Instonians yield senior status to Kanturk

Kanturk celebrate their promotion into the All Ireland League
Kanturk celebrate their promotion into the All Ireland League

Instonians coach Wilbur Leacock felt his side’s lack of experience had contributed to their relegation to rugby.

Inst lost in the playoff 24-13 to Kanturk with the Cork side replacing Leacock’s men in Division 2B next season.

Inst have finished second bottom into Division 2B having won three matches all season but confidence had been lifted with last Saturday’s victory at Suttonians.

Kanturk had won the Munster Junior League and had only lost one game, in the round robin beating Clogher Valley to book their place in the playoff as they finished runners up behind Wanderers.

It sets up an intriguing Kukri Section One battle next season for the two tennants at the Shaw’s Bridge Sports Association when Instonians will meet Cooke in two huge derby games.

Reflecting on the defeat to Kanturk, Leacock said: “We’re a young side and we have shown that again maybe we don’t have the knowhow and noose to grind out a win.

“I thought the first 10 minutes they couldn’t deal with us and then we gave away a soft try.

“That just took us out of our rhythm and then after that I thought they were the better side.

“But the three tries we gave away were very soft, in these big games it is the team that makes the less mistakes and they probably made less than us.

“We had enough ball but the last third of the pitch has just killed us this year.”

Leacock was disappointed with the first try Inst gave away.

“We just shot the line and they have just come through and it was a really soft try, we had all the momentum at that stage then the boys got a bit deflated and they lifted their game.”

Leacock had no complaints over winger Jack Carlisle’s yellow card on 27 minutes.

“He had his eyes on the ball but you can’t play somebody in the air now, it was a straight yellow card and could have been red, we did well with 14 men as we didn’t concede but you have to keep your discipline.”

Inst only trailed by four points at the interval.

“With the slope and wind in the second half I thought the game was there for the taking.

“We had a great kick off but our lineout didn’t function, we scrummed well but the lineout was really poor and that cost us.

“Anytime we got pressure on there was a miss throw or a poor lift and you can’t win a game without a decent set piece.”

The game looked over at 17-6 but Kanturk had winger Keelan Buckley binned and Inst got back into it.

Leacock said: “There was a bit of belief and I thought we’d nick it but they played well, they kicked well and we didn’t really deal with it, they did the basics well, tackled well and lived off our mistakes.

“We struggled to make decisions on the pitch and that what has killed us this season.

“We just lack experience, we lack a bit of game management and knowledge just to say right lets play the game in their half and we probably played too much rugby in our own half against Kanturkand that with a couple of soft tries has cost us the game.”

Leacock is hoping to bring reinforcements in over close season and challenge to regain Inst senior status next season.

“We are trying to build a sustainable club and it was never going to be easy, we’re down into junior rugby and we’ll sit down and have a meeting next week and see where we go from here.”

“I hope we can keep the nucleus of the squad because we have worked hard in getting a good club built and a good group of young players and hopefully we can keep it together.”