Clanwilliam outfoxed as Newcastle West march to historic success in Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup Final


Newcastle West, Munster Junior Challenge Cup winners. – Newcastle West Crowned Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup Winners

NEWCASTLE WEST……………………………………………………………………………………35
Amid scenes of joy, happiness, smiles, celebration and relief Newcastle West captain Alan O’Riordan lifted the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup in Musgrave Park at 6 pm on March 13th in the year of our Lord 2022.A date that will be remembered by many and will now be written in to the history books of the west Limerick club.

Darragh Fox emblazoned his name of the annals of the club which was found in 1924 forever as he crossed for three tries to bring almost a century of near misses and heartbreak to an end.
The journey to get to winning an adult provincial Cup has been a long one and it was great to see a lot of faces at the match who have been part of that journey.
The match opened in a frenzy and a super cross field kick by Shane Airey saw Darragh Fox score his first of the hattrick within 90 seconds of kick off. Charlie O’Doherty added the extras. A great opening and a sign of a handy afternoon one may have thought.
Newcastle West extended their lead to ten points on the tenth minute with a well struck penalty from the ever reliable Charlie O’Doherty.  So fifteen minutes into the game and leading by ten points it was looking like a stroll in the park.
However there was a Clanwilliam side on the field who had a different script and it would take all the defensive capabilities Newcastle West possessed to see this game out,
Clanwilliam clawed their way back and landed a couple of penalties and the half time score at 6-10 was a true reflection of how the first half went.
Clanwilliam scored a penalty within a minute of the restart and at 9-10 and the west Limerick side may have begun to be slightly concerned.
But there was no need to be concerned, Newcastle West had weathered a very strong storm and the next thirty five minutes would see them take control, but not without a few heart stopping moments.
A second yellow card reduced to fourteen players and it was a fingertip grab of a jersey that Cian Tierney stopped what would have been a definite try.
Seán Murphy eventually got his well-deserved try as he had constantly battered up the middle and put the Tipperary side’s defence under pressure. Charlie O’Doherty converted and Newcastle West now lead by 17 -9 and looked to be taking control. Another great try by Man of the Match Darragh Fox brought the score to 22-9.
But this Clanwilliam team were not going down without a fight and a converted try closed the gap, 22-16 with 15 minutes to go and they had a lifeline.
A number of changes saw the introduction of Davy Foley to the second row for Newcastle West and was quickly followed with a defining moment in the game. Clanwilliam were awarded a scrum just inside their own half, when the ball was put in a huge push by the Newcastle West forwards and a penalty awarded. The ever reliable Charlie O’Doherty kicked a penalty to now put Clanwilliam in the position of needing two scores with the west Limerick men leading 25-16.
Continuous pressure up front by the Newcastle West pack again forced a penalty which Charlie O’Doherty converted to ease the pressure on the supporters and take the score to 28-16.
It was only fitting that Darragh Fox would get the last try as he ran the full width of the field out pacing the defence and scoring 15 metres in from the flag. Charlie O’Doherty converted, the referee blew the final whistle and the celebrations begun.
Grown men shed tears as players embraced and mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends invaded the pitch to join in the excitement. Great scenes great moments and memories that will live long in the minds and hearts of all involved.
Scorers; Darragh Fox three tries, Seán Murphy try, Charlie O’Doherty three conversions and three penalties
Squad; Seán Murphy, Daniel Normoyle, Darragh Fox, Cian Tierney, Shane Airey, Charlie O’Doherty, Allan O’Riordan (Captain), Christopher Walsh, TJ Relihan, David Foley, Gerald Griffin, Donal O’Sullivan, Jason Wolfe, Keelan Headd, Seán Corbett, John Walshe, Jack Grimes, James Kelly, Seán Herlihy, Michael Bourke, Bobby O’Donovan, Brian O’Sullivan, Alex O’Halloran, James Corbett. Seán Ivess, Eoin O’Halloran, Evan O’Donovan. James Guinea, Dayle Danaher

More Glory for Newcastle West
More glory may be just around the corner for the new crowned Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup champions.
On Sunday Newcastle West travel to Cork again, this time to Ballyanly near Blarney to take on Muskerry in the final round of the Munster Junior League where a win will see the west Limerick men crowned champions for a second time in eight days. The kick off on Sunday is 2.30pm and a large turnout of Newcastle West supporters are expected to make the trip to the outskirts of Cork city.