Bandon 10-19 St Senans
10th October 2015
Bandon made an early exit from the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup last Saturday, after losing out to a strong St Senans side in Old Chapel, Bandon, on a score line of 19-10 in favour of the travelling Clare side.
The travelling Clare side got off the bus rearing to go at Old Chapel last weekend, putting Bandon under pressure from the start of this Cup campaign. St Senans started strongly, forcing Bandon into conceding two consecutive penalties inside their own 22, which the St Senans outhalf took pleasure in scoring (00-06). Bandon having started the slower of the two began to find their stride mid-way through the first half, following the introduction of scrumhalf Richie Walsh, after a trailing foot caused an injury to the eye of Jerry Crowley, who had to be replaced. Richie Walsh immediately brought the game to the travelling side, upping the pace of the game, causing problems for the heavier St Senans pack. This allowed the Bandon backs to run at the holes which were starting to appear in the back field. Following a wayward kick from St Senans, Olan Crowley fielded the ball and spread it wide across the line into open field. This allowed Gearoid Crowley to run at the defence, and touch down in the corner after evading a number of would be St Senans tacklers. Richie Walsh confidently dispatched the conversion to give Bandon the lead heading in at half time (07-06).
St Senans again started the second half strongly, and exerted pressure on the Bandon defence through their larger pack. They began running better support lines than they had in the first half, adding in some constant offloading. This pressure allowed them to breach the Bandon line ten minutes into the half, when their center touched down under the posts. The outhalf diligently dispatched the conversion to extend St Senans lead (07-13). Richie Walsh replied with a long distance penalty to bring Bandon back in touch (10-13). Bandon again began exerting pressure on the St Senans backline but could not breach the stonewall St Senans appeared to have erected. St Senans were awarded for their hard work in defence when they were awarded a penalty after an over exuberant Bandon forward left his feet at the ruck. The outhalf again dispatched the 3 points for the visitors (10-16). St Senans again went on the attack from the kick off, forcing a Bandon player to come out of the line prematurely, giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty to St Senans. The outhalf again did not need a second chance to convert given St Senans a valuable two score cushion going into the last few minutes (10-19). Bandon finished the stronger of the two but could not breach the St Senans defence. Bandon unfortunately ran out of time, and found themselves out of the Challenge Cup.
There were some stand out performances around the park from the West Cork side. Kieran Essex was strong at the base of the Bandon scrum, and in particular in the lineout. Mike Murphy carried the ball well and breached into the St Senans secondary on more than one occasion. Scott Kingston stepped into the role of Captain, in the absence of Club Captain Tom Ferguson, with confidence and lead by example. However, best for Bandon on the day was scrumhalf Richie Walsh. Having been called from the bench early on he stepped into the role with ease controlling the game. His scintillating running caused a major headache for the visiting side. Bandon will have elements to work on again this week and have a break now before there next game.
Bandon: Olan Crowley, Gearoid Crowley, Christian Mulcahy, Philip Murphy, Gearoid O’ Leary, Ray Naea, Jerry Crowley; Mike Murphy, Dermot Leahy, Ross Bateman, JP Lucey, Cian Buttimer, Dan Switenbank, Kieran Essex, Scott Kingston (C). Subs: Des Prendergast, Richard Walsh, Nicky Walsh, Mark Phelan