Mallow have moved one step closer to securing a top four spot in the Munster Junior League Section A with a brilliant 29-20 point win over Waterpark on St Joseph’s Road last Sunday afternoon.
Five tries and a pair of conversions were enough for the men in green to secure the deal on what was a genuinely good day for boys from the Blackwater Valley.
Mallow came into the tie looking to re-ignite their quest for a top 4 spot - with Richmond, Bandon, Newcastle West and Kilfeacle currently holding the All-Ireland Junior Cup places.
Waterpark, on the other hand, were hoping to drag themselves comfortably out of a potential end of season relegation dogfight with a win away from home.
And it was the visitors who would get off to the best possible start with an early penalty as their out-half Willie Walsh kicked excellently around the park, regularly putting Mallow on the back foot.
Mallow responded with a try through Steve Hayes, as a result of good work from winger Ronan Mills. Waterpark grabbed a try of their own shortly afterwards, however within 10 minutes Hayes notched his second try of the day - an excellent line-out maul from the hosts’ powerful forward pack, with Hayes the beneficiary.
Mallow led by 12-10 after 30 minutes thanks to the successful conversion attempt but it was the visitors who closed out the half stronger, scoring a try right at the death to send them in leading by 15-12.
Some attacking play from scrum-half Yasushi Katsuta and captain David Breen put Mallow back on the front foot after the break with out-half Dave Cogan orchestrating numerous successful attack plays.
10 minutes into the 2nd period second-row Owen Glynn found himself on the wing and carried well to set up a try for Sean Glynn helping to send the home side back in front by 19-15.
Credit to the Waterford men they hit back with a try in the corner to rock Mallow back on their heels but the home side weren’t about to let this one get away and after another excellent line-out maul Hayes again crossed the whitewash for his third try of the day doubling his tally for the season.
With the bonus point secured and the final whistle approaching Mallow dotted down for their 5th try of the day, this time, through Anthony Castillo.
Mallow get to continue their good form next Sunday when they welcome St Mary’s to St Joseph’s Road for their fourth last game of the season. Mary’s currently sit 12th so they need the spoils for very different reasons to their hosts – expect another thriller on the outskirts of Mallow Town.
In the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup Fermoy were back in action at home and the north Cork side got the better of Dolphin by 36-15.
Ben Twomey bagged a pair of tries while also claiming four conversions and a penalty in a Man of the match performance.
Further tries from Peter Finn, Jack Fox, and Darragh O’Sullivan sent Fermoy into the next round. The visitors did rise to the challenge with tries from Charlie Dwyer, Cillian Ansbro, and Adam Abdulsalem keeping the visitors in touch.
Fermoy are back in Section B action this Sunday where they will make the short trip to take on Galbally-Mitchelstown. Fermoy currently sit second in the table while the home side are fourth in the table – still well in the hunt for one of the two promotion places.
Galbally-Mitchelstown come into the game in fine form after they saw off the challenge of fellow Cork side Youghal by 22-12 last weekend.
Tries from John Kearns, Brendan Childs, Danny Sheehan and Evan Dunne sent the winners on their way with Kearns adding one conversion. Youghal pushed from the first to the final minute with tries from Conor Roche and Conall Doyle but on this day the spoils went inland.
There was plenty more north Cork success with Charleville taking out U.L. Bohemian by 36-14.
Jessie Smith scored two tries for Charleville with Jake Madigan, Darragh Brown and Ivan Linehan all crossing the whitewash. Kian Smith was on form with the boot bagging four conversions and a penalty to seal the deal for the men in red.
Lee Morgan and Oisin Fagan were try scorers for UL Bohs but on this day the Limerick side were off point.
As the Six Nations kicks off this weekend Munster Junior League action takes over closer to home with north and mid-Cork well represented at the business end of all three grades. Big weekend coming for rugby stars on the national as well as on the local stage.