Sundays Well RFC 16 – Connemara RFC 30.
Connemara entered the festive period with a fantastic win over Sundays Well, in Cork, on Saturday last. Connemara’s previous visit to Cork, the week before against Highfield, ended in defeat, and Connemara were hungry to make amends. Connemara started brightly and nearly took the lead after five minutes. An imaginative line out move saw prop Kevin Barry break through the Sundays Well defence, but unfortunately Barry slipped at the vital moment and the chance was gone. Both teams showed attacking intent, and had it not been for a great tackle by wing David McDonagh, Sundays Well would have scored. The teams were evenly matched for the opening twenty minutes or so, with a six all scoreboard, virtue of a penalty and drop goal from Sean Joyce, and two Sunday’s Well penalties. The turning point in the first half came when Sundays Wells lock Lenny Sullvan was yellow carded for constant infringement. The man advantage saw Connemara seize the advantage. Afterwards Connemara showed great patience, going through the phases with the forwards, the ball was then moved wide, upon reaching Emmet Ferrons, the Roundstone man drew one tackle before off loading to centre Jerome Harimate who went in for his first dry for the club. Sean Joyce showed remarkable composure to steer his conversion over the bar, in what were extremely windy conditions. Connemara entered the break with a 13-6 lead.
Restored to their full allocation in the second half, Sundays Well improved and after some prolonged pressure scored. After some slick passing, Sundays Well winger Barry Hanrahan received the ball and showed good pace to evade several tackle attempts and touched down. Fortunately for Connemara, Sunday Wells’ outhalf Shane O’Riordan’s accuracy deserted him in the second half and he dually missed his conversion, leaving the score at 13-11 in favour of Connemara.
With ball in hand Connemara looked very assured, Paddy Madden and Sean Joyce in particular were very impressive, Joyce’s game management was very impressive, whereas Madden often broke the first tackle with typical gusto. It was a move no doubt forged in training on the Monastery Field that brought Connemara their second try. After some good Connemara passing, the ball was passed inside and was met by winger David McDonagh, whose magnificent line, pace and strength saw him power his way over the line for Connemara’s second try of the game. Once again Joyce was successful with the kick, making it 20-6, another accomplished day with the boot for the Clifden man.
The momentum swung in the favour of Connemara, and after some sustained pressure Sundays Well conceded a penalty, which Sean Joyce dually converted to make it 23-11. Connemara continued their pressure, and were rewarded when centre Jerome Harimate showed brilliant pace and stepping ability to evade several tackles and go in for his second try of the game. Joyce converted it, to make the score 30-11.
Sundays Well responded well, and after a rolling maul went over for a try, but with the time against them, it was only to be a consolation. Sundays Well out half Shane O’Riordan missed the resultant conversion to make the score 30-16. Connemara even had time for a cameo for coach Peter Bracken. Bracken entered the fray with less than two minutes to go, he engaged in a Connemara scrum which was harshly penalised by the referee, much to the annoyance of Bracken, who let his feelings be known. In summation it was a great victory for Connemara, which ended the calendar year in a great manner. Connemara hope to continue this good form in 2012.