for the winners with a hat-trick of tries while Colm Heffernan, Jerry McCabe, Keith Kavanagh and Marcus McMenamey also touched down. Given the kicking duties, Richie Mullane added three conversions and a penalty to the tally.
Old Crescent’s scores came from Pieter Homan and Seagan Gleeson, tries, with Jack Broderick adding further points from the kicking tee.
Thomond 7, Richmond 36: Richmond are showing good form in early season and they ran in six tries in this big win in Liam Fitzgerald Park. Thomond’s young side tried valiantly to stem the tide. They trailed 22-7 at half time and despite their best efforts, the visitors added a further 14 second half points.
Richmond’s scores came from tries by Jack O’Hanlon, Shane Halpin, Stephen Collins, Darragh Oxley, Jeffrey McNamara and Tadhg Bennett. Three conversions were shared by Tadhg Bennett, Jeff McNamara and Brian Mullins.
Young Munster 11, St Mary’s 22: This was a good result in Tom Clifford Park for the Grove Island boys and will give them confidence for their opening game of the Munster Junior League, away to Ballincollig. Both sides are struggling to find sufficient cover for their front-row and this game ended with uncontested scrums. Diarmuid Dee scored a try for Young Munster with Jason Kiely kicking two penalties. For St Mary’s, Matt Hickey scored a brace of tries and Paul O’Loughlin kicked four penalties.
There were three games down for decision on Saturday afternoon in the McInerney Cup. Richmond travelled to Scariff and advanced to the semi-final thanks to a well-deserved 12-28 victory over the home side. They will now meet Shannon in the semi-final in Coonagh. Scorers for Richmond were Sami Farag two tries and a try each from Dean O’Neill and Cian McNamara. Brian O’Neill kicked a conversion and two penalties.
St Mary’s put up a good show against Shannon and trailed 13-7 for most of the second half. Shannon put the result beyond the Saints late in the game with an uncoverted try. Anthony Morgan scored a try for St Mary’s, converted by Ger McInerney while Shannon’s scores came from tries by Ronan Hunt and EoinMcCabe with Ronan Hunt also adding a conversion and two penalties.
St Senan’s also advanced with a 22-5 win over Newcastle West/Abbeyfeale.
Fixturers, Sunday, September 24:
MJL1, Cobh Pirates v Bandon, Cobh;
Galbally v Richmond, Galbally;
Kanturk v Waterpark, Kanturk;
Newcastle West v Clanwilliam, Newcastle West;
Skibbereen v Clonmel, Skibbereen;
St. Senan’s v Abbeyfeale, Jim Slattery Park;
Youghal v Kilfeacle, Youghal;
MJL2, Ballincollig v St. Mary’s, Tanner Park;
Clonakilty v Thurles, The Vale;
Crosshaven v Muskerry, Crosshaven;
Killarney v Castleisland, Killarney;
Kinsale v Mallow, Kinsale;
Old Christians v Mitchelstown, Rathcooney;

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