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Cobh Pirates Juvenile Report week-end 15/12/12



pirates4001121Pirates under 17’s played Kanturk at the Paddock on Sunday last in a play off to see who would join Midleton in the quarter finals of the under 17 league . At a wet and windy Paddock Pirates were unable to overcome a much bigger and heavier Kanturk .

Owing to the conditions the game turned out to be the proverbial game of two halves . Kanturk had the benefit of the wind in the first period and took full advantage of it . Pirates found it hard to get out of their own half during this time and Kanturk’s heavier pack dominated possession . Pirates were forced to concede five tries during this spell and gave themselves an uphill battle facing into the second half . Despite the domination of Kanturks pack there were valiant displays by front rowers William Ireland, Anthony Devlin Buckley and Pat Bransfield in particular . Pirates continued to tackle bravely to keep out their opponents , but as forwards coach and ex youth interprovincial , Killian Tighe , commented afterwards ,”it was pure physics “ in that the elements and superior weight came out on top . The back three of Mark Hayes ,Killian Mc kevitt and Cian Mc Namara put in a hard shift during this period also and had a high tackle count as half time approached .

Pirates started the second half with the benefit of the elements . Captain and outhalf Adam Devlin got his kicking game going and made the Kanturk pack and backs concede territory . Gradually , Pirates began to believe in themselves and threw everything they had at Kanturk . As conditions worsened , Devlin released outside centre Shane Cullimore ,who did not need a second invitation and ran 40 metres while evading desperate tackles to score Pirates’ opening try under the posts . Devlin duly obliged with the conversion .

At this point the pack had figured out how to overcome their opponents and Brian Ronayne ,Stephen Dargan and John Roche provided quick ball for their three quarters . Devlin ,at this point had a steely focus and when given quick ball by his scrum half partner Brian Mc Carthy , instigated a foot rush ,ideal tactics in the conditions , which resulted in Cian Mc Namara (son of Ken) scoring in the right hand corner at the Newtown end . Incredibly Devlin converted from the side line to give his side a score of fourteen points .Game on!!

Pirates , pack went after their opponents with gusto and David Hally , Ryan Dillane and Paul Histon showed huge determination to get Pirates go forward ball . Wing three quarters Killian Mc Kevitt and Mark Hayes as well as centres Darragh Kelleher and Shane Cullimore chased every ball and refused to allow Kanturk out of their own half . Their determination eventually paid off when Captain Devlin , having received an off load from Hally ,spotted the smallest of gaps in the Kanturk 22 and scored a third Pirates try under the posts . He then kicked his third successful conversion .
Pirates ,who had started the game without injured trio Glen O’Sullivan ,Stephen Hickey and Richard Desmond ,now had their opponents reeling .Unfortunately ,the clock was not on their side and there were no further scores as the final whistle sounded .
Coaches Mark Cronin ,Bernard Buckley Phil Soans and ex youth interprovincial Killian Tighe were understandably proud of their team afterwards . Soans commented on the inner belief among the team who were able to overcome their injury setbacks and difficult first half in such determined fashion .The last word was left to Tighe in the dressing room when almost in tears he thanked the squad for never giving up and looked forward to the eliminators and cup competition after Christmas .

Meanwhile , Pirates under 13’s signed off from their 2012 competitive action by maintaining their unbeaten record . Pirates beat a strong Highfield side on the main pitch at Woodleigh Park . Head coach Bernard Kiely who was assisted by Mick Soans in the absence of skills coach Colman Rasmussen and ex Pirates , Munster Junior and Defences forces Scrum half Noel Dunne , used his whole squad to maximum effect in securing victory .
Kiely , spotting the weather conditions and firm pitch ,shrewdly used Mathew Soans at number eight instead of his usual centre position . Kiely selected front rowers Jim Kevany , Anthony O ‘Regan ,Conor Pasley , second rowers Mathew Pender and Cian Dunlea and remaining back rowers Shane Kidney and Cian O’Mahoney as his pack to suit the conditions . Coach Kiely , abandoning his usual front row obsessions , gave his pack licence to express themselves . The pack as a whole got to grips with their opponents in the first half and played some fast and flowing rugby . Soans took advantage of this change in style to run a penalty from his own half and score under the posts . Scrum half Kevin Murphy added the extra two points . Highfield came roaring back at Pirates ,causing Kiely to question his tactics . Highfield scored their own try just before half time but hit the post with the conversion .

Kiely was deep in thought at half time as coach for the day Soans delivered the half time words of encouragement . Kiely introduced Luke Kelly ,Aaron Whelan ,Kyle O’Mahoney and Jack O’ Donovan for the second half ,reverting to his tried and trusted front five ,with particular emphasis on the front three , tactics . Keeping the ball tight and utilising Kevany and Pasley as ball carriers , Murphy was able to provide better ball for outhalf and Captain Alex Mulligan . Mulligan in turn used his outside backs Martin Mgnogezulu , Olan Farrell (son of Alf) ,Dan Sheehan ,Brendan Tait and Adam Delaney to better effect . Pirates managed tries from Murphy (son of Enda)(4) , Mathew Soans , Kyle O’Mahoney (2) with a conversion from Dan Sheehan in this period of tactical change from the Coach . Coach Kiely who enjoyed a friendly relationship with the Highfield spectators was glad to reach the end of the competitive season with his unbeaten record in tact . Looking forward to more pizza and and a few weeks break , Kiely was busy planning lineout moves as Butlers Bus made its way back to the Paddock

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