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Richmond maintain their Junior League challenge with a victory

By Aidan Corr
TODAY’S Munster Junior League games reaped some high scores and with all five Limerick junior clubs in action, there was joy for three and disappointment for the other two. In the MJL1 Newcastle West ran up a sizeable scoreline in their away win against Cobh Pirates while Abbeyfeale came from behind to beat Galbally.
The other game involving a Limerick side in this league finished with Richmond just getting the better of visitors Waterpark while in MJL2, St Mary’s failed to take any points from their visit to Castleisland.
Here are the details:
MJ:L1, Cobh Pirates 3, Newcastle West 59: The ‘West’ ran riot in the second half of this game played in The Paddock. They led 3-24 at half time thanks to tries by former Shannon man Stephen Kelly, Brian O’Doherty and Donal O’Sullivan and three conversions and a penalty from the boot of the ever-reliable Sean Herlihy.
The second half saw Cobh fall apart completely and Newcastle West strolled away with tries from Darragh O’Shea, James Kelly, Damien Kelly, Brian O’Sullivan and Dave Foley with tee kicking expert Herlihy further boosting his season’s stats with all five conversions.
Galbally 14, Abbeyfeale 23: The first half of this derby game was very close with Galbally showing their best form of late. They led 14-6 well into the second half but Abbeyfeale summoned up their traditional fighting spirit and two second half tries swung the tie in their favour as they held on to get their fourth league win of the season.
Scorers for Abbeyfeale were Michael Roche who got two tries, a try by Derry O’Connor, who also kicked two penalties, while Stevie Daly landed a conversion.
Richmond 23, Waterpark 19: The final score looks closer than the overall play in this highly entertaining game, played at a well-attended Richmond Park, the Waterford visitors getting a late converted try. Overall, Richmond had to work hard for victory.
Tadhg Bennett kicked the Canal Bank side into the lead early in the first half but Waterpark silenced the home faithful when they replied with an unconverted try that saw them lead 3-5. A second Tadhg Bennett penalty put Richmond ahead by a single point and the out-half/coach converted a try before the break by Keelan McMahon to put the homesters 13-5 to the good at the short whistle.
The second half was hard-fought but it was Richmond who got the next score on 45 minutes, Dean O’Halloran getting over and Tadhg Bennett converting to increase the lead to 20-5. This score seemed to spark more life into Waterpark and their converted try got them back into this game at 20-12.
Richmond’s defensive qualities were tested for a period after that and another Tadhg Bennett penalty made it 23-12 going into the final minutes. Waterpark’s late seven pointer was fully deserved for the effort they put in but the losing bonus point was their only consolation from this visit to Limerick.
MJL2, Castleisland 13, St Mary’s 6: The ‘Saints’ were fancied to win this game played in Crageens but they came up short with the Kerry side deserving of their victory. St Mary’s missed a late penalty that could have given them a losing bonus point and they could well regret this stumble on the road to promotion.
Castleisland led 8-6 at half time, Sean Lyons kicking two penalties for St Mary’s, but a second half try for the home side proved crucial to the result. According to Christy McNamara of St Mary’s, his side travelled with only 19 players and finished the game with a prop filling in for the injured hooker. Their next game in this league is away to Ballincollig, another fixture that could test their title-winning potential.

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