Munster Junior Cup Quater Final.
Clonmel 10 Bandon 23.
Bandon: Olan Crowley; Christian Mulcahy; Jerry Crowley; Ray Naea; Gearoid Crowley; Chris Laidler; Richard Walsh; Aidan Slattery; Mike Murphy; Tim Crowley (c); Dan Swithenbank; Enda Phelan; Des Prendergast; Michael Beecher; JP Lucey.
Subs: Riobard Wilmot; Scott Kingston; Conor Pullin; Kevin Lucey; Gearoid O’Leary.
Bandon travelled to recently crowned Munster Junior League Division 1 champions, Clonmel last Saturday, seeking a semi final berth in the Junior Cup for the first time in seventeen years. The game was played in extremely tough conditions, with several heavy showers throughout and a strong cross wind that favoured Bandon in the opening half. The Bandon set piece struggled early on, and Clonmel took a 03-00 lead through a penalty. Richard Walsh responded with two penalties to out his side ahead 06-03, as the Bandon forwards came to grips with their opponents. The work rate of the visiting pack was immense, with Des Prendergast and John Paul Lucey, both usually accustomed to the second row, having fine outings in the back row. It was to remain 06-03 at the break and Bandon would probably have been a little disappointed with this return, considering the conditions.
Kevin Lucey was slotted in at outhalf during the interval, and this along with the introduction of Conor Pullin (both due to injuries) just before the break, saw far greater impetus in the backline. A scrum ten metres from the Clonmel line saw Walsh put Pullin through a gap and his offload was latched upon by Lucey for a try. Walsh added the extras to make it 13-03. Bandon were then dealt a further blow when second row Dan Swithenbank dislocated his knee cap and will obviously miss the remainder of the campaign. The quality of the Bandon tackling had Clonmel under constant pressure and forced another penalty, which was judged beautifully into the wind by the metronomic Walsh. Clonmel then, in one of their rare attacks, broke upfield and were awarded a penalty ten metres from the try line. They tapped and went and scored a try under the posts. At 16-10, a comeback against the run of play was on the cards but Bandon went back down into the Clonnel ‘22 again and a sublime offload by Lucey this time, put Pullin away for a try down the left hand side. Walsh’s kick, his fifth shot from six attempts made it 23-10 at the finish. There were some superb performers on the day. Along with those already mentioned, there was the ever excellent Michael Beecher and Tim Crowley, who captained the side in the absence of the injured Tom Ferguson.
Bandon now face a semi final in Limerick, against Young Munster, after they defeated Kilfeacle 21-13 on the 17th April. This will be Bandon’s third time meeting the Limerick side at this stage of the competition, with the previous two clashes both taking place in Limerick also. They won the first encounter in 1992, while losing the second in 1999 to a Young Munster side containing future Munster, Ireland and Lions captain, Paul O’Connell.