Waterpark 35; Connemara 40
Seventeen points down at half-time on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon, it was difficult not to fear the worst for Waterpark.
Rooted to the base of Division Three, a week after a controversial defeat in Barnhall, the Ballinakill men were staring down the barrel of another heavy reversal as the spectre of relegation loomed even larger.
But Park’s magnificent second half rally, surely their best 40 minutes of the season, made for riveting viewing in a match whose overall quality proved a great advertisement for the game.
At last, at long last, Park have rid themselves of the last big fat zero that was left on an AIB League table this season. And, despite having lost all nine league fixtures to date, the club still has a fighting chance of avoiding the dreaded drop.
Remarkably, Park had clinched both a losing bonus and a try scoring bonus points to boot, and had there been time for another play, a sensational turnaround would have been on the cards.
But considering their results prior to Saturday, these two points were gratefully clutched by Waterpark at full-time and gives the club something they’ve not had all season: some badly needed momentum.
While the visit to promotion chasing Old Wesley is up next, the meeting with Sundays Well on February 21st has the whiff of a relegation decider about it. We shall see.
Waterpark: Killian Grant; Gerry Miller, Kieran Howlin; Craig Doyle, Colm Phelan; Ricardo Santos, Dave Copeland; Pat Murphy, Brendan Walsh, Pat Galvin; Mark Murphy, Brendan Kelly; Philip Cronin, Kerry O’Connor, Dermot Kiely. Replacements: Billy Phelan for Grant (33 mins), Mark Daly for Miller (54 mins), Eddie Wall for Galvin (64 mins), Dave Latimer for O’Connor (74 mins), Anthony Walsh for Phelan (78 mins).
Scorers (in sequence): Santos pen (10 mins), Santos pen (37 mins), Santos pen (40 mins), Walsh try and Santos conversion (45 mins), Kiely try and Santos conv (66 mins), Wall try (78 mins), Copeland try and Santos conversion (80 mins).
Referee: Barrie O’Connell (Cork City).
See The Munster Express newspaper for a more detailed report.