ENNIS RFC’s u18.5 side claimed the North Munster League yesterday, coming from behind to defeat a very physical Nenagh Ormond side by 20-15.

The final was played in glorious sunshine in Dooradoyle. After 10 minutes Ennis were awarded a penalty just outside the Nenagh 22. Quick thinking scrum-half Calum Byrne took a quick tap-and-go from the mark before accurate passing saw captain Osgar Ó Gormáin crash over for the first score of the game. Though the conversion fell just short, Ennis settled well after this.

This five-point lead lasted 10 minutes, before Nenagh were awarded a penalty for offside at a lineout close to the Ennis 22. Nenagh’s out-half, probably their best player on the day, made no mistake bringing the score to 5 – 3.

The rest of the first half was all Nenagh. They grew in confidence and were causing a lot of problems for the Clare side. Ennis coughed up another penalty for not releasing the ball on the ground in the 23rd minute. The subsequent line-out resulted in a Nenagh try in the corner, which was converted to leave the Tipperary side leading 10-5.

Ennis U18.5 celebrate their North Munster league title

Just before half-time Ennis number 6 Donnacha Morrissey, who had been having an outstanding game, was sin-binned for a marginally late tackle. It was tireless tackling from the likes of Noel McGrath and Miku and the rest of the Ennis pack that kept them in touch.

Ennis settled very early in the second half and after two minutes were awarded a penalty in the centre of the field. Scrum-half Byrne stepped up and landed an amazing 47m kick to reduce the Nenagh lead to two. Ennis managed to get a foothold in the game now and Brendan Keane at out-half brilliantly marshalled the attacking game. In the 14th minute of the half Nenagh were penalised for not rolling away just outside their 22 with the ensuing penalty leading to a line-out. Ennis’ line-out was very solid all day thanks to great accuracy from Morrissey and consistency from number 8 Seán McDonagh. They worked a great move which was halted near the corner flag, the ball was recycled cleanly and three phases saw full back Eoghan Boyle cross for Ennis’ second try. Even though the conversion again fell short, the lead was restored to 13-10.

In the 17th minute Nenagh were penalised again, this time for being ahead of the kicker. From the ensuing line-out Darragh Burns set off on another of his energetic runs down the left. He released Calvin Butler on the wing but he was bundled into touch when the line seemed to be at his mercy. The next 15 minutes were hard fought. In the 33rd minute, Ó Gormáin managed to rip a ball he really shouldn’t have been allowed to get his hands on. This set up several phases from Ennis who worked the ball left and then right, before Jack Scahill touched down in spectacular fashion just to the right of the posts. Byrne had no difficulty with the conversion leaving the score 20-10 with 3 minutes on the clock.

Ennis scrum down against Nenagh Ormond in the North Munster U18.5 final

From the kick-off Nenagh worked the ball into the Ennis 22 and were awarded a penalty 10m out. They took a quick tap-and-go and touched down. The conversion, which was the last kick of the game fell short, so the game ended Ennis 20-15 Nenagh.

Ennis: 1. Noel McGrath, 2. Osgar Ó Gormáin (capt.), 3. Mayomikun Omoniwa, 4. Evan Smith, 5. Eoghan Daly, 6. Donnacha Morrissey, 7. Darragh Burns, 8. Seán McDonagh, 9. Callum Byrne, 10. Brendan Keane, 11. Calvin Butler, 12. Fionnán Treacy, 13. Jack Scahill, 14. Noah McConway, 15. Eoghan Boyle, 16. Ciarán McManus, 17. Oliver Considine, 18. Jonathan O’Donoghue, 19. Darragh Hurley, 20. Jamie Garrihy, 21. Juve Eletu, 22. Oisín Madigan, 23. David Costelloe

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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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