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On a day that was labelled International Happiness Day across social media, the Junior 1 squad hit the road for Casteisland RFC. A late walkover from Clonakilty in the Kelly cup gave the Junior 2s the day off, and boosted the travelling support. And the support did travel, with a large Cobh crowd in attendance, most of whom managed to find a different route to the grounds.

On arrival in the Kerry venue the sun was shining and the ground was in dry providing a perfect template for a fast game. And a fast game it was, with Richard Desmond setting the tone for the day from the first play, a Pirates line out from the stray Castleisland kick off. The young prop barraged of the back of the set piece, setting up a quick ruck, which was to be the format for the remainder of the game.

Pirates ran in numerous trys from Alan Langford, Martin Clifford, TJ McSweeney, Lee McCarthy, Glen O’Sullivan, Aaron O’Flynn , Kevin Allen and Ruairi Geary, the conversions coming from Lee and Alan.

The brand of rugby displayed was a continuation of the tempo and game play that the team displayed throughout the season.

Credit must go to an under strength Casteisland who competed until the end, and their hospitality after the game. Well done to Ken McNamara who ran the line expertly, keeping up with the play and scores.

This game was a culmination of huge effort across the squad by the coaching staff under Brendan Ronan, the back room staff and the squad of players themselves. Some of yesterday’s players were playing mini rugby when the older squad members were playing Junior level, which is a credit to the Juvenile structure in the club. Brendan and his coaches utilised circa 35 players throughout the season, a good indication of the positive attitude throughout the adult teams.

Pirates now look forward to the 2016/17 season in the Munster Junior League Division 1. This years season is not over yet, with a meeting of locals Old Christians in the county Cup in 2 weeks time
This Sunday see’s the Junior 2s travel to Cashel in the Junior 2 cup.

Bandon Cobh Pirates Ladies – Last gasp try secures win

The ladies travelled to the depths of West Cork with the knowledge that it would be no easy task to secure a win against a much improved Bantry Bay side.
Playing downhill for the first half, the visitors got the match underway and the home side immediately conceded a kickable penalty with just seconds on the clock. Outhalf Emma Coomey stepped up to slot it over. It was stalemate from then on, with both sides enjoying good periods of possession, but neither finding a break through. Bantry came close on one occasion and battered the Bandon Pirates defence before ultimately knocking on and allowing the visitors clear their lines.

The visitors were to have the last say on the half, winning another kickable penalty two minutes from the break, with Emma stepping up to take the points.
Bantry got the second half underway and kicked deep and pinned Bandon Pirates well within their own half. When the turnover eventually came, Bantry Prop Maureen O’Sullivan went on a charging run from the edge of the 22, breaking a number of tackles to score. Scrum Half Rachel Crowley stepped up to secure the conversion and a one point lead, with four minutes on the clock.

Bantry were to extend their lead on the half hour mark, when former Munster U18 Yvonne O’Shea crossed for the home sides second. Scrum half Rachel sliced the conversion attempt, leaving the score 12-6.

Bandon Pirates were not done, and with two minutes left on the clock, secured a scrum on halfway. Outhalf Emma drilled the ball up field and a found touch just five metres from the Bantry line. Pressure in the lineout secured the turnover and the forwards piled on the pressure to try and drive over but Bantry put up a strong defence. Bantry conceded two penalties in quick succession and again the forwards tried to barge over without success. A quick pass out by replacement scrum half Samantha Byrne, through Aisling O’Sullivan and onto outhalf Emma, gave the latter the space to break through and score. Emma stepped up to expertly kick over the conversion to secure a one point victory. Final Score Bantry Bay 12 Bandon Cobh Pirates 13.

The match brings to a close the regular league season, and this result coupled with Youghal winning away to Cashel, means that Bandon Pirates secure top spot in Division 2, four points clear of Cashel. Bandon Pirates secured ten league wins (including two walkovers) and two losses (both away) this season, running in a total of 37 tries. The league now moves to the semi-finals stage on 3rd April, which will see Bandon Pirates host Limerick side Richmond.

Juvenile Section

The Pirates u14s recorded a great win on Saturday against a strong Skibbereen side who had a 100% record up to this point.

The match was played in great conditions for running rugby and both sets of players produced a very enjoyable brand of rugby in a game that was up for grabs right till the end.

The Pirates flew out of the blocks and owned the ball for first 10 minutes. The forwards took the game to the boys from West Cork from the 1st minute and got their rewards. Pirates scored 2 superb team tries during this period which were both finished off clinically by winger Charlie Kelleher and the 2nd was converted by Cian Ahern. 12 – 0 to the Pirates. But as their position in the League shows, Skibbereen were always going to find their feet and come back into the game and they did with a bang. They scored 3 fine trys before half time leaving the score 17 – 12 to the visitors.

Playing away from the Clubhouse and into a stiff breeze the young Pirates were outstanding in the second half. They totally dominated possession and territory and fully deserved to level the game through Jack O’Sullivan who pounced on the ball after a loose line out from Skib. It was now 17 all with time running out, however there was one more twist in the tale. In the final 2 minutes Pirates put together another string of phases in the Skib half, and with the ball being moved along the backline it was an injection of pace from Charlie Kelleher who sped away from the cover to touch down in the corner. Pirates comfortably held on for the final 2 minutes to win the game 22 – 17 to cap one of most complete performances of the season to date.

The game was played in great spirit with both sets of players showing a great attitude for the contest. Special mention of thanks to Bernard Kiely for refing the closing stages after M.A.R. ref Jeff Jones pulled up with a knee injury.

The young Pirates will take great confidence and spirit from this win in preparation for League Knock Out phase and the South Munster u14 A Cup competition which is on the horizon. The performance was a credit to their hard work and commitment to training every Wednesday. Well done lads.

Pirates Squad v Skibbereen; Josh Banim, Ceilim Cole, Callum Sowter Cullinane, Jack Gilmartin, PJ Cronin (Capt), Jack O’Sullivan, Edwin Edogbo, Darragh Mc Carthy, Oisin O’Doherty, Tadgh O’Connell, Chris McDonnell, Josh Crone, Eoghan Kidney, Padraig Allen, Luke O’Callaghan, John Breen, David Meade, Charlie Kelleher, Kieran Devlin Buckley, Cian Ahern

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