Sunday 24 September 2017

Clonmel success well deserved

Clonmel win the Junior club of the year award. John Connery and Joe Wisener receives the award on behalf of Clonmel from Dave Foley and Ultan O'Callaghan, Domestic Rugby Manager
Clonmel win the Junior club of the year award. John Connery and Joe Wisener receives the award on behalf of Clonmel from Dave Foley and Ultan O'Callaghan, Domestic Rugby Manager

Denis Leamy

It was some week for Clonmel RFC. First of all the club was selected at the annual Munster awards as the club of the year and three days later it contested its first Munster Junior Cup final.

I got involved with them last year as assistant coach and took over as coach for this campaign. It has been really enjoyable and the lads have been so committed. It is a very competitive grade of rugby and we started pre-season training on July 11 last year.

A lot of the lads are away at college or at work during the week and as a result we might only have 20 at training on a Wednesday night, but by Friday night we could have over 40.

The Junior Cup is extremely difficult to win, not least as you are playing against so many second teams from senior clubs and along the way we had to beat Cork Con, Highfield and UL Bohs.

The club is renowned as one of the most progressive in the province and it has superb facilities.

Joe Schmidt brought the Irish squad to train there during the season, while Munster 'A' regularly use the venue.

Great work has gone in at underage level and there are some great people at work behind the scenes, but this was the first time the adult team was bidding for this type of glory.

Adding to the occasion was the fact that Tipperary rivals Clanwilliam were providing the opposition for the final on Sunday in Musgrave Park, but the lads rose to the occasion and rounded off a great week by winning 27-9.

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