Eight Teams That Made Headlines Last Weekend
It was a weekend full of stories across the senior and junior rugby landscape and we have picked out eight teams that made the most noise and are worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks from Towns Cup giant killers to All Ireland league title hopefuls. Their Training dressing rooms will be lively this week.
The Wexford men are coming up in conversations across the province and beyond this weekend after taking on a Dundalk side two Divisions above them and beating them 22-17 to advance to round two of the Towns Cup.
Thomas Sheehy, Michael Woods and John Mannion had first half tries to give them a 17-0 lead. Dundalk fought back in the second half but 18 year old Steven Gardiner’s try helped keep them at arms length. Cue huge celebrations.
They are a club on the rise and while narrow defeats have probably cost them a chance at a second successive promotion this season, they can look to an exciting emerging crop of talent as a great sign for the future. Two more featured with the Leinster youths this weekend.
Caption: Gorey celebrate a try in Sunday’s win over Dundalk. Gorey RFC Website
Corinthians ended Cashel’s 43 match unbeaten run back in November and there was a distinct hangover from that in the following weeks but it looks like Cashel are back to top form after Saturday’s 11-8 away win against promotion chasing UCC. The Tipperary side overturned an 8-3 half tie deficit. with Giles Boland’s try and a late penalty from Ollie McGlinchey.
Over on the Munster Branch site the Olan Allen called it one of the biggest shocks in the history of the Munster Junior Cup and no better man to Know where it stacks. Newcastle West won 25-20 away to UCC in Round four on Sunday leaving must observers stunned.
They were 15-13 down at the break. John Sheehan’s try and Alan Roche’s kicking had kept them in touch. A late try from Carl Hayse converted by Roche tied the match before James Kelly won it dramatically. The Limerick men are in phenomenally good form this season.
Doomed to relegation a month ago, all of a sudden the Tipperary Town men are on an upward curve. They defeated Dolphin on Sunday in the Munster Junior Cup in what must rank as another huge upset in the competition. The Cork side have been strong at j1 level this season but lost 25-15 at the weekend. David Quinlan scored two tries for the winners and Brian Kissane kicked five penalties.
After an abysmal start, last year’s Division 1b runners up are back on track and up to third after they ended Buccaneers six game winning streak at the weekend with a 27-15 triumph on home turf. Quins have now won six from seven and they face league leaders Ballynahinch at home this weekend. Can they continue their rise?
The Phil Pretoriou’s steam train continues after they Galway side recorded a brilliant 27-6 away win at Banbridge. The Down side have lost momentum but that shouldn’t take away from the visitors who had league top scorer James Buckley to thank for one of their four tries in a brilliant display.
A young team with a real determination to reach the second tier. Next up our league leaders Terenure in Galway in three weeks time with two point separating the sides in the table.
Most people had the points marked down for NUIM Barnhall at the weekend but Skerries overturned a 21 half time deficit to beat the Kildare side at Holmpatrick in what was described on their Facebook site as a ‘miracle match.’
The Joe Glennon captained side trailed 29-8 at the break in horrendous conditions and conjured up their best rugby of the season so far in the second half Kevin McGrath had two tries during the second half while Mikey Sherlock added their fourth try in the final seconds setting up Conal Keane for a dramatic match winning conversation.
Caption: Skerries Celebrate, Mikey Sherlock’s late, late try. Pic: Eric Walsh, Skerries RFC
Twenty one years on from the formation of the All Ireland league, Lansdowne might well be on their way to securing the title that has eluded them since the competition’s inception. In Saturday’s top of the table clash at Dooradoyle they proved far too strong for the home side.
Garryowen were blanked for the first time this season and in the process opened up a four point lead at the top of the table. Full back Ross McCarron, winger Rob McCarthy and number eight Ron Boucher got the tries. You can get video highlights here.
Update: We deliberately left out Tullamore and Enniscorthy because we’ve highlighted their heroics elsewhere but at the same time, we probably should note that they made some pretty big headlines also. We’ve also updated the story title because it’s focused on teams that made a splash last weekend in particular.