West Cork contingent playing their part in Munster’s opening wins

October 20th, 2020 4:00 PM

By Con Downing

Kealkil's Fineen Wycherley is one of the crop of West Cork rugby stars playing well for Munster in their opening games of the Guinness Pro14, winning two out of two so far. (Photo: Bryan Keane, Inpho)

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THE crop of talent from West Cork in the Munster Rugby senior squad is doing its bit as they won their first two games of the 2020/’21 Guinness Pro14 season, albeit narrowly and somewhat unconvincingly.

However, a win is a win – no matter how it is ground out – and they have eight league points, lying second in Conference B, one behind Cardiff Blues who picked up a try bonus point in their win over Connaught. Munster will face the Welsh side in the third round of games at Thomond Park on this October bank holiday Monday, 26th, at 8.15pm.

In Munster’s opening game of the campaign against Scarlets, away in Llanelli, Lee Halfpenny scored all of the home team’s 27 points from penalties and they looked to be on course for victory. Dunmanway’s Darren Sweetnam made a welcome start on the wing, while Fineen Wycherley from Kealkil and Skibbereen’s Gavin Coombes came on as subs and were prominent in the comeback, which saw Munster pip Scarlets at the post with a penalty kick, nervelessly slotted over by substitute out-half Ben Healy from Clonmel, from within his own half, to win 30-27.

Fineen Wycherley started Munster’s second game against Edinburgh – who had pipped them for an automatic semi-final spot last season – at Thomond Park in Limerick and the home side prevailed 25-23 in a tough ding-dong battle.

Rosscarbery’s John Hodnett came on early in the game and put himself about the place, while Gavin Coombes was introduced later in the game and acquitted himself well too. Innishannon’s Jack Crowley (out-half) was an unused substitute; another great prospect.

Munster will need to be upping their game in the coming weeks as European Cup matches and even stronger opposition beckon.

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