Scorers: G Perez, O Glynn, T Fitzgerald, C O’ Donovan, (J Glynn 3 conversions)
Last Sunday saw Mallow play host to Clanwilliam in what was their first game back up in Munster Junior Division 1 since the 2013/2014 season. Indeed, it didn’t take them long to get up and running, as they picked up where they left off last season with a bonus point win. The home side however had their work cut out as Clanwilliam began in strong fashion. Mallow’s defence held relatively strong against a very strong breeze in the first half with Chris O’ Regan, Hugh Keena, Ronan McCarthy and Brian Henry really putting their bodies on the line to deny the visitors, however at the 40-minute mark, Clan had opened up a 10-0 lead through Gavin Downey try. Mallow never let that lead get to them and remained calm going into the break.
Upon emerging after the interval, the home side began to get a foothold in the game. With Mike O’ Flynn expertly orchestrating proceedings at out-half, the north Cork outfit built their way back into the game very quickly. Within 5 minutes of the restart, thanks to a perfectly positioned Flynn Garryowen, Mallow were back in the tie. Clan failed to gather the kick and David Breen raced through to boot the ball ahead before being dragged down just short of the line. Gonzalo Perez was quick to arrive at the breakdown and powered over the whitewash from close range for his first try in Mallow colours and the home side’s first try of the Division 1 league campaign. This early try paid dividends as Mallow really sought to gain the upper hand. Shortly afterwards, they found themselves on the scoreboard again. Perez again made great inroads inside the opponents 22m before offloading to Mike Lenihan. He in turn evaded a defender to unlock the Clan defence and put Owen Glynn away for his second try in as many games. With Jimmy Glynn converting, this put the home side into a 12-10 lead approaching the final quarter. With the wind firmly in their sails at this point, the newly promoted outfit were brimming with confidence as they looked to stamp their authority on the game. The bench added huge impetus and impact which was highlighted by the introduction of David Walsh, Peter Cosgrave, Sean Hannon, Rory Murphy and Timmy Fitzgerald, with the latter powering through the contact to bulldoze his way over the try line from 10m out to open his account for the season. As the game drew to a close, Mallow weren’t content with just the win and sought to get the maximum 5 points from this tie. With a scrum in the middle of the pitch providing a great attacking platform, Peter Cosgrave found Flynn to the left of the scrum. He and David Walsh pulled the strings from there to puncture through the Tipperary side’s defence before releasing Conor O’ Donovan on the wing to wrap up the bonus point try for the home side and send the huge supporting contingent into raptures right on the final whistle. A fantastic start to the season for the newcomers to Munster’s top division.
Next match: Abbeyfeale v Mallow RFC. Sunday, Oct 6th KO: 2.30pm