Hard-luck story for Kan­turk at home

The Corkman - - SPORT -

AF­TER a few weeks of rest and re­lax­ation many of the lo­cal Mun­ster ju­nior rugby sides got back into ac­tion last week­end with a mix­ture of cup and league ac­tion lined up to blow away those New Year cob­webs.

As al­ways Kan­turk were the only lo­cal side in J1 ac­tion as they en­ter­tained an­other side in rel­e­ga­tion dif­fi­cul­ties, Crosshaven at Knock­na­colon.

Kan­turk came into this one sit­ting at the wrong end of the ta­ble and des­per­ate to take the spoils from what on the face of it looked like a very winnable game, but the sea-siders had other ideas on that front and bat­tled hard to a de­served one point win. 19-18.

Crosshaven led this one early thanks to tries from Kil­lian O’Ke­effe and Oisin Conway (both con­verted by Cian McGovern) how­ever Kan­turk did have some­thing to smile about be­fore the break when Conor Cremin touched down to leave just nine be­tween the sides as they headed for the half time in­ter­val.

Kan­turk upped the ante af­ter the break with a try from Gary Pig­gott, which was con­verted by Cremin, with the kicker also slot­ting home a brace of penal­ties to see Kan­turk lead for the first time how­ever Crosshaven were not to be de­nied and a late touch­down by Adam Kent saw Crosshaven.

The loss means that Kan­turk re­ally are in the rel­e­ga­tion mire with some re­ally dif­fi­cult fix­tures ahead, but the re­ten­tion of a place in the top tier of ju­nior rugby is still within their grasp.

Next week­end Kan­turk have the small mat­ter of a fix­ture at home against ta­ble top­pers Clon­mel.

The Tip­per­ary side have been hugely im­pres­sive all sea­son with eight wins from eight this cam­paign.

Clon­mel will be look­ing to ex­tend their six-point ad­van­tage at the sum­mit of Mun­ster Ju­nior Rugby and won’t be pre­pared to cut the Duhal­low boys any slack. Kan­turk should be happy to get any­thing from this tie, but that will be eas­ier said than done against the best side in pro­vin­cial ju­nior rugby.

In the mid­dle tier top of the ta­ble Mal­low sat out the week­end which af­forded the other sides in the divi­sion the op­por­tu­nity to close the gap on the un­de­feated Avondhu men. Clon­akilty were the main win­ners in the J2 last week­end ham­mer­ing Castleis­land by 76 points to close the gap on Mal­low and move clear of third by all of eight points. Also in the J2 Muskerry took on Old Chris­tians at Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent Park how­ever the Ballyanly men were only able to gar­ner a los­ing bonus point go­ing down by 20 – 13.

Tries from Ed­die De­lahunt, Ryan Butt and Eu­gene Red­mond set Chris­tians on their way with a try apiece which were added to by Ryan O’Con­nell kick­ing one con­ver­sion and a sin­gle penalty. Muskerry hit back with a try from Ge­orge O’Ma­hony with Jonathan Buck­ley con­vert­ing and slot­ting over two very valu­able penal­ties.

Last but not least in the J2 was Fer­moy’s bat­tle with Fethard. The Cork side have been hugely im­pres­sive this sea­son and have sur­prised many with their com­pet­i­tive­ness right from the first to the most re­cent en­counter.

Some­times a side can win rack­ing up a se­ri­ous tally, but on other oc­ca­sions it turns out to be much more of a dog­fight and in the case of Fer­moy’s game last week­end it was all about the lat­ter as the boys in green had to wait till the 88t hminute be­fore Dy­lan Lacey was in a po­si­tion to land what turned out to be a game win­ning penalty, steal­ing the win by the min­i­mum, 6-5.

Lacey landed the vic­tor’s ear­lier penalty in the first 40 with Michael Gaynor bag­ging the only try of the game when he touched down for Fethard.

Next week­end will be huge for lo­cal rugby fans with two mas­sive derby games set to light up the week­end. Sun­day af­ter­noon will see Charleville wel­come Muskerry to the north Cork town with both sides des­per­ate to not only take the points on of­fer but also the brag­ging rights go­ing for­ward.

At the same time as that mouth-wa­ter­ing clash top of the ta­ble Mal­low make the short trip up the road to take on pro­mo­tion chas­ing Fer­moy. Both sides will be con­fi­dent that they are good enough to take the points and dent their op­po­nent’s chances of fin­ish­ing the sea­son in the top two spots.

Lit­tle doubt that Mal­low will start as favourites, but the lads from St Joseph’s Road won’t be tak­ing any­thing for granted against a side that have al­ready shown they have Mal­low’s num­ber when their backs are to the wall. Lit­tle doubt­ing that this one has game of the week­end writ­ten all over it.

J3 pro­mo­tion chas­ing Mitchel­stown are the last of the lo­cal sides out this week­end as they wel­come En­nis to Cork.

Mitchel­stown have all the at­tributes re­quired to win this one and a pos­i­tive re­sult is an im­per­a­tive if the Avondhu side are to har­bour gen­uine pro­mo­tion am­bi­tions.

FIX­TURES

SUN­DAY JAN­UARY 13

2.30 pm

J1 League

Kan­turk v Clon­mel

J2 League

Charleville v Muskerry Fer­moy v Mal­low

J3 League

Mitchel­stown v En­nis

Fer­moy’s Dy­lan Fo­ley side­steps the chal­lenge of Fethard & Dis­trict’s Gary Ka­vanagh dur­ing last Sun­day’s Mun­ster Ju­nior League Divi­sion 2 clash in Fer­moy Photo by Eric Barry

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