Ennis RFC’s 1sts got their Junior Cup campaign off to a winning start on Sunday with a hard-fought 10-0 defeat of Mallow.
Prior to kick-off a minute’s silence was observed at the Showgrounds pitch by both teams in honour of Jerry O’Callaghan Snr, who sadly passed away last week. Jerry had served the club in many different roles down through the years and provided great support to the club through his business.
It was always going to be a game played in close quarters due to a heavy pitch and it was Ennis who proved to benefit throughout due to establishing early dominance in the forward pack along with Bryan Murphy at flyhalf expertly controlling territory.
In a first half dogged by penalties, Ennis were twice camped on the Mallow line and were unlucky not to come away with at least one try when Liam Ryan went over the line but the ball was adjudged to be held up.
Mallow’s best opportunity of the first half came by way of the boot when a penalty attempt from outside the 22 hit the post, which was cleared after prop Jason Smith pounced on the loose ball.
Bryanie Murphy however made no mistake with an impressive penalty to put Ennis ahead after about 20 minutes, a lead which Ennis took into the half-time break despite having prop Liam Ryan sin-binned on 35 minutes after a number of team infringements,.
The second half began well for Ennis, with their strong maul getting the better of Mallow on a number of occasions. After 50 minutes, Ennis finally crossed the whitewash after a line-out take by second-row captain Enda Galvin led to a maul over the Mallow line, with blind-side flanker Stuart Holly getting the try. Murphy put Ennis ahead by 10 with his successful conversion.
A good display from Ennis was capped off by a sustained period of defending their own line, with five minutes of Mallow exertion finally resulting in an Ennis penalty. The home team managed to keep Mallow out for the rest of the game to win 10-0.
Ennis will meet Mallow again in two weeks’ time in the league, after their meeting with Tralee at home next week. They will meet high-flying Junior 1 side Clonmel in the next round of the cup.
Jason Smith, Darragh Commane, Liam Ryan, Enda Galvin, Simon Crawford, Stuart Holly, Frank Coffey, Gary Crowe, Sean Hayes, Bryan Murphy, Conall Curtin, John Brophy, Cian Nugent, Conor Guilfoyle, Cian Guilfoyle
Subs used: Paddy Harding, Ciaran O’Connor