Tuesday 12 December 2017

Surprise loss to Newcastle' sends Kanturk back down the league standings


KANTURK slipped a few spots down the table last Sunday after suffering what will have to go down as a surprise loss to west Limerick side Newcastle West.

The men from Duhallow went into the tie with a perfect three out of three record but went down narrowly in a low scoring 8-5 encounter. It all looked to be going well for the visitors at the break as they led the tribesmen by 5-0. Paul Cotter did the honours for Kanturk in the first half as he went over for what turned out to be his side's only score of the game.

Newcastle responded well to the challenge in the second half and Brian McAuliffe scored a try with less than 10 minutes remaining. With pressure mounting on both sides Kanturk threw everything they had at the home side and even turned down a shot at goal late on after being awarded a kickable penalty. Although the decision probably cost the Cork side a point, their intentions were clear – they wanted the win and all the points and that is a very admirable trait.

The only consolation for Kanturk is that they did manage to garner a losing bonus point. While the point garnered may not fill the hearts of the Kanturk side with much joy – they might look back at season's end and be glad they got something from what will go down as a bad day at the office.

Kanturk will not have to wait long to get back on the horse as they entertain Waterpark next Sunday. The visitors for this one are currently sitting 12th in the table with only one win in four and although they look to be struggling at this level they will provide stiffer opposition that the league table suggests. The home side will need to play better than they did last weekend and will be hoping that a good performance will lead to a good win so they can put last Sunday well and truly behind them.

Division 2 continues to be led by the surprise team of the first six weeks – Muskerry. Three wins and a draw is the record to date for a side that struggled for each of the last three campaigns. While the early season form of Muskerry may be surprising a few it is going down very well with all at Ballyanly.

The latest side to feel the brunt of the Muskerry change in fortunes was fellow Cork side Youghal. The 26-13 victory for the home side was a well deserved win which sees them remain one point ahead of Mallow with just over a third of the season gone.

Shane Murphy and Jonathon Buckley crossed the whitewash in the first half for Muskerry with the latter also adding a penalty to give the home side a 126 lead. Two more tries followed after the turn with Murphy again touching down along with five pointer from Eoin Corcoran. Buckley did the honours for both tries to seal what was a great day all round for the mid Cork side.

Next up in the league for the high flying Muskerry is a trip to Carrick-on-Suir in two weeks where the front runners will be desperate to keep this well deserved impressive run going.

With Muskerry keeping their winning run going it was imperative that all the other sides near the summit kept pace. Mallow are one of those contenders and after losing the previous weekend they were desperate to get back to winning ways last Sunday.

Newport were the home side in this one and although they sat one point ahead of the visitors going into the game they were just blown away by the power that Mallow possesses. Tries by Andy Cashman and John Gardiner had Mallow in a comfortable 10point lead at the break, 177.

Mallow went for the jugular after the interval and ran in three more tries (Leonard Browne, Robbie Doyle and Leo O'Regan) with Cashman converting four from five while also adding a first half penalty.

Last year Mallow left several bonus points behind them and unfortunately, it caught up with them at the end. This year they seem to have put that statistic right and they now have three bonus points from their first four starts.

Fermoy are the frontrunners in division three after they recorded their third win on the bounce to lead the table by three points. Scariff were the unfortunates this time out as they came unstuck away to the north Cork men, 28-13. Stephen Dunne, Peter Stapleton, Tom Griffin, Courtney Canning and Stapleton all bagged tries for the well deserved bonus point win. Next up for the league leaders will be a trip to Waterford city on Sunday week as they strive to make it up to division two this season.

The other local side to ply their wares last Sunday was Charleville. Douglas were the visitors to the Limerick border town and unfortunately for the home side it was the travellers that took the spoils, 17-13. A try by Charles Blake and four penalties by Eoin Philpott set up the win for Douglas with Ciaran Brown touching down for Charleville's only try. Ryan Brennan kicked a conversion and two penalties for the home side but it just wasn't enough. Charleville did pick up a losing bonus point which keeps them off the bottom of the table by one spot. FIXTURES SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (games at 2.30pm) Kanturk v Waterpark (League) Mallow v Castleisland (Cup) Charleville v Abbeyfeale (League) Fermoy v Waterford City (Cup)

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