RICHMOND are in pole position to win the Munster Junior League, ten points clear of nearest rivals Bandon and Newcastle West.
It follows a thrilling top-of-the-table 30-28 victory over Bandon at Canal Bank. The contest was only decided by a last-gasp penalty from Tadhg Bennett.
Bandon dominated the opening half and led 18-12 at the break. Craig Carew and Jeffrey McNamara were first-half try scorers for Richmond, while Bennett kicked a conversion. Gearoid O’Leary and Matthew Crowley replied with tries for Bandon and Ben Ridgeway kicked two penalties and a conversion.
Tries by Stephen Collins and Ryan Meagher, along with a conversion and penalty by Bennett had Richmond leading 27-21 with minutes remaining. A penalty by Ridgeway, and a conversion of a second Crowley try edged the visitors ahead, but Bennett’s late kick decided the outcome.
Holders Newcastle West kept their faint hopes alive with a 38-19 home win over neighbours Abbeyfeale.
Seán Murphy scored two tries for the winners, while Cian Mulcahy, Gerald Griffin, and Andrew Mortell registered one each. Alex O’Halloran converted all five tries, and also added a penalty. John Forde, Don Leahy, and Gearóid Scannell scored tries for Abbeyfeale, and Leahy added the extras twice.
On the schools’ front, holders and 12-times winners Crescent College Comprehensive are fancied to account for Árdscoil Rís in the quarter-final of the Munster Senior Cup at Thomond Park this Wednesday, kick-off 2.30pm.
St. Munchin’s, who have won outright on five occasions, are already qualified for the last four.