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Kinsale : 7 Vs Ballincollig : 20
u18.5s South Munster League ...  Round Semi Final @ Ballincollig on Saturday 19 January 2019

Kinsale u18.5s traveled to Ballincollig this morning to take them on in the Semi-Final of the South Munster U18 League. The winners of the game were going to be facing Cork Constitution who beat Old Christians 25-0 last night. It was a foggy morning in Ballincollig when Kinsale arrived, with the sun that was shining at home trying to break through with no wind at all. The fog began to clear up and as kick-off approached it was all but gone.

There were a few changes to the Kinsale team from the previous game, some enforced and some down to squad rotation with big games coming thick and fast. Denis 'Puppet' Collins also returned to the side-lines having missed last week’s game due to other commitments. Ballincollig kicked off the game and tried to go on the attack. Kinsale however had other plans and immediately pushed the home side back into their own half. The opening 20 minutes was mainly played in the Ballincollig half, with the only time the ball went into the Kinsale half was when Ballincollig kicked to clear. From the resulting line-out Kinsale formed a maul and pushed Ballincollig right back into their own half again. Kinsale were also showing some strong rucking skills and worked through some phases of play. The first opportunity to put points on the board came 24 minutes in when Kinsale were rewarded a penalty and Calum Fennel stepped up to put 3 points on the board. Immediately from the restart Kinsale had Ballincollig back in their own half again and continued with their game plan. 12 minutes later and Fennel doubled their lead with another penalty. Right at the end of half time Ballincollig managed to get into the Kinsale half for the second time and were rewarded a penalty which was missed. The half time score had Kinsale deservedly up 6-0.

Both teams re-grouped at half time and it was Kinsale who re-started. Ballincollig needed to get back into this game and put the pressure on Kinsale. However, 3 minutes in and it was Kinsale who had the chance to increase the lead from a penalty but despite the kick being on target, Calum Fennel didn’t have enough power to get the distance on it. Ballincollig were trying their hardest to put Kinsale on the back foot and were playing better in the 2nd half with Kinsale being put under more pressure. Kinsale kept their positions and put in some tackles to stop Ballincollig from making too much headway. 10 minutes into the 2nd half as Ballincollig were trying to play their way out of their own half Kinsale blocked down a kick and managed to get through for a try but it was called back. Both teams began to use their benches at this stage to try to swing advantage their way. 22 minutes into the game and Kinsale once again managed to break down Ballincolligs play through Faelan Stewart who managed to kick the ball in behind the home side defence as he was tackled for Conall Gilleran to use his pace to run past the Ballincollig players pick up the ball and put it down for the first try of the game. 0-11 to the away team. Fennel converted to make it 13 points for Kinsale. Ballincollig were rightly under pressure at this stage with 13 minutes left to seal their place in the final. Ballincollig pushed forward and began to put pressure on the Kinsale backs and 5 minutes later they were back in the game with a converted try to make it 7-13. The home side now had the confidence that they could break down this resolute Kinsale side and from the restart the put the pressure back on Kinsale. Despite Ballincollig pushing Kinsale right back to their own try line as they looked for another try, it was Kinsale who got the next score as Dan Graham managed to break through and ran over half the pitch to seal the win for the away team with 34 minutes on the clock. Fennel converted to make it 7-20. Play restarted and Kinsale held Ballincollig off to seal this Semi-Final win to book their place in the final. It was no more than what was deserved as each and every player gave their all during the game. 20-7 to Kinsale and a place in the final vs Cork Constitution.

Post-match Denis "Puppet" Collins stated "I thought it was an excellent performance. We controlled the game well. We rotated the squad this week and were rewarded with excellent performances by the lads". He went on to say "The group would like to thank the supporters who give us a lift each and every week. We now prepare for the Munster Cup fixture away to Young Munster next week."

Well done to all involved.