Ballincollig 8 -
John O’Brien breaks through the gap for the first try in Waterpark’s win over Ballincollig in Cork on Sunday.
MUNSTER JUNIOR LEAGUE DIVISION 2
With last week’s Munster Junior Cup defeat still ringing in their ears, Park made the trip on Sunday afternoon to Tanner Park, Ballincollig to take on the home side and after a tentative first half which saw them in front by 3-10, they cut loose in the second period and clocked up a further 28 points to secure the victory and the vital winning bonus point. This win now see’s Park consolidate their position at the top of their league with ten wins from ten and also opens up a ten point gap over their nearest pursuers St. Mary’s from Limerick who had their game postponed this weekend.
Park started well and within ten minutes had seven points on the board throughout-half, John O’Brien, who made a lovely break just on the Ballincollig 22 to split the defence and cross for the try which Alex Molloy converted. The home side hit back 20 minutes later with a penalty to reduce the gap to 3-7, but just on the stroke of half time, Molloy added a penalty to put Park ahead by 3-10 at the break. The second half was only five minutes old when after a wonderful movement between backs and forwards ended with centre, Paddy Kiersey, going over in the corner and with a magnificent strike from the touchline Molloy split the posts to add the extra two points and his side ahead at 3-17.
On the hour mark an enforced substitution saw prop, Tom Lynch, come on in place of the injured Noel Roche and with virtually his first touch of the ball had crossed for his sides third try after a great box kick by scrumhalf, Conor Molloy was gathered by winger, Scott Hornibrook who made ground into the opposition 22 where he found Lynch on his shoulder in support and the livewire prop burst over in the corner. Again another superb kick by Molloy added the extras and the margin increased to 3-24.
Five minutes later and with Park in possession inside their own 22, a lapse of concentration allowed the home side turnover the ball from which they crossed the Park line for their first try to pull back five points at 8-24. With Park now in full control and ten minutes left to play a series of pick and drives brought play up to the Ballincollig line after which Rory Hannon emerged from the maul to go over for Park’s fourth try which Molloy also converted to put twentythree points between the sides at 8-31. Not only did this try put the game beyond the grasp of the home side, it also secured the vital bonus point which could be crucial at the finish of this league.
With time almost up a great blockdown and chase by Paddy Kiersey saw the centre gather the ball, but unfortunately it fell from his grasp just as he was about to touch it down. From the resultant five metre scrum the Park forwards had the home side under all kinds of pressure, which allowed number eight David O’Donoghue snap up the loose ball and barge over from close in for the final try of the game and the unerring boot of Molloy steered the ball between the posts to register his sixth successful strike of the afternoon and the final score at 8-38 in favour of the visitors.
This was a huge improvement from last week and it was obvious to see that everybody was in the right frame of mind for this tricky encounter. It was also great to see the return of Connor Molloy and David Pierce, back from injury and taking the field in their first start since early December last. There are only three games left with the only away trip being Charleville on 5th. March next. The winning of this league is there for the taking and its destiny is in your own hands.