Thurles RFC Vs Killarney RFC – Munster Junior League
Thurles RFC 38 – 10 Killarney RFC
Thurles First XV made their seasonal league debut at Loughtagalla on Sunday, last looking to get off the mark following a bonus point loss away to Clonakilty the week previous. They were entertaining Killarney RFC at the Tipperary venue, who had also lost their opening league game.
Thurles kicked the game off, playing away from the clubhouse in the first half. Thurles started brightly and inside the opening minutes, a break down the left by Aidan Dwyer created space for Darragh Sweeney who raced over to open the scoring for Thurles on his first league start for the First XV, John Lillis added the extras for the full complement: 7-0.
Following the restart, Killarney knocked over a penalty to reduce the deficit, but once again Thurles went on the attack, some great hands from the backs saw Eoghan O’Dwyer on his way down the field, swatting away 4 defenders en route to the try line, Lillis once again did the honours to give Thurles an early 14-3 lead.
Killarney to their credit didn’t lie down at any stage but compared to Thurles, they just weren’t as sharp or as clinical in possession, this sharpness told as Thurles added another try, following some great work from Seamus Telford, Ger McCormack & Luke Kelly in the build-up, Ciaran Ryan barged his way over in the right hand corner, which Lillis expertly slotted through the posts to push the home side out to 21-3. Thurles didn’t let up following this, they continued to apply the pressure again, some great running from Paddy Phelan & Mark Cummins set the platform for the backs to set off again, with Eoghan O’Dwyer adding his second of the game and securing the bonus point for Thurles just before the half time break: 26-3.
As Killarney kicked off the second half, they showed considerable hunger to attempt to eat into the Thurles lead. They started to put the phases together & got their reward, an unfortunate slip by a Thurles defender, presented the Kerry men with a gap, which they took to run in under the posts for a converted try: 26-10.
Thurles upped the ante from the kick off once again, with all the hard work done on 2 separate occasions, white line fever got the better of a couple of players with the line at their mercy, took their eye off the ball and knocked on. On another occasion, Aidan Dwyer had crossed the line, finishing off an excellent team move, started by a counter attack by John Coman. Lillis had added the extras from the conversion but despite the formalities taken care of, the Killarney lines man decided to put his flag up and inform the referee there had been a foot in touch minutes earlier; the referee made the strange call to disallow the converted try and 26-10 it remained.
Thurles continued to dominate within the Killarney half and were rewarded with 2 further tries with Eoghan O’Dwyer and Ciaran Ryan adding to their earlier scores with Aidan Dwyer adding the extras for the final try: 38-10.
Thurles will be happy to have followed up with a second good performance in consecutive weeks and getting the first win on the board and adding the bonus point for good measure. Thurles face into another long trip next weekend as they travel to Cork again to take on Crosshaven in the next round of the Munster Junior League with a 2.30pm kick off time.
The Thurles players & management would like to thank all those who turned out to support the team on Sunday, it was much appreciated.
Thurles Scorers: Eoghan O’Dwyer (3 Tries), Ciaran Ryan (2 Tries), Darragh Sweeney (1 Try), John Lillis (3 Conversions) & Aidan Dwyer (1 Conversion). Thurles Starting XV vs Killarney: 1. Ger McCormack 2. Shane Nugent 3. Seamus Telford 4. Luke Kelly 5. Shane McHugh 6. Mark Cummins 7. Paddy Phelan 8. Ciaran Ryan 9. Seamus Holohan 10. John Lillis 11. Conor O’Hagan 12. Aidan Dwyer 13. Eoghan O’Dwyer (c) 14. Darragh Sweeney 15. John Coman: Replacements Used: Shane Moloney, Tommy Connolly, Dwayne Stanley & Dylan Dorney.