WATERPARK RUGBY REPORTER : JUNIOR DROHAN
PARKADVANCE TO GARRYOWEN CUPFINAL
WATERFORD CITY17 – 33 WATERPARK
Waterpark booked their place in this year’s Garryowen Cup Final by virtue of this comprehensive semi-final defeat of local rivals, Waterford City, by 17 – 33 in a game which was played at a windy Kilbarry on Sunday last. This was the first meeting of these sides at this level for a considerable number of years, a factor which I’m sure contributed to the large crowd which was in attendance.
Waterford City played with the strong breeze which was blowing straight down the pitch for the first half, but an extremely well controlled display by Park during the first twenty minutes saw the home side’s scoring chances kept to a minimum. In fact it was the visitor’s that opened the scoring within five minutes after a nice break by scrum half Vinny Molloy on halfway saw the ball moved out the back’s for James Kiersey to race clear parallel to the touchline from forty metres out to cross for the try. 0 – 5 to Park but they suffered a huge blow on ten minutes when their influential flanker, David O’Donoghue had to leave the field with a leg injury which hopefully will not keep him out of the final. On fifteen minutes City were left off the hook when Park missed a penalty fifteen metres out straight in front of the posts. On the half hour City eventually managed to gain some territory in the Park half and with their first visit of the game into the opposition twentytwo, a good drive by lock, Joe Delahunty, set up a ruck ten metres out from which scrum half, Michael Hayes, picked from it’s base and went over for his side’s first try which he converted himself to leave the score at 7 -5 to City. Within another five minutes City had increased their advantage to 12 -5 when from a five metre lineout a good catch and drive took them over the Park tryline for flanker, Tom Bowe, to emerge with the ball. There was no further scoring in this half and the score remained at 12-5 to the home side at the break.
With the breeze at their backs Park were back on level terms within ten minutes of the re-start when after a great catch at a lineout on the halfway line by Jack Nolan, the ball was fed out to centre, Scott Hornibrook who brushed past several tackles as he raced clear only to be brought down just short of the tryline. However his captain, Kevin Phelan, was up in support to take the inside pass and register Parks second try. James Kiersey slotted the conversion to leave the scores at 12-12. Things were starting to hot up at this stage and within the next eight minutes the referee was forced to issue two cards, a Yellow to Park’s Rory Hanlon, followed three minutes later by a Red Card to City’s Joe Delahunty. On sixtyfive minutes after a good spell of pressure City finally broke the Park defence with a forward drive which saw substitute Kevin Whelan, touch down wide out and put his side back in front at 17 -12. From this point of the game Park took over and on seventy minutes, a turnover ball inside the home twentytwo saw Kiersey make a lovely break after which he offloaded to Hornibrook who went over for the try which Kiersey converted to cancel out the home side’s lead at 17 -19. Within five minutes this margin had been increased to 17 – 26 after Kevin Phelan was on hand to touch down for his second try from a pushover scrum five metres out. Kiersey again added the conversion. In the dying minutes of injury time a wayward kick out of defence by City was gathered on halfway by Danny O’Driscoll who set Hornibrook free and the centre made no mistake as he left defenders floundering in his wake as he crossed for his second try which Kiersey was successful with to finish off the game.
This was a fairly well executed win by a team that is progressing with every outing. It is all the more satisfying when you consider that nearly half the squad are bordering on the twenty year old mark with a few eighteen year olds thrown in. They now look forward to the Final which will be played next weekend against First Division side Clanwilliam. The day, venue and kick-off time have yet to be decided.
The bragging rights for Rugby in our City are now firmly established with the Park outfit ( at least for now ) as both these sides must again face off against each other in the Munster Junior League on Sunday the 23rd. October next which will be played in Ballinakill.