independent

Friday 22 September 2017

Thurles lay down a marker ahead of Mallow's trip to Tipp

Diarmuid Sheehan - Rugby round-up

Cup action took over Munster Junior Rugby again last weekend as a host of the big name teams strutted their stuff in the latter stages of some of province's most prestigious competitions.

While the knock-out competitions were taking centre stage there was no north Cork sides involved in cup action over the weekend, however, there were two league games with local participation while another game was of interest to Mallow.

Thurles hammered Presentation in the Munster Junior Plate by 51-0, which will put their next opponents Mallow on notice of what is to come in the semi-final of this highly competitive competition.

Mallow will need to travel to the Tipp side's base next weekend in what is likely to be the toughest test they face this season. Mallow have really improved in recent months after a tough start to the season however there is little doubt they will need to be at their best next Sunday if they are to avoid what could be a really long day at the office.

The locality's only representative in the top flight of Junior rugby, Muskerry, went into last weekend in serious danger of dropping out of the top flight. Relegation has been staring the mid Cork side in the face for quite a while however not for the first time Muskerry have managed to resurrect what has long looked to be a lost cause.

Last weekend Muskerry squared up to a Skibbereen side also in danger of filling one of the relegation places so this was a real test for both sides.

Muskerry took the lead with a try from Shane Burke and a penalty from the same player. Skibbereen managed to get back into the tie in the second period with a penalty from Denis McCarthy however this was going to be the Ballyanly side's day with a try from Rob O'Mahony helping Muskerry run out victors by 13-3.

Next Sunday Muskerry will face a season defining encounter when they square up to another side struggling at the wrong end of the table Cobh Pirates. A win will save Muskerry from the drop while a loss will more than likely see them join the J2 next season.

In the J2 already relegated Charleville had the unenviable task of facing up to the J2 champions Waterpark last weekend. Charleville have been struggling of late since their relegation was confirmed and last weekend things didn't get any easier as Waterpark ran riot. 49-3 in favour of the away side.

Despite the difference between the sides at the finish, Charleville did well for long periods and only trailed by four 7-3 at the break. The second half was all about the champions as they showed all their class with seven tries.

Charleville will make their way to Limerick next weekend to take on Presentation looking to end the league season with something to cheer about. Presentation have shown themselves to be a formidable side this year and will show no mercy to the struggling north Cork side.

As the season comes to an end there are many positions still to be secured and while the locality's sides are not vying for any of the top spots there are still a few relegation spots looking to take some victim.

Fixtures

Sunday March 19, 2.30pm

J1 League

Cobh Pirates v Muskerry

J2 League

Presentation v Charleville

Munster Junior Plate

Thurles v Mallow

Corkman

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