Mallow RFC – Heroics under the Friday night lights

A happy Mallow RFC 2nd XV pictured after winning the Dennehy Cup in Highfield last Friday night. Pic, Louis Duffy.

On Friday night Mallow’s 2nd XV travelled to the neutral venue of Highfield to take on Midleton 2nds in the Dennehy Cup decider. Having emerged victorious against Cobh Pirates and Highfield RFC in previous rounds, Mallow sought to claim their first piece of silverware of the season. Midleton, however, were always going to provide tough opposition, particularly given that their 1irst team play senior rugby in AIL Division 2C. Mallow began the game focused and really brought a physical element to the encounter. Mallow got off to a good start with an early penalty to settle the nerves. Timmy Fitzgerald and Sean Glynn ran in first-half tries for Mallow, who by half time appeared to be making light work of the opposition, with the scoreline standing at 17-0.
The second half began as the first ended, with Mallow in the ascendancy. Further tries from Mike O’ Flynn and Timmy Fitzgerald secured the Dennehy Cup for the first time in a number of years for the North Cork outfit. Notable performers were Stephen Duffy who carried with physicality throughout, as well as David Breen who racked up a personal tally of 15 points off the kicking tee. Mallow’s strength in depth proved valuable as they collectively provided great impact off the bench in the second half.
VASS Motors MOTM: Timmy Fitzgerald

Mallow victorious over promoted Crosshaven in County Cup
On Sunday afternoon, the sun shone brightly over Parkadillane for Mallow’s first competitive game of the season. Their opposition was Crosshaven. Only last year, Mallow came out second best against the seasiders, who ran out eventual league winners. Having failed to score, while also conceding four bonus-point tries last year, Mallow had it all to do.
The home side really embraced the fine weather and sought to get on the front foot early in the contest. Crosshaven arrived for this cup fixture with a pep in their step and with little respect for the home side. Mallow, playing down the hill but into a considerable breeze, got on the scoreboard early in the encounter. Mike Sweeney brushed off an attempted tackle and raced away from 30 metres out to dot down under the posts and open his account for the season. Out-half David Breen duly converted to add the extra two points. Shortly afterwards, captain Conor O’Donovan got his name on the scoresheet for the home side which was converted to send Mallow into a 14-0 lead. Crosshaven responded with a converted try of their own to bring it back to a one score game. Mallow’s confidence was apparent as they played an attacking brand of rugby, clearly demonstrating no fear of their division 1 opposition. Just before the half hour mark, Mallow got in for their third try as Breen dummied and evaded a tackle to send Mallow into a 21-7 lead. Crosshaven demonstrated their resilience, however, as they got another back to keep Mallow within touching distance. Hugh Barry was next up to cross the whitewash as he stepped around his winger and shook off the cover defender to score Mallow’s fourth try in what was a clinical first half attacking performance. The half time score saw Mallow notch up a 28 point haul to Crosshaven’s 14 points.
The second half was a true test of Mallow’s defensive abilities as they emptied the bench and cleared their lines effectively.  Crosshaven threw the kitchen sink at Mallow and brought the game back to 28-26. Breen converted a routine penalty to make it 100% off the tee and push Mallow out to a 5-point gap. Try as they might, Crosshaven couldn’t manage to break Mallow down as their defence stood up to the test and prevailed on a scoreline of 31-26. An incredible result for the home side and a marker laid down for the season.
Next up for Mallow is their first away league game of the season against Fethard and District this Sunday next, September 30th.
VASS Motors MOTM: Seán Hannon.