ENNIS RFC’s U16 boys picked up the top prize in Munster rugby, enduring a tense second half to defeat Old Christians by the smallest of margins.

Old Christians 13-14 Ennis

It wasn’t the start the Clare club would have hoped for as within the first 25 minutes, not only did Ennis concede two tries, they were also temporarily reduced to 14 men.

Old Christians got the first score in the 13th minute as full back Liam Kelleher broke the line to touch down in the corner, the resulting conversion attempt proving too difficult.

Just five minutes later, Ennis were reduced to 14 men after prop Kian MacGearailt was sent to the bin for what was judged a high tackle.

Old Christians were in for the 2nd time in the 22nd minute as Brian Barry barreled over. But kicking into the wind, the conversion dropped short.

And Old Christians kept the scoreboard ticking over and closed out the first half with a penalty in the 30th minute which was easily slotted over by Sean O’Regan.

Despite the ominous first half, Ennis remained within two scores as Old Christians led 13-0 at the half.

Ennis came out all guns blazing in the second stanza and were almost rewarded straight away but were held up over the line.

A break from Ennis hooker Ruairi Keogh got them back within touching distance but it was Daniel Moloney who touched down in the 35th minute. The conversion that followed drifted just wide of the posts.

A penalty try for Ennis in the 41st minute put the Clare side in front for the first time as they lead 13-14. With just seconds left on the clock Ennis were once again reduced to 14 as Paddy O’ Keefe was sent to the bin. However the Clare side managed to hold on and came away with the spoils  13-14.

Old Christians RFC: Liam Kelleher; Oisín Crowley, Seán O’Regan, Mark Reynolds, Tadhg O’Sullivan; Davyn Maher, Donnacha McGrath; Ryan Murphy, Mike White, Brian Barry; Shane Harrington, Ciarán Sneddon; Jack Punch, Corey Walsh, Longo Kumpaya.

Replacements: Fionn O’Connell, Christopher O’Flynn, Oliver Creed-Daly, Cormac McCabe, Darragh Mulcahy, Oscar O’Connor, Evyn O’Callaghan, Oisín Purdy.

Ennis RFC: Oisín Vaughan; Leo Boyle, Oran Considine, Darragh Fahy, Harry O’Donoghue; Cian McAllister, Ruairi Keogh; Kian MacGearailt, Malachy O’Halloran, Ali Gam; Cian O’Connor, Daniel Moloney; Sean Maher, Emmanuel Omorodion, Jack Minogue.

Replacements: Paddy O’Keeffe, Kristian Burke, Tadhg Bane, Dylan Nugent, Conor Lyons, Cillian Carnochan, Cillian Thornton, Fionn Guthrie.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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