Saturday 31 October 2009

Autumn International Tickets

Clonakilty RFC has tickets available for the upcoming Autumn Internationals. If you are interested in purchasing tickets please contact Jer at 086-0712211

Result: Clonakilty 9, DCU 6

Kurt Morath (3 pens)

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Clonakilty Find Their feet In The Vale

Clonakilty12 Belfast Harlequins 15
It was a narrow defeat yet a defeat nevertheless and one that got away. Quins did not deserve to lose but Clon deserved a draw at least and it would have been a good two points for the northerners on the road had it ended that way. The Belfast men will have gone home very, very happy with four points that they would have expected to take before running out in The Vale sunshine. At no stage after that were they sure of any points at all as Clon, as expected, put last week behind them with a performance that was light years ahead of that display. The home side soaked up early pressure and on their first visit to the Quins half Kurt Morath converted a 40 metre penalty after five minutes. Clon continued to defend brilliantly against a very physical side and when they once again moved into the Belfast territory for a line out, Alfie Harte found Dean Landy high in the air. Michael Peter O’Regan took it on and Clon were nearly in with Mike Keohane, David Lombard and Paul Dillon combining well until the final pass to Noel O’Sullivan was forward. Clon were under pressure in the scrums but Keohane at eight was coping well defensively. The defence was a feature and one huge hit dislodged the ball from the Quins carrier and Clon countered promisingly until a high tackle on JD O’Mahony stopped the movement. Morath again from 40 metres landed the penalty for a 6 – 0 lead. This was two scores from two visits for Clon which was a very encouraging statistic. Niall O’Connor, a rising Ulster star, reduced the lead to three before great foot-balling skill from John O’Donnell sent Dave Lombard on a crashing run. The big centre is always difficult to stop and this time he had to be stopped illegally and Morath again restored Clon’s six point lead. The wily O’Connor left three points between the sides at half time pinching significant yardage to convert a penalty chance. He brought his side level with another penalty ten minutes after the restart and put them ahead 9 – 12 when Clon were a man down with MP O’Regan sin-binned. Good work from Donal McSweeney, Lombard and Harte gave Clon the chance of an equaliser which Morath gladly accepted. Great play from the excellent Joe Crowley and a big 40 metre run from Lombard cheered all and right to the end there was hope that Clon would take the spoils. Quins with another O’Connor penalty took the honours in the end but all that was between West Cork side and a draw or victory was a knock on, a refereeing decision or a narrowly missed kick. On the other hand only for an incredible tackle and hold-up by Harte over the Clon line Quins would have scored the only try of the game. In the end the bonus point and the vastly improved display will give great heart. The squad was John O’Donnell, JD O’Mahony, Paul Dillon, David Lombard, JD O’Mahony, Kurt Morath, Joe Crowley, Tom Ryan, Alfie Harte (Capt), Joe Knowles, Dan Whelton, Donal McSweeney, Dean Landy, Michael Peter O’Regan, Mike Keohane, Hugh O’Neill, Derry O’Neill, John O’Regan, Eric Murphy and Darragh Lynch. They take a break this week before the massive challenge of an on fire Lansdowne in the RDS on Sat 24th. Lansdowne are having an incredible season in Leinster and are still in The All Ireland Cup. In the All Ireland League to date they have beaten Old Wesley by 33 points and Bruff by 41 points. Both of those games were away from home – what will they be like in their first game at home!? History shows that Clon perform best against the biggest opposition but they will need to be at their very best to get anything out of this trip.

J2 League
Clonakilty23 Bandon 5
Last Sunday the J2s took on an experienced Bandon side in The Vale. Matters were even for the most part in a keenly contested first half with the Clonakilty defence on their line crucial in keeping the visitors scoreless. A break by the Clon backline led to impressive fullback, James O'Driscoll, racing in to touch down in the corner. A penalty by out half Eric White put the home side eight points up at the break. Bandon raised their game in the second half and worked hard for the crucial line-break that led to their only score of the game an excellent try from their veteran hooker. A superb Clon backline move orchestrated by White in conjunction with centres Brian McSweeney and Ethan Jennings led to a try from the alert Barry Houlihan. Bandon responded with an unconverted try, however, soon afterwards Prop Michael Murphy cut an angle which opened up the defence and scored an excellent individual try. This was converted by White who subsequently landed a further penalty to finish the scoring. The pack, short a number of regulars, worked hard throughout and had star performers in Jonathon Toft at hooker for the first time, Brian Blackwell who dominated the lineout exchanges and David Houlihan who covered acres. Tim O'Regan and Owen Jackson helped lay the foundations for victory. The competition for places is building and all players are expected to attend training on Friday night at 7.30pm on the pitch.

Under 17s
Bandon 58 Clonakilty 0
Despite the absence of eight regulars Clonakilty played Bandon in Old Chapel in the second round of Section 1 of the U17 league. The result will have brought the squad back to earth after their excellent showing the previous week against Skibbereen when they won 29 – 5. The score line, however, does not reflect what was in fact a very spirited performance. In a very hard working squad the players put their bodies on the line for the duration of the game and played for the jersey right to the end. The opposition was a very strong and well-organised Bandon outfit and exceptional bravery and physical commitment was essential and it was shown in the pack in general and by Jack O’Donovan, Ronan O’Mahony, Dean Hennessy and Josh Wilcox in particular. In the backs Barry Hayes, Ruairc Courtney, Padraig O’Donovan and Eoin O’Neill were immense in the defensive line. O’Neill in particular stood out until he had to leave the field through injury. The complete squad had game time and the spirit shown in the face of such adversity will only stand to this bunch of players in the future. None took a backward step and each play contested as if it was the first and all still to play for. The squad was Ben Howarth, Andrew Flynn, Chris Hayes, Shane O’Donovan, Dean Hennessy, Jack O’Donovan, Ronan O’Mahony, Josh Wilcox, Barry Hayes, Ruairc Courtney, Ruairi Hash, Padraigh O’Donoan, Sam Cronin, Gearóid Brennan, Eoin O’Neill, Andrew Flynn, Billy Verlinder, Connor O’Brien, Philip Hinchy and John Rogers. U17 Training continues each Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:30 Sharp. All Welcome.

Saturday 17th
Under 15 League, Clonakilty V Carrigaline, The Vale, 11.30am

Sunday 18th
Senior Seconds league, Clonakilty v Cork Constitution, The Vale, 2.30pm
Junior 2 league, Clonakilty v Dunmanway, Dunmanway, 2.30pm

Loose Head

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Clon Lose Their Way in the Dublin Mountains

De La Salle Palmerston 38
Clonakilty 14
The, by now almost traditional, slow start of Clonakilty in the All Ireland League shows no sign of abating. Never has a Clon team been so well-prepared and there were genuine hopes that they could upset the form book by winning away on the first day of the campaign. De La Salle Palmerston were not the most difficult of assignments that they will meet in the division and indeed they were poor in the first half but still managed to take the break 20 points to the good. It is a game that needs to be consigned to the mental waste-paper basket as it is highly unlikely that the squad can suffer such a collective loss of form again. It was a really bad day at the office as they crashed to a big defeat with very few players enhancing their reputations. The start was good with Clon dominating the opening and looking the better side. However once DLSP got into the Clon half and scored their first points it was all downhill to the break. Clon's scrum was in difficulty and must take responsibility for the first try. DLSP’s scrum half their best player, was well taken by Joe Crowley at the base of the scrum and dispossessed. The ball was there for the taking but nobody broke from the Clon scrum to take advantage and the opportunity was lost as instead DLSP capitalised to score and Clon were five down after five minutes. The second after 17 mins was also painful With Crowley receiving attention the side switched off and a quick throw into the lineout was handed to the DLSP hooker who barged over from two metres. The conversion was good and they led by 10 points after 18 minutes. The third try was equally facile and a penalty sent Clon into the break with a 20 point mountain facing them. DLSP’s fourth and bonus point winning try shortly after the break albeit from a forward pass did little to boost the confidence and with the referee also appearing to blow Clon off the park the game was gone and even the bonus point was untouchable. The early lethargy was inexplicable but it was not all bad. Clon did improve in the second half but the problem was that so did DLSP. The loss of Joe Knowles to the sin bin did not help the cause and from the resultant penalty the Dubliners scored their fifth try but he chances were still there. Some very good moves were encouraging with a disallowed try for a knock-on but Clon did go on to score two excellent tries. First Alfie Harte took a quick tap and good work and quick hands from Crowley Kurt Morath and Paul Dillon saw Darragh Lynch dive in at the corner. The difficult conversion was made to look easy by Morath and at least Clon were on the board at 30 – 7. A penalty to DLSP and another try added to the misery before Clon scored their second try. This was the result of a great break from Mike Keohane and Noel O’Sullivan was on hand to take the pass and he outpaced the defence to the line. Morath’s conversion gave some respectability to the score line. Clon’s player of the day was new signing Dean Landy who had a great outing. A win in the first game of the league is not “essential” or “crucial” words that one hears regularly in this context. It is of course highly desirable as it establishes momentum but it would be worse to have lost at home. With players having to play out of position and with a number still to come into the squad there will be improvement but can it happen in a week? Belfast Harlequins provide the opposition for the West Cork club in their first home game this Saturday in The Vale. The northerners won their first game in style beating Old Crescent 31 – 16 and will travel in confidence. The squad was: Noel O’Sullivan, Eric Murphy, Darragh Lynch, David Lombard, JD O’Mahony, Kurt Morath, Joe Crowley, Tom Ryan, Alfie Harte, Joe Knowles, Danny Whelton, Dean Landy, Ger McCarthy, Michael Peter O’Regan, Mike Keohane, Hugh O’Neill, Derry O’Neill, Jason Fleming, Paddy Ryan and Paul Dillon.

Midleton 7
Clonakilty 34
The Senior Seconds lifted the gloom somewhat with a highly impressive win in Midleton in the league. Many players held their hands up in this game and Clon coach Dave O’Mahony will be heartened by this display. A number of players were tested out of their normal positions and all came through with flying colours. Captained by the excellent John O’Regan they took this game from the start and never allowed Midleton get into it hard though they tried. John O’Donnell in his first game of the season celebrated his engagement to physio Maeve Quirke with a superb performance at full back. Eric Murphy at scrum half was also impressive and the industrious Paddy Ryan and abrasive Jason Fleming also caught the eye. Ciarán Calnan was in complete control at out half and Matt Kirby showed deft touches. Two tries from Matt Kirby, one each from Ciarán Murphy, Paul Dillon, John O’Donnell and a Drop Goal and three conversions from Ciarán Calnan gave Clon a well-deserved 34 – 7 win. The seven was debatable as Midleton drove Clon over the line Eric Murphy clearly touched down but the replacement referee awarded the try to Midleton. There was little dissent as indeed the East Cork side deserved more for their efforts than that score. The squad was John O’Donnell, Ryan O’Flynn, John O’Driscoll, Paul Dillon, Matt Kirby, Ciarán Calnan, Eric Murphy, Derry O’Neill, Hugh O’Neill, Eoin Murphy, Sam Dignan, Jason Fleming, Ciarán Murphy, Paddy Ryan, John O’Regan and Owen Jackson.

Kinsale 13
Clonakilty 10

The J2s were unfortunate not to record a win as they went down in Kinsale by one score 13 – 10. Short a number of experienced regulars they started this game in whirlwind fashion and created an excellent team try for Gareth Boohig. Thereafter the crafty Kinsale side were dominant and took the lead with a penalty, a try and conversion to lead by 10 points to 5 at half time. The Clon team worked worked hard in the second half and scored an excellent try by the ever industrious Alan Harte. Unfortunately a number of kicks at goal were missed during the game and close to the finish Kinsale kicked an excellent penalty from the touchline to win the game. The team had a mixture of experience, beginners and under 19 players in the side. New players to the team included Kieran O'Donovan, Shane O'Driscoll, Barry Houlihan and Brian Gallwey. All played well and will gain from the experience of this game. The under 19 contingent of Ethan Jennings, Gareth Boohig, Paraic O'Leary, Adam Henson and Owen Jackson are fine players in the making and all contributed well to the team. The front of Pa O'Sullivan, Declan McCarthy and Kieran Hurley are front rows with the potential to play the game at a higher level. The important experience in the side came from Tim O'Regan, Alan Harte, John Allman, John Dineen, Michael Murphy, Diarmuid O'Sullivan and Tim Walsh.Clonakilty 29 Skibbereen 5The Under 17s had a great victory over neighbours Skibbereen in near ideal conditions. Good training numbers were at the heart of a very rewarding Clon win. The foundation for the win was laid down by a hard working pack bringing training drills to the game plan. Both scrum and lineout were productive while still leaving room for improvement. Clon constantly crossed the gain line at close quarters using good driving and support play to test Skibb's defence. Prominent in these attacks were A Flynn, G O’Mahoney, D Hennessy, R O’Mahoney, J O’Donovan and J Wilcox. Half backs G Ryan & R Courtney controlled the game well, with centres S Sheehan and, R Nash controlling the defensive line against creative Skibb backs. Wings S Cronin and G Brennan were resolute in defence and full backs Z Albehdlie’s impressive counter attack running was a feature of the game. A late lapse in defensive concentration led to a last minute try when Clon failed to regroup in the last minute. Tries by Z Albehdlie, A Flynn, S O’Donovan and J O’Donovan and a penalty and three conversions from G Ryan was a good return for the efforts. Overall Clon were rewarded for the good work shown at training in the past three weeks and this squad has the potential to put in a good league campaign if the collective work ethic shown to date remains. U17 Training each Monday and Wednesday Night 6:30 Sharp. All Welcome The Squad was Ben Howarth, Andrew Flynn, Chris Hayes, Shane O’Donovan, Dean Hennessy, Donal Duignan, Jack O’Donovan, Ronan O’Mahoney, Greg O’Mahoney, Eoin Hartnett, Josh Wilcox, Billy O’Regan, Gerry Ryan, Ruairc Courtney, Scott Sheehan, Ruairi Hash, Sam Cronin, Zen Albehdlie, Gearoid Brennan, Eoin O’Neill, Andrew Flynn, Billy Verlinder, Connor O’Brien, Kevin Decays-Dune.

Congratulations from all at Clonakilty RFC to Maeve Quirke and John O’Donnell recently engaged

Saturday 10th
Under 15s V Dunmanway, Dunmanway, 11.30
Under 17s V Bandon, League, Bandon 11.30
Under 19s V Dunmanway, Dunmanway 11.30
Seniors V Belfast Harlequins. All Ireland League, The Vale 2.30pm

Sunday 11th
J2s V Bandon, League 12 noon.

Friday 2 October 2009

Clonakilty Start All Ireland League

Clonakilty Start All Ireland League
This Saturday in Dublin Clonakilty will open their AIB All Ireland League campaign with De La Salle Palmerston as the opposition. Clonakilty have won two of the three meetings between the clubs losing the away game two years ago. The Dubliners will start as favourites but Clonakilty’s preparations have been meticulous and a surprise could be on the cards. Last Saturday Clon went down to a strong Bruff side in The AIB All Ireland Cup by 16 - 26 but the coaches were not unduly concerned. It has all been about the preparation for the league and that is ongoing. Unfortunate injuries and unavailability have caused problems but this work in progress is very much on target and while there is work to do and mistakes to deal with there are indicators to show that all is well. Fitness levels are good and Clonakilty’s poor disciplinary record seems to be a thing of the past. Nevertheless it was a disappointment to lose to Bruff at home. They have been a bogey team for Clon but the West Cork side will have the chance to avenge this when the sides meet again in The Vale in the all important league in April when both sides could have a lot to play for. Clon took an early lead after five minutes when a typical David Lombard drive scattered defenders and won a penalty. Kurt Morath slotted the three points but the lead was short-lived with an equalising penalty five minutes later. The Clon scrum was creaking and the pressure told with Bruff taking the lead with another penalty at the end of the first quarter. The tackle count of Ger McCarthy was huge and influential in Clon’s only try. His chasing of the restart and subsequent harrying of the out half from the resultant scrum ended with Morath celebrating his call up to the Tongan squad with a try. His timely block-down, pick up and score gave Clon a 10 -6 lead when his conversion went over. Bruff however had the edge up front and their powerful pack scored a try from a classic rolling maul to regain the lead at 10 – 13. This pack has to be as good as any in the division and maybe beyond and Clon have work to do before the April joust. Robbie O’Donoghue was bravery personified under the high ball and in the tackle and was unfortunately injured in one such contest in the air. He will miss many games and a huge set back for himself and the club such was his early season form. Mike Keohane brought Clon back into contention with a fine break and, when stopped cynically, won a penalty and a yellow card for his tackler and the sides were level when Morath converted. Dan O’Donovan was spectacular out of touch and fielding restarts and Michel Peter O’Regan was tireless in the tackle stakes, getting off the ground to make three in the one Bruff movement at one stage . However Bruff added a penalty to reclaim the lead. McCarthy’s persistent challenges from the restarts won a penalty when a desperate block to save the Bruff outhalf from McCarthy’s ferocity was penalised and Morath narrowly missed on this occasion. The second half saw more of Clon’s attacking ability but it was Bruff who scored when a Clon attack broke down with a knock on and the conversion put ten points between the sides. Bruff’s ability to turnover ball in contact was a frustrating factor for Clon throughout and another area that will be worked on as perhaps Clon made that task easier for their opponents than it should have been. Clon finished very strongly with Paul Dillon making his presence felt and Morath kicked penalties to the corner to try the driving maul route for a score. Bruff dealt with the first one superbly but conceded another penalty in stopping the second and Morath finished the scoring for Clon with a penalty. Bruff put the game out of reach with their final penalty. The squad was; Robbie O’Donoghue, Noel O’Sullivan, Darragh Lynch, David Lombard, JD O’Mahony, Kurt Morath, Joe Crowley, Tom Ryan, Alfie Harte (Capt), Joe Knowles, Danny Whelton, Dan O’Donovan, Ger McCarthy, Michael Peter O’Regan, Mike Keohane, Derry O’Neill, Hugh O’Neill, Jason Fleming, Eric Murphy and Paul Dillon.

Clonakilty 11 - Dunmanway 7
On Sunday last, in balmy sunshine, the Junior 2 team took the field against old adversaries Dunmanway in the semi-final of the O'Sullivan Cup and came out with a victory in a hard fought game. This year, following on from the excellent work done by Mel Long and Michael Murphy, the club are using the 3rd team as a development side It is the intention to develop the under 19s and introduce new players to the game by combining them with experienced players. The management involved includes Noel O'Sullivan, Kevin Dillon, Malachy Boohig and Ray O'Neill. Training is held on Friday night at 7.30pm and all are welcome. The game was a tough physical affair in the first half and finished scoreless. At half time Alan Harte moved to scrum half and this was the catalyst for a major improvement as he directed the pack and spread the ball well. Jonathon Toft, Tim O'Regan and Declan McCarthy in the pack were very effective while the running skills of John O'Driscoll and Ryan O'Flynn threatened regularly. Early penalties by John O'Driscoll put Clon into a six point lead. These scores brought the best out of Dunmanway and they worked the ball up field and scored an excellent try which they converted to go ahead. At this stage of the game the talented John Dineen at outhalf was finding his feet and was distributing the ball well. A good blindside break led to a Dave McCarthy try in the corner and Clon were back in the lead. There were excellent performances on the day from Eamon Dullea, Gareth Boohig, Adam Henson and Eoin Jackson and the experience provided by Pat Noonan, Cian Clancy, Paddy Ryan and Shane Deane laid the foundations for the victory.

The club was delighted for Clonakilty GAA with their recent winning of the county championship and wish to congratulate all concerned with this magnificent achievement. Hopefully it will not stop there and there will be more glory down the road.
Under 17 league V Skibbereen, The Vale 11.30
Seniors AIL V De La Salle Palmerston, Dublin 2.30

J2 League V Kinsale, Kinsale 12 noon
Senior Seconds League V Midleton, Midleton 3.00