Defending champions Clogher Valley outlasted Ulster rivals Cooke at Shaw’s Bridge to keep alive their hopes of an Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup two in-a-row.
It was three tries apiece in today’s tightly-contested quarter-final, with Ian Moxen, Kyle Mitchell and Jason Lyons all touching down for Cooke who led 12-10 at half-time.
However, a Taine Haire brace and a single effort from David Maxwell saw the Valley match them. Out-half Maxwell’s seven points from the tee proved crucial in a hard-fought 22-19 win.
There are two Ulster clubs through to the last-four following Enniskillen’s 25-20 triumph away to 2020 champions Kilfeacle & District. It was a second away success of the competition for Stephen Welsh’s Skins after they ended Bective Rangers’ interest last time out.
In-form hooker Niall Keenan scored two of Enniskillen’s three tries to take his tally in this season’s Junior Cup to four. Diarmuid O’Donnell and Gavin Heuston crossed in either half for Kilfeacle, but an Eddie Keys penalty had the Ulstermen out of reach.
14-man Newcastle West stunned Ballyclare, last season’s runners-up, with a thrilling 26-24 win at the Cloughan. They bounced back from a red card with influential hooker Eoin O’Halloran’s second try deciding the outcome right at the death.
When Ballyclare captain Joel McBride, son of former Ireland international Denis, displayed his footballing skills to score his team’s third try, they looked on course for the last-four with the scoreboard showing 24-16.
Yet, Newcastle West, whose first try was run in by full-back Seán Ivess, showed exactly why they won a Munster Junior League and Cup double last season with a whirlwind finish. Out-half Shane Airey kicked his third penalty and coolly slotted over the conversion that split the sides.
The other Limerick team to reach the quarter-final stage, Thomond, succumbed to a heavy defeat in the capital. Monkstown, the last Leinster club standing, ran out 61-7 winners with nine tries shared out between backs and forwards.
Number 10 Fraser Wright led the scoring with 21 points, made up of a try and eight conversions. Joe Fryers and replacement James Doyle bagged braces, while Jack Gilheany, club captain Steve McVeigh, Jimmy Lappin and Toby Boyd also made it over the whitewash.
Delighted with the club’s qualification for their first ever Junior Cup semi-final, Monkstown’s player-of-the-match Ruadhán McDonnell said: “It was a great performance by the lads. The Junior Cup is a great competition, we’re relishing the chance to play against teams from outside the province.”
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR CUP – QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS:
Saturday, November 19 –
BALLYCLARE 24 NEWCASTLE WEST 26, the Cloughan
Scorers: Ballyclare: Tries: Owen Kirk, Matthew McDowell, Joel McBride; Cons: Mark Jackson 3; Pen: Mark Jackson
Newcastle West: Tries: Seán Ivess, Eoin O’Halloran 2; Con: Shane Airey; Pens: Shane Airey 3
HT: Ballyclare 14 Newcastle West 6
BALLYCLARE: Mark Jackson; Owen Kirk, Joel McBride (capt), Scott Martin, Matthew Fitzgerald; Matthew McDowell, James Creighton; Ricky Lutton, Matthew Coulter, Owen Warren, Josh Young, Grant Bartley, Luke McIlwrath, Jack Milton, Jack Gamble.
Replacements: James Wilson, Josh Taylor, Matthew McCullough, Ryan McIlwaine, Peter Gillespie.
NEWCASTLE WEST: Seán Ivess; Daniel Normoyle, Sean Murphy, Cian Tierney, Darragh Fox; Shane Airey, Rob Guerin; Alan O’Riordan, Eoin O’Halloran, TJ Relihan, Jason Woulfe, Ger Griffin (capt), Keelan Headd, James Corbett, Cormac Nash.
Replacements: Evan Donovan, Shane Breen, Cian Clohessy, Sean Herlihy, Sean Neville.
KILFEACLE & DISTRICT 20 ENNISKILLEN 25, Morrissey Park
Scorers: Kilfeacle & District: Tries: Diarmuid O’Donnell, Gavin Heuston; Cons: Luke Heuston 2; Pens: Luke Heuston 2
Enniskillen: Tries: Gavin Warrington, Niall Keenan 2; Cons: Eddie Keys 2; Pens: Eddie Keys 2
HT: Kilfeacle & District 13 Enniskillen 12
KILFEACLE & DISTRICT: Kevin Doyle; Killian Noonan, Keelan O’Connor, Darren Lowry, John Bourke; Luke Heuston, Gavin Heuston; Simon Barry, James Ryan, Diarmuid O’Donnell, Bryan McLaughlin, Brian Barlow, Conor O’Sullivan, Ben White, Kevin Kinane.
Replacements: Brian Barron, Brendan Barron, Rares Stoica, Darren Ryan, Keith Bourke.
ENNISKILLEN: Sean Balfour; Jordan Hylton, James Balfoure, Daire Hill, Mark O’Shea; Eddie Keys, Matthew Dane; Gavin Warrington, Niall Keenan, Matthew Graham Neil Rutledge, David Buchanan, James Carleton (capt), Jack Rutledge, Michael Rooney.
Replacements: Andrew Breen, Peter Read, Oisin Timoney, Andrew Johnston Martin, Nick Finlay.
MONKSTOWN 61 THOMOND 7, Park Avenue
Scorers: Monkstown: Tries: Joe Fryers 2, Fraser Wright, Jack Gilheany, Steve McVeigh, Jimmy Lappin, James Doyle 2, Toby Boyd; Cons: Fraser Wright 8
Thomond: Try: Conor Lipper; Con: Eoghain Sherlock
HT: Monkstown 21 Thomond 7
MONKSTOWN: Barry McFaul; Jimmy Lappin, Jack Gilheany, Joe Fryers, Paul Harte; Fraser Wright, Tristan Brady (capt); Kieran Stokes, James Brennan, Cian Carroll, Joe Bulmer, Lorcan Walshe, Ruadhán McDonnell, Tony McGinness, John Dever.
Replacements: Sam Blair, Steve McVeigh, James Doyle, Toby Boyd, Bill Duggan.
THOMOND: Callum Walters; Berto Kelly, Dean O’Brien, Ryan Hogg, Conor Lipper; Eoghain Sherlock, Dominic Fitzpatrick; Jack O’Shea, Colin Slater, Eddie Fraher, Cian Gorey, Morgan Bateman, Jack Cosgrave, Shane Kelly, Ryain Ahern.
Replacements: Darren Radcliffe, Dean McGinn, Maksymilian Zerdel, Robert Duffy, Colin Haigney.
COOKE 19 CLOGHER VALLEY 22, Shaw’s Bridge
Scorers: Cooke: Tries: Ian Moxen, Kyle Mitchell, Jason Lyons; Cons: Andrew McMurray 2
Clogher Valley: Tries: Taine Haire 2, David Maxwell; Cons: David Maxwell 2; Pen: David Maxwell
HT: Cooke 12 Clogher Valley 10
COOKE: Andrew McMurray; Connor Phillips, James Brennan, Kyle Mitchell, George Robb; Andrew Hanna, Ryan Flavelle (capt); Ethan Sloan, Ben Pentland, Ian Moxen, Callum Foreman, Steven Foreman, Stuart Elwood, Oliver Faith, Jason Lyons.
Replacements: Jonny McClune, Jackson Milligan, Brian Mannus, Josh Harper, Philip Wood.
CLOGHER VALLEY: Taine Haire; Adam Boles, Corneel Michem, Paul Armstrong (capt), Ewan Haire; David Maxwell, Neil Trotter; Michael Treanor, Kyle Cobane, Richard Primrose, Eugene McKenna, Matthew Wilson, David Stinson, Aaron Dunwoody, Callum Smyton.
Replacements: Neil Henderson, Luke Allen, David Sharkey, Jason Bothwell, Michael Bothwell.