St Senan’s 10 Tralee 14
St Senan’s came very close to scoring what would have been a well-deserved victory against league leaders Tralee in Division 1 of the Munster Junior Rugby League at Slattery Park on Sunday.
Despite St Senan’s being encamped on the Tralee try line for the final five minutes of the match, forcing the visitors to concede a number penalties including one that saw a player sin-binned, they could not cross the line for a winning score.
St Senan’s started the game in a positive mood and soon pushed Tralee back inside their own 22 but could not find a scoring move as Tralee’s defence held tight. When the visitors counter-attacked it was the turn of the St Senan’s defence to show their determination to keep their line secure. After 15 minutes, St Senan’s counter-attacked and were rewarded with a penalty by Declan Collins.
The visitors rallied from this setback and pushed St Senan’s back deep into their own territory. After some dogged defending by the home side, Tralee eventually moved the ball out wide to run in a well-worked try. The wide angle proved too difficult for the kicker to add the extra points.
Showing great character, St Senan’s kept their composure and mounted a number of driving attacks deep into Tralee territory. After 35 minutes they felt they had succeeded in scoring a drive-over try, only to be disappointed when the referee declared the ball had been held up. Tralee took control from the scrum but they were soon pushed back by Senan’s, who drove Stephen Ryan over the line for a well-deserved try. Once again, Declan Collins struck the ball well to add the extra two points, giving the home side a 10-5 lead.
Tralee ran at St Senan’s from the restart and won a penalty that was converted, reducing the deficit to 10-8 at the interval.
Tralee started the second half in determined mood and after just five minutes were rewarded with a penalty, which they converted to give them a one-point lead, 11-10. Despite some very good attacking play St Senan’s could not add to their score, missing a penalty conversion after 23 minutes.
A determined Tralee defence held off further attacks from St Senan’s before extending their lead on 33 minutes with a converted penalty, putting them four clear.
The final minutes of the game saw St Senan’s push Tralee within feet of their try line, the pressure mounted by the home side forced the visitors to concede penalty after penalty and also saw one of their players sin-binned. At this stage, St Senan’s might have expected the referee to award them a penalty try but no such decision was made and when Tralee cleared into touch he blew the final whistle. Although disappointed at not having taken the victory, St Senan’s were pleased to have taken the league leaders so close.
St Senan’s: Pa Ryan, Ger Hall, Tony O’Brien, Mike Lyons, Jack Jones, Dermot Fitzgerald, Aaron Skerritt (capt), Stephen Ryan, Darragh McCoy, Darren Guerin, David Dunne, Chris Sloan, Fran Duggan, Shane Thompstone, Declan Collins.
Replacements: John Paul Elsley, Dave Lee, Aidan O’Callaghan, Jake Egan, Barry Murphy.
The club will hold their annual night at the dogs at Limerick racetrack on Saturday, February 13. Tickets are available from any committee member.
Kinsale 21 Ennis 6
Kinsale made the brighter start to their Division 2 tie at the Cork club’s venue and they took an early lead with a try. Ennis replied with a Bryan Murphy penalty and shortly after this they added another three points to take the lead, which they held to the break.
Kinsale had the better of the second half exchanges and it wasn’t long until they landed a penalty to take the lead they would hold to the end.
Ennis need to get points on the board quickly to get away from the relegation area and they will be looking for improved form in the coming weeks.
Ennis: Mike McInerney, Liam Ryan, Eric McInerney, Pat Harding, Jason Considine, Roy Duggan, Rory Murphy, Damian Forde, Ger Fannin, Bryan Murphy, Niall McMahon, David Murphy, Gary Duggan, Shaun O’Flanagan, Mark O’Halloran.
Ennis will have home advantage this Sunday when they take on Old Crescent in the Munster Junior Cup at 2.30pm.
In the Pan Munster U-19 league Ennis will have Waterpark as their opponents on Sunday at 12noon at Lees Road. The U-13s will travel to Annacotty to play UL-Bohs at 10.30am. In the U-14 league, St Senan’s will be in Dooradoyle to play Garryowen at 11am. In the U-15 league, Kilrush will play Old Crescent at Rosbrien, Ballina-Killaloe will play Richmond at Scariff and Ennis will play Bruff at the Limerick club’s venue.
In the Munster Junior League Division 3, Scariff will travel to play Abbeyfeale.