18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Despite the final scoreline, Athlone did not get it all their own way, and after taking a 7 point lead courtesy of Niall Smullens first try (converted by Dermot Keegan), Waterford replied immediately with a try by Karl Gaule. Despite both linesmen allowing the John Lillis conversion, the referee overruled them and the score remained 7-5 until the 32nd minute. Then, following some ferocious pressure on the Waterford scrum, Niall Divilly ghosted over after an error by the Waterford backrow. Lillis replied immediately for Waterford with a well taken penalty and 4 minutes later, the same player was very unlucky to see his well struck penalty drift wide at the last minute. Right on the stroke of half time, Smullen went in for his second try, and from the restart, Athlone rucked the ball into a favourable attacking position and Smullen then claimed his hat trick, with Keegan adding the points.
At this stage, it looked like one way traffic for the Athlone team as the second half commenced and one felt that after conceding 12 points just before the half-time break, Waterford's chance had gone. However, they re-emerged with purpose, and for thirty minutes laid siege to the Athlone line, only heroic defence by the Athlone team preventing Waterord from breaching that line on a number of occassions.
Waterford were now playing a high risk attacking game and following an error by the their backline on the 34th minute, Athlone broke for a try by Colin Finnerty which sealed the outcome. Dermot Keegan ended the scoring with a penalty to leave the final score at 32 pts to 8 pts. in favour of Athlone.
Athlone I.T. Geoff Kenny Buccaneers Paul Flanagan Buccaneers Marcus Madden Buccaneers Ronan Farrell Buccaneers Pat Rice Fermoy Anthony Doolan Buccaneers Andy Hall Longford James Tormey Buccaneers Trevor Langley Buccaneers Anthony Cloonan Buccaneers Colin Finnerty Buccaneers Niall Smullen Buccaneers Adrian Hughes Buccaneers Johnny McDonagh Galwegians Peter Beirne Buccaneers Dermot Keegan Unattached Pierre Cronje Buccaneers Sean Quinn Buccaneers Sean Brady Buccaneers William Wallace Buccaneers Paddy O'Sullivan Buccaneers Niall Divilly Monivea Rory McGowan Buccaneers Gary Greene Buccaneers Niiall O'Hara Buccaneers Alex Curry Buccaneers Michael-John Hillhouse Buccaneers Ian Murphy Monivea
Waterford Institute of Technology Team 1. Michael Doherty Clanwilliam. 2. Frankie Strumble Cashel. 3. Michael Slattery Waterpark 4. Anthony Hughes Buccaneers. 5. Aidan Walsh Waterpark. 6. Dion O'Brien Bruff 7. Cian O'Connor Cork Constitution 8. Karl Gaul Waterpark. 9. Mark Finney Waterpark. 10. John Lilis Old Crescent. 11. Robbie Gaul Waterpark 12. Andy O'Brien Waterpark. 13.Dave Murphy Waterpark. 14. Gary Conway Waterpark 15. Peter Curran Waterpark.