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League wins for Richmond, St Mary’s and Newcastle West

By Aidan Corr
THE cream of the province’s junior rugby players were in action in the second round of Munster Junior League games with five out of the six local sides in action. Newcastle West came out on top in the ‘match of the day’ in Abbeyfeale while there were wins for Richmond over Youghal and St Mary’s who got the better of Clonakilty. Galbally travelled to Clonmel but the home side were convincing winners of a one-sided game.
MJL1, Abbeyfeale 13, Newcastle West 20: Last season’s pairing of these two rivals has been described as the best junior league game of that campaign but today’s clash of the two West Limerick sides did not live up to expectations.
Newcastle West got off to a great start and they were 15-3 in front at the short whistle thanks to a try, conversion and penalty by Sean Herlihy and a second try that came from Sean Murphy. Twelve minutes into the second half it was 20-3 to NCW, Sean Ivess getting on the end of the good move to crash over the line and Abbeyfeale were in serious trouble.
To their credit they re-grouped and they very nearly levelled the game near the finish. Two tries in rapid succession had the home attendance on their feet with Mike O’Donnell getting the first touchdown quickly followed by another break which saw Colm O’Sullivan get over the whitewash to leave the game evenly poised at 20-13. Abbeyfeale threw everything into the final minutes, they got a real chance near the finish but they had to settle for a losing bonus point at the final whistle.
Richmond 24, Youghal 13: The Canal Bank side has set out its stall early in their bid to be in the mix at the latter stages of this league. Under the coaching team of former Shannon out-half Tadhg Bennett and long-time club members Mike Gallagher and Stephen Clancy, they have put together a nice side and today’s victory over Youghal was well deserved.
Youghal took an early lead from a penalty but a try by Shane Halpin nine minutes later, converted by Brian Mullins, saw the home side lead 7-3 at the break. Richmond increased that to 12-3 three minutes after the restart when Tadhg Bennett got over for a try and the same player added a penalty to push Richmond 15-3 ahead. Youghal staged a comeback with a penalty and a converted try but tries from John Tully and Gearoid Phelan put the result beyond the Cork visitors at 27-13. Ten minutes from time winger Keelan Stephenson scored his fourth try in successive games for Richmond as the green and whites celebrated their bonus point victory.
Clonmel 40, Galbally 15: Galbally have had a rotten start to their league campaign. This second defeat in a row for them asks questions about their strength this season and Clonmel were on top for most of this game at the Tipperary venue. Galbally’s points came from five penalties by John Kearns.
MJL2, St Mary’s 32, Clonakilty 10: After the disappointment of having their fixture cancelled last week-end, St Mary’s got a bonus point victory on their home soil in Grove Island with this comprehensive win. The visitors went in front with an early penalty but a well-taken try by Darragh Kerley, converted by Adam Guerin, steadied the ‘Saints.’ A try by Ger Clancy pushed the lead to 12-3 at the break and three minutes into the second half, St Mary’s out-half Sean Lyons converted a penalty for a 15-3 advantage.
The home side finished in style with three tries, one each from Stuart Lipper, Keith McManus and Paul Loughran, one converted by Sean Lyons, and sandwiched between was a Clonakilty try and conversion. Next week-end’s fixture could provide the ‘Saints’ with a more difficult task when they visit Kanturk.

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