THOMOND PARK BECKONS

Waterpark RFC

U18 MUNSTER CUP SEMI-FINAL
DUNGARVAN 3 WATERPARK 21

Waterpark qualified for the final of this competition by virtue of this convincing victory over neighbours Dungarvan on Saturday last and now will meet Bruff in the decider in Thomond Park on St.Patrick’s Day. It wasn’t by any means a vintage performance by Park and in fact throughout the first half of this game, the visitors made very heavy weather of beating a Dungarvan side, who despite their undoubted commitment, only came close on one occasion just coming up to half time to threaten the Park line with a few pick and drives which the visitors dealt with admirably.
As these guys had met frequently over the past few years in various competitions, it was expected that there would not be much between the sides and so it proved during the first period as both teams seemed to cancel each other out and with the nerves visible in abundance this half was riddled with errors from both sides.

Waterpark’s Alex Molloy  looks to get his backline moving during Saturday’s U18’s win over Dungarvan in the Munster U18 semi-final at Ballyrandle.

Waterpark’s Alex Molloy looks to get his backline moving during Saturday’s U18’s win over Dungarvan in the Munster U18 semi-final at Ballyrandle.

The scrums were a mess as were the lineouts and the only glimmer of any sort of rugby came after fifteen minutes with a lovely break from out half, Alex Molloy, who ghosted through the home defence to cross for the opening try of the game which Nick O’Donoghue converted to put Park in the lead at 0-7.
The second half proved to be much more enjoyable affair from a Park perspective, as whatever was said during the break, they seemed to find their feet and started to play the kind of rugby that we all know they are capable of and within three minutes lock Dev Murphy broke from inside his own half and gained almost forty metres, but unfortunately the final pass went astray and a chance of a try was lost.
Dungarvan pulled back three points with a penalty by their full back, Fionn Kiely, on 47 minutes, to leave only four points between the sides at 3-7. It was at this stage that substitute David Dawson, who had been on the injured list for several months, was brought into action from the bench and within five minutes had registered his comeback in no uncertain terms with a try under the posts.
From inside his own half team captain and centre James Liew made a wonderful break up the left hand side of the pitch through the Dungarvan defence from where the ball was swept all the way across the field for Dawson to take an inside pass and crash over for the try which O’Donoghue again converted to increase the gap to 3-14.
With five minutes left on the clock and Park in complete control, Dawson was back in action again when after a crunching tackle on the Dungarvan centre just outside their twentytwo , he managed to rip the ball and race clear under the posts for his second and Park’s third try of the game which O’Donoghue slotted for the extras and leave the final score at 3-21 to Park.
As already stated, not a vintage performance, but one that can be worked on in the coming days. In saying that if some of those final offloads had been on target, at least four more tries would have been scored. We now look forward to a momentous day in Thomond Park on Thursday next when we will be represented by not only one but by two squads, both our Under 16’s(who play Bandon) and Under 18’s in Munster Finals.
It is a testament to the dedicated people associated with these squads, the coaches , management, administration and most of all the parents who follow these guys the length and breadth of Munster to cheer them on. There are clubs in Munster (Senior Clubs included) who can only dream of what we are achieving and will continue to achieve at Youths level here in Waterpark. And remember whatever happens next Thursday, whether we return to Ballinakill with one cup, two cups or no cups at all, have pride in your club, have pride in the Jersey, hold your heads high and never forget your roots. Best of luck to both squads and enjoy the day.
Whatever happens on Thursday there is a huge game in Ballinakill on Sunday next when Waterpark face St Mary’s. Both teams are level on 17 points, in 12 and 13 place respectively with only Old Christians below them on 14 points. This is simply a must win game for Waterpark as is the meeting with Old Christians the following week. Otherwise relegation to Division 2 is almost a certainty.

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