RUGBY REPORTER: JUNIOR DROHAN PHOTOS IN PHOTOGALLERY BY ALEX TULLY
MUNSTER JUNIOR LEAGUE DIVISION 2
PARK CONQUEOR THE KINGDOM
CASTLEISLAND 10 – 28 WATERPARK
On Sunday last Waterpark made the long journey to the Kingdom of Kerry to take on Castleisland in their opening fixture of this Munster Junior League Division 2 encounter and after a scintillating display of running rugby emerged with a bonus point victory by 10 – 28. Even though this was a comprehensive win it wasn’t all one way traffic and for some periods throughout the game Park had to manfully defend their line to keep the home side at bay. In saying that, these situations were few and far between, as especially in the second period a rampant Park outfit had the Kerry side under considerable pressure and pinned deep inside their own half for the majority of time.
Park opened the scoring within the first two minutes when Number Eight, David O’Donoghue crossed to the left of the posts after he took an inside pass from out half John O’Brien, who had split the Castleisland defence with a lovely break from forty metres out. James Kiersey slotted the easy conversion to leave the score at 0-7. The home side came back at Park for the next five minutes but were unable to break down a stubborn defence and in fact it was Park again who added to the scoreboard with a well struck penalty from Kiersey from all of thirtyfive metres out to put his side further ahead at 0-10. On the half hour O’Donoghue was shown the yellow card for retaliation after he was fouled by a Castleisland player and this seemed to give the home side some heart as they again applied the pressure on the Park defence, but to a man they stood firm and all Castleisland had to show for their efforts was a penalty by their scrum half, Willie Casey, just before half time to cut the deficit to 3-10.
Into the second period and bar a flurry of activity by the home side during the opening ten minutes, Park took complete control of the game and on fiftyfive minutes an explosive run by winger, Scott Hornibbrook, from inside his own half saw him break through several tackles until he was grounded ten metres from the Castleisland line and from the resultant ruck ‘Island were penalised right under the posts for Kiersey to kick the penalty and push the score out to 3-13. Between the twentieth and twentyfifth minutes Park had a further two tries disallowed but within a few minutes substitute, Paddy Kiersey, had crossed for Parks second try after some great work by the forwards had opened up the home defence and paved the way for him to touch down. 3-18 to Park. The visitors had their tails up at this stage and on seventy minutes after a great strike against the head from a scrum ten metres out saw Paddy Kiersey grab his second try and the gap increased to 3-23. With the home side backpedalling at a rate of knots, an absolutely wonderful interaction between backs and forwards from inside their own half resulted in centre, Emmett O’Shea, crossing for his try and the bonus point in the bag at 3-28. The home side gained some form of compensation with the last play of the game, when with the Park backs on the rampage again during injury time, their substitute winger, Sean Nolan, intercepted inside his own half and raced the length of the field to score in the corner and Casey with a great strike added the extras to leave the final score at 10-28.
This was as good a display of complete rugby as I have seen in many a year and was a complete turnaround from the previous weeks display. After such a long journey it was vital that Park came away with some reward, and this they did in no uncertain terms with each player exhibiting pride, passion and discipline under pressure. If they can keep this momentum going along the right lines, it should be a very enjoyable season of rugby for all concerned.