Cawley Cup Final | FT: Tuam RFC 24 – 22 Dunmore RFC
Tuam RFC came away with a two-point victory against Dunmore in a thrilling Bank of Ireland Cawley Cup Final this past Sunday, 3rd December at Crowley Park.
As Tuam faced local rivals Dunmore in the Cawley Cup final last Sunday, one thing was certain; history would be made as neither team had ever won the cup before. Despite the cold and wet weather, supporters from both sides came out to support their sides.
Tuam Head Coach Barry Ruane said of his side, “The year started off very well for us in the group stages of the Cawley Cup. We used a lot of players and it was a great way of developing players for the season. We played University of Galway in the semi-final, and they gave us a good scare and we were lucky to fight back and get the result to get into the final. Dunmore are a quality side and the final showed that. We went behind early on the scoreboard and suffered a few big injuries early in the game, but this group has great leadership and character. It was a very well contested final between two neighbouring clubs and that’s what everyone wants to see. We were very happy to come out with the result.”
Dunmore led 15-7 at halftime after scoring 3 unconverted tries in the first half. Tuam knew they would need to come out firing in the second half to stop the Dunmore momentum. After 10 minutes into the second half, their first half try scorer Alan Finnerty crossed the try line once again to put them just one point behind Dunmore. Tuam powered over for another try off a maul to pull ahead. After a brilliant drop goal by Carl Ward off a Dunmore pass which was intercepted by Tuam’s Allen Lagaiaa, Dunmore added a converted try, but it wasn’t enough to give them the lead and Tuam came away with the win.
Tuam Captain Ian Murphy said, “I am so proud of all the players and management. We have put in so much work on and off the pitch the past 2 seasons to develop as a team. It was an honour to represent our club and lift the Cawley Cup after a hard-fought final.”
“A lot of work has gone into the group over the last 2 years and its brilliant to see all the management team the players and the club receive the benefits from it all. The Cawley Cup will be minded and very much respected in its place in Tuam RFC for the next 12 months. It is a competition we hold in very high regard,” says Head Coach Barry Ruane.
Photos by Owen Nally Photography
Curley Cup Final | FT: Buccaneers RFC 2nds 14 – 6 Corinthians RFC 2nds
Buccaneers 2nds and their Corinthians 2nds counterparts served up compelling fare in the final of the Bank of Ireland Hugh Curley Memorial Cup played at Ballyhaunis RFC on Sunday. On a very cold and grey, but dry, afternoon Buccaneers edged a tough contest of 14-6.
A closely contested match, the score stood at 6-0 to Buccaneers at halftime after two penalties in the first half. Buccaneers came out firing after halftime and crossed the line after just 3 minutes for their only try of the match to make the score 11-0. Corinthians put over two penalties to bring the lead to within 5 points, but Buccaneers had the final say with a penalty to make the final score 14-6.
Director of Rugby Damien Shine says, "Buccaneers are delighted to lift the Curley Cup this year, a first time for the club. After the disappointment of being relegated to J1B last season, it was a great response from our Seconds team to bounce back to commit to and win this first competition of the season against a very formidable Corinthians 2nd XV in the final. We have a new, young Coaching and Management team in place with our 2nds XV for this season, with Head Coach Martin Staunton, Assistant Coach Eoin Slevin and Manager Niall Harney. They've been working extremely hard with this group since preseason and Sunday's win is a fantastic boost to the overall squad and a great return for their efforts so far. Our guys are delighted with this achievement and now have a great foundation laid for the remainder of the season ahead."
All Buccaneers players contributed to this win which puts Buccaneers name on the Curley Cup trophy for the first time. Mark Curley, son of Hugh who is remembered by the trophy, presented the Cup with the assistance of Connacht Senior Vice-President Jimmy Staunton to Buccaneers captain Conor Morrissey in the welcoming Ballyhaunis clubhouse after the match.
Photos by Michael Silke