Waterpark 3; Monivea 35
Waterpark’s days as a senior club in the AIL League are over, at least for a year following this disappointing performance on Saturday last in Ballinakill.
Having beaten City of Derry to set up this game, hopes were high that they could build on that victory and retain their senior status but they were blown away by a very strong Monivea side from Athenry. The visitors led 21-0 at half-time and as a result the Waterpark side had a mountain to climb in the second half.
The expected fightback however never materlised and it was Monivea who turned on the style once again in the second half. They scored a total of five tries compared to Waterpark’s miserable total of just one penalty and those facts tell the story of this one-sided contest.
A lot of hard talking will now take place within the club as they prepare for junior rugby and how to get back into the AIL League at the first time of asking next season. Waterford, and indeed the South East region needs a senior club, but for the next 12 months or so that will not be the case.
Playing against the strong breeze in the first half, Waterpark looked nervous during the opening minutes. The Monivea team were roared on by a large group of supporters and they had a chance to take the lead after 8 minutes when the home side were penalised for stamping but Ian Murphy was off target with his 25 meter penalty.
They did go ahead however on 15 minutes when Gerald Divilly crashed over for a try and Ian Murphy converted. Gary Jones then missed a penalty for Waterpark as the breeze caught the ball. Teddy Devaney took advantage of poor Waterpark defending to go over the try line and again Ian Murphy was successful with the conversion.
Left winger Gerald Divilly scored his second try of the game 2 minutes later. He ran from the Waterpark 22-metre line after he intersepted a Waterpark attacking move. Ian Murphy tagged on the two extra points. Monivea led then 21-0 at the interval and Waterpak knew they were in big, big trouble at that stage.
Gary Jones gave the home side a ray of hope 3 minutes into the second half with an easy penalty but from then on it was the Co Galway side who took over completely.
Their full back and captain Kevin Higgins burst through a couple of half-hearted tackles to get over the Waterpark line 10 minutes from full-time and shortly afterwards Mike Concarr rubbed salt into very sore Waterpark wounds with their 5th try. Ian Murphy converted both tries.
After the game the hordes on Monivea supporters invaded the pitch to congratulate their heroes. The Waterpark followers however left the ground in a very downbeat mood. Many long-serving Waterpark club members described the day as “extremely sad”. They were entitled to that view but now they must re-group and start the hard task of getting back their senior status.
One supporter of the local club, decked out in his red and black scarf and hat made the following statement as he walked away. “Put the padlock on the gate and throw away the key”. That is not the attitude that should be adopted, of that there is no doubt. Everyone must pull together and make the club proud and strong once again.
At times in life a severe knockback can in time prove to be a good thing, and hopefully that will be the case down Ballinakill way from here on in.
Waterpark: Pat Murphy, Rory Kavanagh, Mark Southern, Mark Murphy, Brendan Kelly, Mick McCarthy, Declan Brady, John Phelan, Mark Daly, Gary Jones, Dave Copeland, Gerry Miller, Craig Doyle, Colm Phelan, Kieran Howland. Replacment: Paddy Highlan for Daly (31 mins).
Monivea: Eamon McLoughlin, Teddy Devaney, Fergus Farrell, Willie Parker, Dave Divilly, Owen Rooney, David Boyle, Liam Mitchell, Daren Blade, John Collcan, Gerald Divilly, Shane Kavanagh, Mike Concarr, Ian Murphy, Kevin Higgins. Replacement: Pat Fitzmorris for Gerald Divilly (81 mins).