Brilliant City Reach Garryowen Final

Waterford City reached the Garryowen Final with a one point win over Clanwilliam of Tipperary

Waterford City reached the Garryowen Final with a one point win over Clanwilliam of Tipperary

Garryowen Cup semi-final

Clanwilliam 23
Waterford City 24

Clanwilliam went through their Division 2 season unbeaten this year and earned a well-deserved promotion.

The Tipp town outfit are a strong side from 1-15 and with home advantage for this cup match would have been fully confident of reaching the final.

Any thoughts of an easy win however were immediately quashed by a City team which started at a fantastic pace.

Right from the kick off, City attacked deep into the Clan half and Aaron Foskin slotted a drop goal to lead 3-0.

Shortly after the opening score, a jinking run from Darren ‘Chicky’ Walsh had City on the front foot again and Clanwilliam conceded a penalty which man of the match Michael Hayes made look routine despite the difficult angle.

City were in control and led 6-0 after 10 minutes but Clanwilliam have an impressive home record and the ability in their side was clear to see when they responded by matching City for intensity and strong carries up the middle had City under pressure.

A loose ball out the side of a ruck, saw the Clanwilliam blind winger in for an easy score and City led 6-5 after 20 minutes.

The City pack were dominant in the scrum and won a penalty at scrum time in the Clan half, Hayes, whose kicking was faultless all day split the uprights from distance to put City 9-5 ahead.

The Waterford team then turned over possession in midfield and countered to drive the home team back into their half. Hayes dropped into the pocket and from all of 40 metres fired over an incredible drop goal to put City 12-5 ahead.

Clan though came straight back at City and scored their second try from a rolling maul from close range to leave the score 12-10 at the break.City were happy to be up by two but in defence were missing too many tackles.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw the teams trade penalties to keep City 15-13 ahead.

Clanwilliam were throwing everything at City and the away team were having to make numerous tackles, especially the back row of Foskin, Whelan and Bowe who were excellent all game.

A yellow card was the last thing City needed but the pressure was starting to tell. They saw a man go to the bin and Clanwilliam crossed for another try when City ran out of defenders. 20-15 down to quality opposition, weaker teams would have crumbled but City dug deep and hung in to get back to 15 men before winning a penalty from a rolling maul.

Hayes again split the uprights, this time from wide on the left to leave City 20-18 behind. With 10 minutes to play City kept driving the home team back and from 30 metres out Aaron Foskin came up with a bit of magic, he lined up the drop goal which looked like it would be blocked down so checked inside and fired home a brilliant strike with his weaker left foot.

City led 21-20 approaching final five minutes but Clanwilliam again came right back and scored a penalty to lead 23-21.

City hadn’t much left in the tank but managed to mount another attack and their scrum forced another penalty, the angle was difficult and distance against him but Hayes showed nerves of steel, a sweet strike saw the ball creep over the cross bar for the winning score.

City had to defend the final couple of minutes but held on for a great win. Michael Hayes was outstanding and a deserved man of the match but the front row of Reade, Condron and O’Connor were in contention with and excellent performance.

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