Cobh come out on top in thrilling U18 rugby final with six point win over Waterpark

Cobh come out on top in thrilling U18 rugby final with six point win over Waterpark

The winning Cobh Pirates team

Cobh Pirates 33

Waterpark 27

Cobh Pirates won the Munster Club Under 18 Cup as they defeated Waterpark in a nail-biting decider at Musgrave Park last Sunday.

This game went down to the wire in the final quarter with the scoreline reading 26-22 in favour of the Pirates. With seven minutes remaining, the Suirsiders were awarded a penalty from which they opted for a quick tap and Mark Wallis barged over in the corner for his third try, which gave his side a one-point lead. Cobh Pirates laid siege to the Waterpark line entering stoppage time and Sean Edogbo put the East Cork side back in the driving seat with a try next to the posts, following a series of forward drives. Adam Lynch added the simple conversion.

On a surface that was suited to open running rugby, Cobh Pirates’ expansive game posed problems for the Waterford side as they scored three unanswered tries in a five-minute spell in the second quarter. A combination of solid defensive work by the Pirates and a missed penalty were to be Waterpark’s undoing as they sought to rescue the game in the second half.

Waterpark had Cobh Pirates on the back foot from the kick-off. They opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Eoin O Gradaigh crashed over in the corner for the game’s opening try after receiving a long kick ahead deep in the Pirates’ 22 following a scrum on his own ten-metre line. Jack Coady converted from a difficult angle.

The captains before last Sunday’s Under 18 Cup Final at Musgrave Park, Charlie Caffrey (Waterpark) Garrett McCabe (MAR) Adam Quirke (Cobh Pirates)
The captains before last Sunday’s Under 18 Cup Final at Musgrave Park, Charlie Caffrey (Waterpark) Garrett McCabe (MAR) Adam Quirke (Cobh Pirates)

The East Cork side began to turn the screw as Ben Murphy was winning lineout ball. Killian Allen and Edogbo began to present Waterpark with problems in the loose. Casey Whelan embarked on some surging runs on the wing, but sloppy passing in the middle of the park was proving to be costly.

Cobh Pirates opened their account midway through the opening half when Jack Worrall touched down behind the posts following a scrum deep inside the Suirsiders’ 22. Lynch converted to level matters at seven points apiece.

The East Cork side continued to have Waterpark pinned back and they opened up a 12-point gap with two tries in two minutes from Saul Kahn. Lynch converted the first.

Waterpark kept within touching distance of the Pirates and they were awarded a penalty deep inside the East Cork side’s 22, which they opted to run. Wallis scored their second try in the corner in the 24th minute and Coady converted.

The Waterford side continued to have Cobh Pirates camped deep inside their own 22 approaching the break, but Cormac Walsh was held up on the line. This left the East Cork side holding a 19-14 half-time lead.

Waterpark upped the ante after the break as they had the Pirates on the defensive as Callum Dooley-Cullinane and Shane Glynn ran at the East Cork side’s defence. Donnacha Fitzpatrick, Cillian Horan and Niall Vogelaar launched a series of forward drives. This pressure yielded a penalty, which Coady converted in the 41st minute, to reduce the margin to two points.

Cobh Pirates captain Adam Quirke is presented with the trophy
Cobh Pirates captain Adam Quirke is presented with the trophy

The Suirsiders regained the lead midway through the second half with a try by Wallis following a five-metre penalty, which they ran, but Coady’s conversion attempt fell short of the posts.

Edogbo put the Pirates in front, with a try in the 57th minute, following a series of drives for the line before the scene was set for a dramatic finale.

Scorers: Cobh Pirates: Saul Kahn, Sean Edogbo 2 tries each; Adam Lynch 4 cons; Jack Worrall try.

Waterpark: Mark Wallis 3 tries; Jack Coady 2 cons, pen; Eoin O Gradaigh try.

Cobh Pirates: Saul Kahn; Casey Whelan, Jack grant, Jack Worrall, Adam Lynch; Aaron Quirke, Mark O’Rourke; Jake Murray, James Burke, Eoghan Doyle; Alex Hamilton, Rian Cahill; Killian Allen, Ben Murphy, Sean Edogbo.

Replacements: Dylan Corcoran, Tadhg McKeown, Luke Aherne, Donagh McNamara, Sean Banim, Odhran McKeown, Rian McGrath, Sean Keating.

Waterpark: David Kelliher; John Pearson, Callum Dooley-Cullinane, Shane Glynn Eoghan O Gradaigh; Jack Coady, Tadhg Johnston; Charlie Caffrey, Cillian Horan, Gavin Shanahan; Luke Murphy, Donnacha Fitzpatrick; Niall Vogelaar, Hugh Power, Mark Wallis.

Replacements: Edward Wall, Alex Papathopmas, Shane Walsh, Cormac Walsh, Tommy Hogan, David Scanlon, Tommy Martin, Harry O’Brien.

Referee: Garrett McCabe (MAR).

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