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Defeat for Richmond today dents their junior league title hopes

(Pictured, St Mary’s, late score deprives them of victory)
By Aidan Corr
Munster Junior League division one:
St Mary’s 6, Bandon 10
ST Mary’s will probably look back on today’s defeat on their home patch in Grove Island with some regret at the end of the season. Rooted at the bottom of the table, they needed to win against Bandon. Into injury time they were leading 6-3 but under severe pressure from the Cork visitors, who turned down penalty opportunities in favour scrums in the hope of a winning score, their defence was eventually breached. After a prolonged series of scrums, well into double figures, Bandon broke the Saints’ hearts with a converted try that keeps the city side on the bottom rung.
Urged on a big attendance St Mary’s started well and went in front after 15 minutes when Alan Kiely kicked a penalty. Their supporters had reason to feel confident when Kiely added a second successful tee kick on 28 minutes for a 6-0 lead.
With Karl Clifford making an impressive debut and Darragh Kerley outstanding, St Mary’s continued to show tremendous spirit and even when Bandon cut the lead to 6-3 the city side looked like they would grab the precious points. The last ten minutes were nail-biting for the home crowd with Bandon launching a series of attacks and it was that final scrum that eventually brought the winning score.
The Saints reaped a losing bonus point, but it could have been far more beneficial if they had held out to the finish.
Galbally 6, Clanwilliam 0: Clanwilliam made Galbally fight right to the end for their victory at the county venue. The win puts the winners on 15 points in the table and gives them a little more breathing space between themselves and the relegation area.
John Kearns proved to be the Galbally hero, kicking a brace of penalties.
Kilfeacle 9, Richmond 6: This was another thriller on a day when only two out of five Limerick clubs recorded victories. Richmond had to win this fixture if they were to launch a late surge to win the title. The defeat sees them drop from second place in the table to fifth.
The Canal Bank side looked to be in control in the opening half and they led 0-6 at half time, thanks to a brace of Brian Mullins penalties. Kilfeacle stepped up their game in the second half and the sides were level going into the final quarter. With four minutes remaining, Kilfeacle stole the points with a well-taken drop goal.
Newcastle West 10, Waterpark 3: Played in very difficult conditions, this was a hard-fought encounter with the home side just holding on for a win that keeps them in the top four. First half tries from Declan Moloney and Keelan Head saw Newcastle West enjoy the half time break 10-0 in front. As the weather deteriorated, so did the pace of the game and there was just one score in that second 40 minutes, a penalty from Waterpark that gives them a losing bonus point.
Skibbereen 11, Abbeyfeale 6: Another close game with the home side snatching victory with a late try. Two penalties from Stevie Daly kept Abbeyfeale in the game, Skib levelled it with a similar brace and they finished the game strongly to snatch the victory that keeps them in the top half of the table.

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