Rugby: Great Win For Tralee Under 18 Side In Plate Final

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A report from Tralee Rugby Club on the Pan Munster Bank of Ireland U 18 Plate Final in Independent Park, Cork, on Sunday, March 20…

Tralee RFC 18

Old Christians 13

U18 Tralee win

Tralee Under 18s celebrate a famous win.

After a gap of a decade at this age level, Tralee RFC deservedly captured the coveted trophy after a mighty battle with our Cork hosts Old Christians.

The day was perfect for rugby and it was ourselves who got off to a perfect start.

After five minutes of play, speedy winger Joe Quilter touched down in the corner after a fabulous line out move involving Stephen Benjamin & Mikey Lyne, to set up Adam McEllistrim who passed the ball wide through the hands of excellent centres all day Danny Cournane and Joseph O’Connor to set up the dream start.

In fairness to Christians, they fought back and were level after 17 minutes and the game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the first half.

That was until just before half time when we got the perfect finish to the half when big burly second row come prop Joseph Benjamin bulldozed his way over the line carrying about six opposition players on his back.

Sam converted and we led 12 to 5 at the break. The second half was just as intense with both sides working really hard for possession.

We did defend for our lives during that period and had our own dominance for a while when Sam Boyle converted a penalty to leave us leading 15 to 5 midway though the half.

Christians then responded with a penalty of their own.

With just 5 minutes left on the clock nippy scrum half Liam O’Malley kicked a smashing ball ahead for Mikey Lyne to follow up and boy did Mikey do himself proud when he won a fantastic turnover on the opposition 22.

We were awarded another penalty for offside at scrum time and Sam made no mistake to leave us leading 18 to 8.

The hosts did get another try in the corner but the time was up.

A hugh outpouring of emotion erupted as the final whistle blew. Tralee were deserving Champions once again on the provincial stage. Coach Alan Boyle commented afterwards; “this was the performance we were waiting for. We defended well, we took our tries well and overall we played very well. The back row of Cillian O’Riordan and Hugh Healy were immense and Adam Bohan led by example throughout. It was truly a squad performance.”

“It’s hard to pick out players but Mikey Lyne was outstanding again today. I was delighted with the way lads dealt with the pressure of a final and I thought they came through in flying colours. It was great also to see former players Ciaran Carmody and Gareth Walsh helping out. Many thanks to all who travelled and supported us today. Thanks to the parents who supported us as well all year. It was great to see Fionnbar Walsh at the match in Cork.”

“His late son Donal had a huge influence on these young men as he was assistant coach for a few years with these bunch of lads and was a great help to Alan at that time. There’s no doubt that Donal played his part in the lads getting over the line in such a really tense game,” said the coach.

Team and panel.
Robbie Murphy, Adam Bohan, Stephen Benjamin, Mark Moloney, Joseph Benjamin, Hugh Healy, Mikey Lyne, Cillian O’Riordan, Adam McEllistrim, Sam Boyle {capt}, Joe Brosnan, Danny Cournane, Joseph O’Connor, Joe Quilter, Eoin O’Malley, Paddy o’Donnell, Michael Leen Vega, Colm Carmody, Liam O’Malley, Tim Kelleher, Tom Healy, Chris Lowe Eoghan O’Buachalla, Eoghan Murphy and Nathan Stafford, Eddy Lynch.
Injured and missing Jeaic O’Suilleabhan, Rory McNamara and Arron Fitzgerald.

Report by Jim O’ Connor.

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