Skibbereen dent Clonakilty's charge for top-four spot

February 25th, 2024 2:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

The Skibbereen rugby team in a happy mood after their win over Clonakilty on Sunday. (Photo: Dave Sheehan)

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CLONAKILTY’S charge towards a top-four finish in Munster Junior League Division 1 suffered a significant setback against Skibbereen on Sunday.

Third in the table heading into their home tie, Clon were also coming off the back of a derby win against Bandon the previous weekend, but they had no answer to Skibbereen’s power-packed second-half performance that secured a 28-19 win for the visitors.

It’s a result that saw Clonakilty slip to fifth in Division 1, on 30 points after 11 games while Skibbereen are now in eighth, on 27 points having played a game less, so the race for the top four is hotting up.

Runaways leaders Thomond (49 points after 10 games), Mallow (39 after 11 games), Kilfeacle (32 after 10) and Newcastle West (32 after 10) currently occupy the top four places, with Clon just outside.

Played in front of a large attendance Clonakilty were totally dominant in the first half and created numerous scoring chances, including twice being held up over their opponent’s line, but some heroic defence by the visitors meant Clon went into the half-time break only seven points ahead, following a Kieran Howlin try, converted by Eoin Downey. 

The second half turned into a try fest as Skibb, now playing with the assistance of a strong breeze, scored a try inside the opening minute through Daniel Kitson, which he also converted. Clonakilty responded when Rob Howick was on the end of an excellent team try only for Skibb to hit back once again through Adam Sheehan, a score that put them 14-12 ahead. 

Further pressure from Skibb saw a Tom Beare try, converted by Kitson, extend their lead to 21-12 before Clonakilty captain Colin Deane touched down to leave the score 21-19 with 15 minutes remaining. However, a good Skibb move saw Tadgh Cullinane cross for a match-winning try late in the game to leave the final score 28-19 in Skibb's favour. 

Skibb will be delighted with a bonus-point victory away from home while Clon will be very disappointed to have conceded 28 points in the second half of the game. 

Clon’s next league game is away to struggling Clanwilliam on March 3rd, and on the same afternoon Skibb will host bottom of the table Charleville.


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