Tipperary South side Cashel celebrated winning fifteen out of fifteen games at a bright,but blustery Spafield to take the Division 2 B title by a fourteen point margin, but they would readily admit that they were rather fortunate to beat a fighting Rainey Old Boys team 20-17.
Rainey were the better side for much of this contest,but their inability to kick goals and guarantee lineout ball on their throw was to cost them and they and their supporters were infuriated by a succession of ridiculous decisions.A number of Cashel players should have been shown the yellow card in the first half for using every trick in the book to contain a lively Rainey side.Three home players were sin-binned eventually as the away fans continued to vent their rage at the match official.As it turned out,this result deprived Rainey of a play-off spot,but they can still be well pleased with their overall campaign in which they scored 46 tries.
In a bright opening, prop O’Kane punched a hole in midfield, but Shiels was unable to take Sciascia’s pass. After nine minutes, Cashel kicked a penalty on reaching the Rainey 22′ for the first time.Eight minutes later,they struck again with a freak score.Rainey won a scrum on halfway,but the ball squirted out and was snapped up by a Cashel back-row man whose path to the posts was wide open.
Rainey out-half Martin pushed a kick from 45 yards past the post and was then tackled as he went for a high ball.The tackler was not even spoken to.On several occasions they established good field positions,but failed to get it right at the lineout.Their superior scrummaging helped them to force Cashel back and centre Damien Mc Murray broke a tackle to go in for a fine try after 26 minutes.Sciascia then pushed through a little grubber kick and was obstructed,but the referee blew for a knock-on.Late in the half,Cashel conceded penalties to keep Rainey at bay,but when Sciascia delayed putting the ball into an unsteady scrum,he was quickly penalised,leaving them trailing 10-5 at the interval.
Seven minutes into the second half,a converted try from O’Kane gave Rainey a deserved lead and their ball handling at close quarters had Cashel reeling.Cashel regained the lead with a penalty before Martin was short with an attempt.Cashel threatened for almost the first time as the game moved into the final quarter and they created an overlap on the right to score a good try.Throwing caution to the wind,Rainey moved the ball about with confidence and might well have scored before a quickly taken penalty brought Sciascia a try after 73 minutes.Rainey poured through the middle and moved it wide to earn a penalty which they kicked to the corner.Unfortunately,their lineout play let them down again.
FORSTER CUP FINAL DUNGANNON 4 20-17 RAINEY O.B. 3
Half-time Dungannon 15-7 Rainey
Rainey scorers – M.Walls 2 tries,1 pen.,1 con., C.Moran 1 con.
Rainey led 17-15 after 58 mins. A forward pass cost Rainey a try which probably turned the game in Dungannon’s favour.
Dungannon’s lineout dominance enabled them to close out the match.