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Ennis V Bruff

Ennis 10 Vs Bruff 7
Ennis U-14’s fairy-tale season continues on with a resounding win over Bruff RFC in the semi-final of the North Munster Cup.
Ennis had a great start when pressure from the kick-off by the Ennis pack led to a driving maul which created space out wide and allowed Eimhin O’Daly go over for the opening try in the early minutes of the game.
Ennis maintained the pressure on Bruff right from the following kick-off with excellent fielding by Alex O’Callaghan. The early dominance by the Ennis pack allowed them to keep Bruff deep in their own half for the next 10 minutes.
Bruff tried to take the game to Ennis but the Ennis pack continued to disrupt any possession and prevented Bruff from gaining a foothold in Ennis territory. Demonic tackling by Dale Watson at open-side, Shane Kenny at blind side and Niall Queally at No. 8 led to Bruff conceding spilled ball and the flying Ennis backs were able to capitalise on this with a second breakaway try for O’Daly after 15 minutes. Had it not been from the ever worsening conditions Ennis could have had a couple more breakaway tries from Nathan Stackpoole on the wing but the worsening weather prevented the final pass from sticking.
The Ennis pack remained on top for the rest of the first half and this was epitomised by the dominance of the front five at set piece time with secure scrum ball being provided by Shane Regan and Noel Shannon and a strong presence in the lineout guaranteed by Cormac Browne, Niall Queally and Luke Kelly.
The Ennis half backs of Fionn Langan and Eoghan O’Brien had solid games with Langan effectively guiding the Ennis pack at maul time and O’Brien finding several excellent touches from ball in hand and effectively leading his back line when the game opened up.
A feature of Ennis’ performance in recent games has been their rock solid defence and a momentary lapse in centre field in their 22 allowed Bruff in for a try at five minutes after the break. Ennis took the lesson and did not allow Bruff any further line breaks for the remainder of the game. Special mention must go to Evan Crowley at mid field for his bone crunching tackles on the strong running Bruff centres and to Fionn O’Brien at Full back who fielded high balls with absolute skill and surety on an evening that was becoming increasingly difficult for handling.
O’Brien together with Stackpoole and Jack Feeney on the wings controlled the back third of the field and returned all of Bruff’s probing kicks with interest. The Ennis pack gradually strangled any Bruff momentum with their use of the choke tackle.
With the game entering its final stages, O’Daly was replaced by Matt Hanrahan who shored up the midfield. Despite a few nervous minutes this resilient Ennis team held Bruff at bay in their final frantic attempts to cross the Ennis line.
Ennis held on for a famous and rare victory over the East Limerick side and both teams acknowledged the excellent quality of the game.
Ennis march onto the final on Thursday evening at Thomond Park where the face the force of Presentation and Richmond in a combined team. Ennis will try to cap off a memorable season and complete the double with a cup win on top of their victory in the North Munster Conference earlier in the year.
Ennis U 14 squad: Shane Regan, Alex O'Callaghan, Noel Shannon, Cormac Browne, Shane Kenny, Dale Watson, Luke Kelly, Niall Queally, Fionn Langan, Eoghan O'Brien, Jack Feeney, Evan Crowley, Eimhin O'Daly, Nathan Stackpoole, Fionn O'Brien, Adam Harvey, Daniel O'Sullivan, Jamie Clancy, Jack Hassett, Eoin Duggan, Eoin Purcell, Oisin McDonagh, Daniel Geraghty and Matt Hanrahan

Last Gasp Win for Under 16's

North Munster under 16 league semi final

Ennis 8 - Garryowen 6

What was a very tense affair last Sunday afternoon, Ennis overcame Garryowen in the north Munster u16 league semi final only in the dying seconds of the game.  Starting the better, the home side had early dominance in the possession stakes by some tremendous work by the forwards. After ten minutes full back, Cathal OBrien, scored a scintillating try that he started and finished a move after he gathered a kick into his own 22 and counter attacked out wide. This phase of play involved three other backs with OBrien taking the last pass to cut inside the cover and sprint 40 meters to touch down in the left corner to a despairing Garryowen tackle. David Mescall was unlucky to see the subsequent conversion kick go just outside the post to the right. Ennis ascendancy was short lived when, after a break in play to deal with an game finishing injury to prop, James Vaughan, Garryowen got some good field position were awarded a penalty for a deliberate knock-on that flyhalf, Harry Byrne, kicked to reduce the deficit and go into half time to a score line of 5-3.

With only a few minutes into the second half, Garyowen finally got their noses ahead with another penalty under the Ennis posts for an off side infringement. Byrne made it two from two. The games tempo dropped for much of the second half with Ennis making telling substitutes by bringing on Ryan Fitzpatrick to full back and moving OBrien to the wing with Coleman McDonough freeing up Cathal Talty to move from the back row into first centre. Ennis also had to reorganise their pack when hooker, Jack Colleran, went off injured and  Aaron Hennessy came on.  As the game progressed to the final minutes it looked like Ennis were coming up short but they battled into the Garryowen 22 and following a Garryowen offside were awarded a penalty just outside the 22 and five meters in from the touch line. With time now elapsed, David Mescall kept his cool and struck a sweet penalty to bisect the post to give Ennis a last gasp win to great excitement. Overall Ennis were the better side on the day and deserved the win and with any game of tight margins, it is always the team who plays to the final whistle that gives themselves the best possible chance to taste victory.

Ennis had some immense performances from Vaughan until he went off and his replacement Conor Hassett continued his good work, with man of the match, Alan Culligan, sniping and pinching possession in the tight. The back three of Darren OLoughlin, Cathal OBrien, Stephen Hogan were always a treat out wide with outside centre, Niall OBrien spring boarding them into action and the substitutes that came on brought a fresh imputes to the game when Ennis needed it.

Ennis will now play Young Munster in the final this coming Sunday with a time and venue to be announced as yet.

Ennis: Cathal OBrien, Darren O'Loughlin,  Niall O'Brien (c), Mark Cabey, Stephen Hogan, David Mescall, Eoin O'Ceallaigh, Hugh Black, Jack Colleran, James Vaughan , Ronan Corey, Gavin McGonnagle, Alan Culligan, Cathal Talty, Kealan Butler; Conor Hassett for Vaughan, Colman McDonagh for Cabey, Ryan Fitzpatrick for Hogan, Aaron Hennessy for Colleran, Mark Fitzgerald, Charles Ameyan-Gyamfi, Jason Warren.

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