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Energia All-Ireland Men’s Junior Cup: Semi-Final Results Round Up

Energia All-Ireland Men’s Junior Cup: Semi-Final Results Round Up

David Stinson breaks through the Newcastle defence and makes 30 meters up the pitch. Mandatory Credit ©Stephen Hetherington

Enniskillen and Clogher Valley teed up a second successive all-Ulster final in the Energia All-Ireland Junior Men’s Cup with well-earned victories in today’s semi-finals. The games had originally been scheduled for December 17th but were postponed due to weather at the time.

It’s a first ever final for Enniskillen after they made home advantage count against Dublin side Monkstown. Clogher Valley were facing Newcastle West at this stage of the competition for the second year in a row and the defending champions were pushed all the way before edging out the home side 18-17 in front of a crowd of over 500 in Co. Limerick.

The final is due to be played on the weekend of January 28th 2023 with fixture details to be confirmed.

Ahead of the decider, both sides will return to games in Division 1 of the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship on January 14th

Clogher Valley are in a two-horse race with Ballyclare at the top of the and currently four points back from the Antrim men with a game in hand.

They’ll warm up for the decider on January 28th at home to 2020 All-Ireland Junior Cup finalists Dromore on January 14th.

Enniskillen sit 7th and are at home to 8th placed Carrickfergus on the same day.

Saturday December 7th 2023



Newcastle West had over 500 supporters behind them in Cullinagh as they aimed to reach an All-Ireland Junior Cup decider for the first time. Their path to the final would be as tough as it could get – they’d beaten 2021 finalists Ballyclare at the quarter-final stage and champions Clogher Valley were once again their opponents in the final four. The last meeting between the sides saw the Valley run out 47-9 winners in December 2021 despite a strong opening half from the Limerick side.

When Clogher Valley led 13-0 at the break in this tie, those who knew the Ulster men as strong finishers may have predicted a similar result again. But those who know the fighting spirit of Ger Earls‘ men weren’t surprised to see them roar back into contention.

After a scoreless opening quarter, Newcastle West found themselves on the wrong side of the ruck and David Maxwell kicked Clogher Valley into an early lead. NCW were guilty of the same infringement on the half hour mark and Maxwell again stepped up to make it 6-0.

A Penalty Try was awarded three minutes before the break to make it 13-0 with the home side’s scrum under pressure. There was still time for first-half drama when Clogher Valley broke onto a loose pass and Taine Haire looked assured of a try before a scrambling ankle tap from Daniel Normoyle

Newcastle West were over the line within two minutes of the restart but Sean Murphy was held up and it was Clogher Valley who struck next once Paul Armstrong broke from inside his own half and kicked deep. Murphy and Haire went to ground in the chase and Michael Bothwell was next on scene to touch down for an 18-0 lead.

Thunder, rain and hail soon followed. Newcastle West had the wind at their backs and were looking to brew up a storm of their own.

Shane Airey‘s gamble to kick long on the restart was rewarded with a knock-on at the five-metre line. Cian Tierney was the crash-ball option off the scrum before Keelan Headd barged over off the next phase for the try with Airey converting.

Airey missed a long-range effort as conditions worsened but Sean Herhily‘s dink-and-collect was inch perfect from the resulting drop-out and Clogher Valley were forced off their feet under the posts. Airey made it 10-18.

Newcastle West’s drove their maul from the 22 to the five-metre line with nine minutes left. Eric Donovan carried hard off the recycle and he was on the ball again three phases later to drive low and hard under the posts.

It all came down to the kick of a ball. Sean Herlihy’s feint and carry brought NCW into their opponent’s half and Clogher Valley were pinged for not rolling away on the 10-metre line. With the conditions ever-changing, Herlihy’s left-footed effort was inches wide.

NEWCASTLE WEST: 15 Sean Herlihy; 14 Daniel Normoyle, 13 Sean Murphy, 12 Cian Tierney, 11 Seán Ivess; 10 Shane Airey, 9 Rob Guerin; 1 TJ Relihan, 2 Eoin O’Halloran, 3 Shane Breen, 4 Gerald Griffin (c), 5 Alan O’Riordan, 6 James Corbett, 7 Cian Clohessy, 8 Keelan Headd.
Replacements: 16 Cormac Browne, 17 Evan Donovan, 18 John Walsh, 19 Cormac Nash, 20 Cian Mulcahy, 21 Padraig Roche, 22 Michael Bourke, 23 David O’Donovan.

HT: Newcastle West 0 Clogher Valley 13

CLOGHER VALLEY: 15 Taine Haire; 14 Michael Bothwell, 13 Paul Armstrong (c), 12 Corneel Michem, 11 Ewan Haire; 10 David Maxwell, 9 Matthew Bothwell; 1 Michael Treanor, 2 Kyle Cobane, 3 Neil Henderson, 4 Eugene McKenna, 5 Matthew Wilson, 6 David Stinson, 7 Aaron Dunwoody, 8 Callum Smyton.
Replacements: 16 Luke Allen, 17 Richard Primrose, 18 Tommi Coulter, 19 Joel Busby, 20 David Sharkey, 21 Neil Trotter, 22 Jason Bothwell, 23 Aaron Crawford.


Enniskillen made home advantage count and managed the tricky conditions to beat Monkstown 24-8 and secure their place in the Energia All-Ireland Men’s Junior Cup final for the first time.

Tries finished by Michael Rooney nudged them ahead in the first half while four second half penalties from the trusty boot of Eddie Keys saw them home in the second.

Monkstown started the game with the wind at their backs and had the first score of the game. It was a bright start from the Dubliners and the gamble of a cross field kick from Charlie McMicken paid off as Fraser Wright gathered and scored.

Discipline was however proving costly for the visitors and Michael Rooney’s first try had them right back in the game with Eddie Keys converting to move them 7-5.

The forward pack did what was needed to put Monkstown back into a scoring position from Charlie McMicken’s 50:22 and the out half duly slotted over the penalty.

Monkstown’s lasted just two minutes before Rooney went over in the corner to put Enniskillen 12-8 up at the break.

The second half was all about game management for the Fermanagh men. With wind advantage, they took the kicking opportunities that came their way. The first was for a scrum penalty for a 15-8 lead and three more followed with Gavin Warrington and David Buchanan typifying the work rate of the pack.

It was one of the biggest home crowds ever seen and they’ll be back at Mullaghmeen to watch Enniskillen gear up for the final with a game against Carrickfergus in the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship on January 14th.

Scorers: Enniskillen: Tries: Michael Rooney (2); Con: Eddie keys; Eddie Keys.
Monkstown: Try: Fraser Wright; Pen: Charlie McMicken.
HT: Enniskillen 12 Monkstown 8

ENNISKILLEN: 15 George Foster, 14 Sam Balfour, 13 James Balfour, 12 Daire Hill, 11. Mark O’Shea; 10 Eddie keys, 9. Matthew Dane; 1 Gavin Warrington, 2 Peter Read, 3 Matthew Graham, 4 James Carleton (c), 5 David Buchanan, 6 Jack Rutledge, 7 Henry Keys, 8 Michael Rooney.
Replacements: 16 Niall Keenan, 17 Matthew Beatty, 18 Gary Thornton, 19 Gavin Parke, 20 Oisin Timoney, 21 Paul McConkey, 22 Nick Finaly, 23 James Ferguson

MONKSTOWN: 15 Philip O’ Dwyer; 14 Fraser Wright, 13 James Lappin, 12 Jack Gilheany, 11 Paul Harte; 10 Charlie McMickan, 9 Tristan Brady (c); 1 Cian Carroll, 2 Kieran Stokes, 3 Adam Howard, 4 James Doyle, 5 Lorcan Walshe, 6 Ruadhán McDonnell, 7 Toby Boyd, 8 John Dever
Replacements: 16 Tony McGinness, 17 Martin Murphy, 18 Benjamin Kavanagh, 19 Joe Bulmer, 20 John Wallace, 21 Tom Kelly, 22 Liam Mulvihill, 23 Barry McFaul.