12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Cobh took the title, the third in their history, with a 15-14 win after extra-time. In what was a tension-filled final, the Pirates hit the front as early as the second-minute when Eamon Ronan landed a penalty.
Conor Deane's brace of penalties, after 9 and 23 minutes, handed league champions Crosshaven a 6-3 interval lead. With defences on top, try-scoring chances were limited and it effectively became a shoot-out between kickers Ronan and Deane.
The former pulled his side level and then back in front with penalties after 42 and 57 minutes. However, Deane ensured extra-time when he slotted over his third successful kick, two minutes into injury-time.
Locked at 9-9, Crosshaven struck what looked like a crucial blow when their back line carved out an opportunity for Bobby Rogers and he took it to run in the game's only try.
But showing great composure, the Pirates roared back up the field, handing two further kickable chances for man of the match Ronan and he made no mistake with both, bisecting the posts on 92 and 98 minutes, to send the cup back to east Cork, despite a late chance for Crosshaven.
WATERPARK TO LAUNCH ACADEMY AND SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME: The launch of the Waterpark RFC Rugby Academy and Scholarship Partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology will take place on Friday, May 4 (6.30pm) in the clubhouse at Ballinakill.
Waterpark's new venture is being sponsored by Ulster Bank. With the setting up of the Academy, the Waterford club are seeking to build on the success of their youth teams, with both the Under-16s and Under-18s winning three Munster titles this season.
The club's alliance with WIT has worked well over the past couple of seasons and the joint coaching arrangement, put in place last term, has been very beneficial to both parties.
Waterpark chairperson Fiona Marsh explained: "One of the historic difficulties faced by Waterpark RFC over the years was how to keep the club's youth players playing rugby with Waterpark, and how to attract and commit new players, prior to the playing season.
"With this in mind, we decided that the way forward was to establish the Academy. The Academy structure has proven successful elsewhere and is well documented."
The main for the Waterpark Academy are to offer an integrated package that will encourage the club's existing youth players to continue playing rugby for the club, even if they are away at college and to attract other talented rugby players to play their rugby with the Ballinakill residents.
Marsh added: "Our alliance with Waterford Institute of Technology will be strengthened by the establishment of the Waterpark RFC rugby scholarships with the Institute. We expect that this will encourage elite rugby players to study at WIT and to develop their rugby skills under proper guidance."
BALLINCOLLIG OPEN DAY THIS SUNDAY: Cork club Ballincollig are hosting a Family Open Day this Sunday (April 29) from 3pm to 5pm.
A club spokesperson said: "It's an opportunity for us to celebrate the opening of our new changing rooms, as well as showcasing our refurbished clubhouse and to new families and players alike.
"We have a wide variety of events planned during the course of the day - bouncy castles, face-painting plus some wine and cheese for the adults!"
For more information, please contact Linda Kennedy tel: 0863959659).
WEST MUNSTER GLORY FOR CORCA DHUIBHNE: Congratulations to Corca Dhuibhne who claimed a 19-5 victory in last weekend's West Munster Under-14 Cup final against Tralee.
The final, played in Killarney, was full of running rugby and Corca Dhuibhne were unfortunate not to get in for an early try as outside centre Nicky White, who had a clear run-in to the posts, was pulled back for a forward pass.
But shortly afterwards, the boys from the west did nose into a 7-0 lead thanks to an excellent try from number eight and captain Matthew Griffin who cut through a gap in the Tralee defence for a well-taken solo try. Full-back George Durrant succeeded with a difficult conversion kick.
Tralee out-half David Rusk then sent a penalty chance wide of the posts before Corca Dhuibhne, who were growing in confidence, got over for their second try, just before half-time.
Griffin was again the catalyst, he took the ball forward and was brought down just before the try line. With the Tralee defence sucked in, flanker Niall Houlihan managed to cross the whitewash thanks to a quick recycle. Durrant converted for a 14-0 advantage.
Tralee had a purple patch at the start of the second half with centres Stephen O'Donnell and Gavin Murphy looking impressive with ball in hand, but the breakthrough would not come.
Man of the match Griffin decisively got over for his second try and despite a missed conversion from Tomas Kavanagh, Corca Dhuibhne seemingly had enough of a buffer to see out the win.
Credit to Tralee, their determination saw them get over for a deserved consolation try. Their pack rumbled forward, eeking out the hard yards and with Corca Dhuibhne penalised twice for ruck offences near their line, a third infringement saw referee Shane Buckley award a penalty try.
There could be no arguments however, the best team on the day won out with Castleisland RFC's Maurice Horgan presenting Corca Dhuibhne's try-scoring skipper Griffin with the trophy afterwards. Well done to coach Johnny Curran and his players, who are now league and cup winners. Hard luck to Tralee, who have the makings of an excellent team and they will, no doubt, be back challenging for honours next season.
WEEKEND CLUB FIXTURES:
- Saturday, April 28 -
Junior Interprovincial: Munster v Leinster, Cobh, 3pm
AIB League Division One Semi-Finals: Clontarf v Garryowen, Castle Avenue; Cork Constitution v UL Bohemians, Temple Hill, both 2.30pm
AIB League Division Three Final: Wanderers v Bruff, Templeville Road, 2pm
Munster Junior 4 League Play-Off: Kanturk v Kinsale, Kanturk, 6pm
South Munster Under-20 'B' Cup Final: Castleisland v Clonakilty, Muskerry, 2.30pm
Junior Friendly: Bandon v Durham, Bandon, 4pm
- Sunday, April 29 -
Martin O'Sullivan Cup Final: Newcastle West v Charleville, Corbally, 2.30pm
Munster Junior 2 League Final: Cork Constitution v Shannon, Musgrave Park, 2.30pm
Gleeson Cup Final: Nenagh Ormond v Scariff/Cashel, Thurles, tbc
Munster Under-16 Cup Semi-Final: UL Bohemian/Young Munster v Old Crescent, tbc, 11.30am
Munster Under-15 Cup Final: Ennis v Newcastle West, Corbally, 11.30pm