Captain Tom Ferguson confident West Cork club can win away to league leaders
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
BANDON need to show their title credentials away to league leaders Richmond this Sunday, insists captain Tom Ferguson.
The West Cork men’s latest win, 14-9 against Kilfeacle last weekend, moved them up to second place in Munster Junior League Division 1 and coupled with Richmond’s victory against Clonmel, it has set-up a top-of-the-table clash in Limerick this Sunday afternoon.
This is Bandon’s biggest game of the season and Ferguson has rallied his troops ahead of this crunch clash.
‘We need to take something from Richmond this weekend,’ Ferguson said.
‘We’re going up to Limerick, into the home of Munster rugby, we’re not going to get anything easy and it’s going to be a very tough game but we are well able for it.
‘We have no fear of Richmond but we know too it’s going to be the biggest challenge of the season so far.
‘We’ve lost one match already and if we want to win the league, we need to win as much as we can and we can’t really afford to be losing any more games.
‘Richmond beat Clonmel last weekend, it’s fairly tight at the top so we need to get as many points as we can, especially off other teams who are near the top.’
Little separates the top three at the moment – Richmond (25), Bandon (23) and Clonmel (23) – and that highlights how important it is for Bandon to get a result this Sunday.
‘Richmond beating Clonmel was the first time in four years that Clonmel have lost at home but that shows how close things are at the top this year,’ the Bandon captain explained.
‘Ourselves, Clonmel, Richmond and Kilfeacle are the four main teams at the moment and it’s very close. Every team is taking points off each other. Richmond and Kilfeacle drew, we beat Kilfeacle, and Richmond beat Clonmel so you have to take as many points as you can.’
Munster Junior Cup champions Bandon have finished second and third in the past two MJL Division 1 campaigns, and they are intent on landing the league title this year, with last weekend’s win against Kilfeacle at home exactly the type of result needed.
Bandon were 9-0 behind at the break after Jamie Heuston kicked three penalties for Kilfeacle but second-half tries from Mike Murphy and Santiago Gonzalez, both converted by Rob O’Sullivan, saw Bandon hit the front and they stayed there despite coming under serious pressure near the end.
‘We showed a lot of character at the end to hold on to the lead because they were pounding away on our line. We were under a lot of pressure the last five minutes but we dug deep and showed great character – that was a big boost ahead of this weekend,’ Ferguson added.
Elsewhere Skibbereen will hope to return to winning ways when they entertain Cobh Pirates this Sunday in Skibb (2.30pm), with the home side coming off the back of a 34-3 loss away to Newcastle West last weekend. Denis McCarthy kicked a penalty for Skibb who sit tenth in the table.