AIL: Banbridge 33 – 25 Nenagh Ormond
For the first time in 13 AIL league fixtures, Nenagh came away empty handed and although they remain in second place, they now share that with Banbridge and Malone. All are on 41pts with Nenagh having the better scoring points difference, keeping them just behind the leaders Highfield who now are 4 points clear. Nenagh’s next 3 fixtures are home to Malone, away to Queens University followed by another home fixture to current league leaders Highfield. So there will be many twists and turns yet before the season finishes and taking one game at a time is all that can be looked upon. The arrival of Malone next Saturday week is now the focus and hopefully an improved performance can get the result to maintain Nenagh’s current position.
Rifle Park, home to Banbridge RFC, had a big pre match lunch for which current Irish captain Rory Best was their guest speaker. He spoke about how proud he is in relation to the long history he has with Banbridge RFC, where he started off as a 6 year old along with his 2 brothers. Maybe this set the tone for them to put in a performance and close the 5 point gap behind Nenagh.
Nenagh started the half facing into a strong breeze. 2 successful penalties from Stewart had Nenagh 6-0 up after 20 minutes. Nenagh were on the attack when what seemed a deliberate slapped down ball, which would have given Nenagh the opportunity for another 3 pointer as this play was deep in the Banbridge 22, was not deemed so from referee Dermot Blake. The loose ball was spread by the Banbridge backs and a missed forward pass allowed the home side to run the length of the field and John Porter to score the first try of the game. Out half Andrew McGrath’s conversion had Banbridge 7-6 in front. Peter O'Leary went off injured to be replaced by Darragh Hassey, which meant Derek Corcoran slotted into the scrum half position. John Hayes saw yellow shortly afterwards for a high tackle and over an 18 minutes spell, Banbridge had a try scoring bonus point achieved with the impressive no. 8 Stephen Irvine, captain Adam Ervine and a second try from winger John Porter all scoring. McGrath landed 2 more conversions all of which had Nenagh shell shocked at half time trailing 26 points to 6.
Was there a reaction to come from Nenagh in the second forty? With the aid of a breeze, a few early penalties were kicked into the corner rather than adding to the score board, with the intent to target a five pointer. But the home side withheld everything Nenagh threw at them and after 64 minutes a snip break from the previous Ulster and Connaught provincial scrum half player Ian Porter, offloaded to Johnny Little to push Banbridge further in the lead to 33-6 points. Early in the half, Nenagh added Mike Slattery, Kevin O'Gorman, John Coffey and Conor Muldoon on the park to try and freshen things up. With 15 minutes remaining, Nenagh showed great commitment and courage and ran in 3 tries through lemecki Viapula, Clayton Stewart and John Coffey. Stewart added 2 conversions to bring his tally for the day to 15 points but unfortunately the clock was running out for 1 last chance to snatch a fourth try and close the gap to within 7 and maybe going home with 2 points.
So it wasn't to be. Nenagh returned home to Tipperary emptied handed, but all is not lost. A home fixture against Malone Saturday week might not come quick enough and how the team react between now and 4 o'clock March 4th will determine what this squad want to achieve for the season. Everybody available will be needed as the current squad is quite small and the wounded guys need time to recover before this next fixture. There is a great opportunity to gain automatic promotion or at least a home playoff place, but the squad needs all to roll up their sleeves and stay fully committed. Best for Nenagh was Viapula whom made a lot of hard yards, but man of the match goes to the Banbridge number 8, Stephen Irvine who was outstanding and closely followed by the half back pairing of Porter and McGrath.
Nenagh: Fergal Brislane, John Healy, Johnny Hayes, Kevin Seymour, Kevin O’Flaherty (capt), Keith Quigley, J O’Flaherty, Lemecki Viapula, Peter O'Leary, Clayton Stewart, Willie Coffey, Willie, O'Connor, Derek Corcoran, Killian Gleeson, Hugh Maloney. Subs: John Coffey, Conor Muldoon, Mike Slattery, Kevin O'Gorman, Darragh Hassey.
Banbridge: Michael Cromie, Peter Cromie, Stuart Cromie, Chris Allen, Colin Bickerstaff, Robin Sinton, Ryan Hughes, Stephen Irvine, Ian Porter, Andrew Mcgrath, Josh Cromie, Johnny Little, Andrew Morrison, John Porter, Adam Ervive (capt). Subs Tim Savage, Richard Graham, James McCrum, Michael Bentley, Simon Lloyd.
Referee Dermot Blake.
U18 - Old Crescent RFC 21 - Nenagh Ormond RFC 22
A very under-strength Nenagh came out on top after a very close encounter in an under 18 friendly at Old Crescent on Sunday.
With only 16 players togging out, and an early injury to full back Conor O’Brien, Nenagh showed great character to persevere and win out in the end of a bruising encounter.
Nenagh started poorly and conceded a try straight from the kick-off when poor tackling allowed the Old Crescent defence outflank the Nenagh backline to touch down under the posts. The simple conversion was tapped over for Nenagh to find themselves 7 points down without touching the ball.
This setback woke up the Nenagh lads and they were back on level terms after 5 minutes. Some good phases of pressure near the Old Crescent saw the ball passed out along the backs. As crescent spread out to cover the line, Nenagh outhalf Martin Rainsford saw the gap and ghosted through to score a fine try. Conor O’Brien was successful with the conversion to bring the scores level.
Nenagh went in front after 25 minutes when a great back line move spread out the ball to winger Felim Tuite who finished in a very tight space just inside the corner flag. Conor O’Brien was unlucky when the conversion just fell short.
Old Crescent enjoyed a period of dominance for the remainder of the first half and were camped on the Nenagh line for a period. The Nenagh lads showed great resilience when keeping out the onslaught. However Old Crescent were finally rewarded for their efforts on the last play of the first half when another pick and drive from close in was deemed to have been touched down for a try which was converted to put Old Crescent 14-12 up at half time.
Enforced changes shortly after half time saw Tommy Wells move from back row to the centre with Conor Sullivan making his first start for Nenagh.
Old Crescent went further ahead ten minutes into the second half when some poor tackling allowed the Crescent out half wriggle through several players from outside the 22, to score a fine individual try under the posts. The conversion was tapped over to put Old Crescent 21-12 in front.
The Nenagh lads showed great character and clawed their way back into the match. Speedy winger Colum Moylan continued his prolific recent scoring record with a fine individual try after 25 minutes. Receiving the ball on the wing, he dodged two defenders to score a fine try in the corner. Michael Grace was unlucky when the conversion just fell short, to leave the scores 21-17 in favour of Old Crescent.
Trailing by just four points entering the last play of the game, some fine individual breaks by Cathal Ryan, Conor Sullivan and Jake O’Kelly brought the ball deep into the Crescent 22. The forwards kept the ball tight and when Alex Hayes picked and drove for the line he was able to roll and stretch to just get the ball down over the line for the winning try. Ben Duff missed the conversion but it was immaterial as the referee signalled the end of the match with Nenagh winning 22-21.
Overall this was a very valuable exercise for the Nenagh lads, missing several starting players and was ideal preparation for their home Pan-Munster Plate Quarter final against Fethard on 4th March
Team: 15. Conor O’Brien, 14. Felim Tuite, 13. Ben Duff, 12. Shane Mitchell Steed, 11. Colum Moylan, 10. Martin Rainsford, 9. Michael Grace, 8. Jake O’Kelly (capt), 7. Stephen Harding, 6. Tommy Wells, 5. Cathal Ryan, 4. Jack Dunne, 3. Alex Hayes, 2. Seamus O’Meara, 1. Jonathon Cope, Sub Conor Sullivan.
U13’s- Nenagh 17-17 Ballina Killaloe/Scarriff/Newport
Nenagh U13’s played the Conference quarter final at home to Ballina Killaloe/Scarriff/Newport in Tyone on Sunday. It was a cracking cup tie with tries, controversy and a very exciting finish between two evenly matched teams. The team had suffered a number of injuries in the last few weeks and had only 15 players available on the day but to their credit each player stood up and was counted. Nenagh started well and opened the scoring with a try from the prolific Joseph Coffey, who outpaced the cover to score wide on the left. There was some good play on the soft pitch by both teams and Ballina came back strongly to take the lead with two tries, one of which was converted to leave the score 12-5 to the away side. There was much improved tackling from this Nenagh team by Alex Maloney, who had a fine game, Justin Dimitru and Alex Morrissey and the defence was well marshalled by Joseph Gleeson and Joseph Shanahan. After a kick ahead Jack O’Flaherty pouched on a difficult bounce for the full back to race in from 30 metres to score the try. The retaken conversion shaved the post from Joseph Gleeson and this was to be important later in the game.
In the second half Nenagh played very strongly and had Ballina under a lot of pressure and the visitors found it difficult to get out of their own half. There was good carrying and rucking by Nathan Ryan, Charlie Cavanagh and Sam O’Brien and as time was running out despite the hint of a knock on Nenagh got the ball to Joseph Coffey in space and he again outpaced the cover to score out on the left hand side. Joseph Gleeson nailed the difficult conversion to leave Nenagh 5 points ahead with time running out. However, full credit to Ballina/Newport/Scarriff who pressed until the final whistle and scored in the corner in the final play, despite the contention that he lost control of the ball before he touched down, to leave the score 17 all at full time. On balance the draw was a fair result and neither team deserved to loose. It was a much improved performances from Nenagh and the players can be rightly proud of their performance. The replay will be in Ballina next Sunday at 11.30 and full attendance in training on Wednesday night will be vital to work on a few things before the rematch.
Team: Mateli Halmagne, Charlie Cavanagh, Joseph Coffey, Paddy Griffen, Nathan Ryan, Jack O’Flaherty, Jack Powell, Sam O’Brien, Alex Maloney, Joseph Gleeson, Justin Dimitru, Alex Morrissey, Joe Kyne, Tadhg O’Brien, Joseph Coffey.
U12’s Friendly V Tullamore RFC
Last Sunday 22 NORFC players travelled to Tullamore RFC to take on the home side in a friendly.
Having been well beaten at home by the same opposition we were determined to make amends. It was a lovely dry day for rugby and the ground was soft. We divided into 2 equal teams. We played a total of 6 games and everyone got loads of game time. We displayed great fight and energy at the breakdown and more then matched our opponents upfront in the physical stakes, however in fairness to Tullamore they had a bit more than us out wide, and we found ourselves under pressure when they moved the ball wide. We have been working on our defensive line in training and it's a case of ' much done, more to do '. Our forward play is now probably the strongest aspect of our game, with some powerful young men not afraid to get stuck in. A feature is our strong ball carrying and rucking.
On the day there was some really strong performances from everyone, however highlight of the day was a stunning tackle by Jack Connolly on one of the biggest Tullamore players. Mikey Morgan carried some great ball up the middle, William Fogarty gave a great display of running and Tadgh Gleeson continues to impress, however our star player, yet again, was the flying Jack O'Callaghan. Unfortunately he got a knock in the later stages which ruled him out of the last game, where his pace and ball handling were sorely missed.
Our thanks to Tullamore RFC for a very sporting match and for their hospitality afterwards. They really are a top quality outfit and are among the best we have played.
Our thanks to the parents and coaches who made the trip. Hard luck to Fergal and the senior XV against Banbridge at the weekend.
Training continues Thursday night - details on our ever expanding Whatsapp group!
Mini Rugby Coaching Course
Nenagh Ormond R.F.C. Juvenile section ran a very successful Mini Rugby Coaching course in Lisatunny on Friday and Saturday.
The course was presented by former Nenagh Ormond player and coach, Noel O’Meara and his colleagues from the Munster Rugby Coach Development team.
This course is specifically designed for coaches of Mini rugby (U8 - U12) where players are being introduced to rugby for the first time and participating in games of reduced numbers (8's, 10's and 12-a-side). The focus is on safety & enjoyment with the coach acting as 'guide' in a player-centered process.
Developing players' all-round skills and game-understanding with an emphasis on Physical Literacy appropriate to the stages of development of each individual are the key technical, tactical & physical module objectives.
The 25 people attended over the weekend found the course was very interesting, informative and very enjoyable. Nenagh Ormond R.F.C. would like to thank Noel for facilitating the club by running this course in Nenagh.
Underage Girls Rugby
Updated 19:14 - 20 Feb 2017 by Colleen Mccullough
Underage Girls Rugby training will commence this Saturday Feb 4th in New Ormond Park at 10.30am. We will welcome all girls between the ages of 11 - 15years. Whether you’ve played before or just want to come out and try it for the first time, all are welcome. We aim to have at least one blitz before April so come along and give it a go!