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The Saints edge closer to silverware

Richmond v Skibb 2011

THEY looked comfortable at the break with a 13-point lead but St Mary’s had to dig deep in Grove Island on Sunday to advance to the next round of the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup with victory over Newcastle West.
Aided by a first half breeze, the Saints we full value for their 13-0 lead with Greg Barry getting a try and Ben Sargeant kicking two penalties and a conversion.
Newcastle West, who had won at this venue in the MJL a few weeks earlier, responded after the break and were level at 13-13 heading into the final quarter of this evenly contested cup tie. John Sheehan got in for a try and a brace of penalties and a conversion from their reliable place kicker Alan Roche, set up a thrilling final ten minutes.
With the St Mary’s pack getting the edge in the set-pieces, the home side enjoyed a fair slice of the territorial share in those crucial finishing stages and two penalties from Ben Sargeant gave the home side their ticket to the next round where they will meet either Skibbereen or Old Christians. Good news for the Saints is that they hope to have both Brian Downey and Ben Martin back for that fixture while next up for Newcastle West is a visit to Thomond in the Munster Junior Cup.
MJL2, Youghal 10, Presentation 27: Pres finished their campaign in style, taking a bonus point win from this visit to Frogmoire. Tries from Shane Enright 2, Dean O’Halloran and Alan Airey and two conversions and a penalty by Craig Airey gave the Limerick visitors the victory. Earlier in the day in Rathuard, under 13s from Cork Constitution, UL Bohemian and Bruff RFC took part in a very successful rugby blitz.
MJL3, Fermoy 0, Abbeyfeale 45: Already assured promotion to division two next season, Abbeyfeale turned on the style at the County Cork venue but despite winning by an impressive margin missed their chance of being crowned league champions when Ballincollig got the required losing bonus point to take the title on the head to head rule.
Tries by Mike Morrissey, Kieran McCarthy, Jake Quirke, Daniel Ward, Brian Murphy, Michael Roche and Matt Behan; four conversions from David Collins and a conversion by New Zealand-bound Matt Behan made up the Abbeyfeale tally.
Gleeson League final, Thomond 24, Old Crescent 3: High-flying Thomond RFC took some early silverware back to Fitzgerald Park on Saturday when their thirds lifted the Gleeson League.
Damien Carmello, Eoin McNamara, Jeff Slattery and David Guerin scored tries for the royal blues while Dessie Fitzgerald kicked two conversions. Old Crescent’s only reply was a penalty from Brian Clancy.
Webb Cup, Young Munster 12, Garryowen 39: Played in Derryknockane on Saturday, the light blues advanced with some ease and look like going far in this competition.
Munster 2nds League play-offs: Cork Constitution beat Bruff in Cork 26-22 in an exciting and highly competitive encounter. The Highfield v Thomond fixture was called off to a bereavement while Garryowen got a walk-over from UCC who could not field a team.

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