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With an expected early October launch date, the club has entered two teams in Munster League competition. While provincial behemoths like Highfield and Thurles are expected to be strong in all divisions, there has been a tremendous expansion in involvement by previously dormant rural clubs, such as Glenville and Kilworth, adding flavour to the competition.
We've assembled a solid squad of ten for Division Three, led by experienced sportsmen David Forde, Martin Daly and Paddy Vaughan and buttressed by no less than four strong Clarecastle players (Cathal Lynch, Conor Plunkett, Declan and Leo Frawley). Further quality is provided by Mike Brophy, Colum Gavin and Marc O’Donnell. In a very competitive segment of the League but hopes are high that Ennis CBS can be in the shake-up come December.
For the first time, the club will enter a team in Division Five. Last year’s all-conquering Division Six squad will form the nucleus of this squad, augmented by players with higher level experience in Colm Murphy and Mike Curley and the addition of yet another Magpie in Sean Talty. It is hoped that this might be a good blend to maintain a challenge against a packed field of perhaps ten clubs across Munster.

With membership rolls continuing to be fill, it’s almost time for the internal Ladder competition which will run monthly to next May. Offering four guaranteed matches per month, graded to ability, it has proved the engine by which new members, especially, have found a structure to enjoy and improve rapidly. Typically, there are 60 players in five-player divisions and new entrants are always facilitated.

Some intrepid members have been competing in national tournaments – Masters international Mike Conlon and Division Five captain, Andy Loughran, trekked to the Curragh Open and performed creditably against a high-calibre field. Ennis man, Jonathan Rabaey, returned to the scene of his excellent victory last year with a trip to Gleneagles for the Killarney Open – this time in the higher ‘D’ grade and secured a great third spot finish.
Recently the club hosted a selection from Galway L.T.C.. With the clubs operating in different provincial leagues, it was a great chance for the CBS players to test themselves with Munster League competition just a month away.
First on court for the CBS was Kildysart’s Gerry O’Donnell facing Ronan Carey. This was a highly entertaining battle with Carey possessing explosive power and O’Donnell bringing his typically crisp striking to the fore. The games were closely fought on the scoreboard but the CBS man had the edge in consistency to win out. Also on the early kick-off, the ever-improving Mike Brophy took on skilful Masters player, Pat Hanley, of Galway LTC. Brophy started well, his ability to stretch into the four corners proving a boon, and he took the first. Hanley then brought his well-honed technique into play to level matters. Brophy continued to maintain a fast pace and, along with excellent consistency, he took the match.
Other matches that resulted in CBS wins included Alan Guinane, Colm Murphy, Pat McCagh and Michael Curley over, respectively, Domhnall O’Connor, Daniel Allen, Paul Naughton and Luke Murphy.
The eagerly awaited advent of the Frawley Twins return to competitive action was a highlight of the night. Declan took on Dave Lalor of Galway LTC in the searing heat of Court 3, with the Clarecastle man deploying his all-action, power-driven game to good effect. Lalor displayed excellent technical ability, troubling Frawley throughout, but the CBS man’s determined performance could not be denied. Leo Frawley had a titanic battle with the visitors’ Aidan Power, with both men showing a tremendous facility with drop-kills. It went down to the very end of the fourth game before Power pipped the CBS man 15-13.
Regular Munster League players David Forde and Oisin Casey had contrasting fortunes, with Casey’s tremendous driving and volley-kills giving him the upper hand on Robert Reilly, while Forde had to give best in a tough battle with Eoin Lynch.
This left three mouth-watering contests at the top of the order. First up, regular guest at Ennis CBS, Neil Brannigan of the Curragh Club took on the promising young tyro from Galway, Niall Brennan. This was a tremendous contest with the well-trained Brennan providing durable in the rallies, while Brannigan’s powerful strokes were very well judged throughout. Brannigan took the win, while Brennan (17) is definitely one to watch.
Local favourite, Fergie O’Loughlin, took on Andre Davis. Davis, well experienced on the National circuit, settled well and took the first. Then, the Clarecastle man began to dominate, combining powerful cross-courts and concise touch-play to level matters. The games remained very competitive but O’Loughlin just had the edge in terms of precision to take an excellent 3-1 win.
The final match saw regular visitor, Keith Moran, tog out for the CBS taking on the might of John Rooney of Galway LTC. As you would expect, the standard was superb with both men parrying the ferocious driving of the other, while peppering the play with inch-perfect drops. Rooney won out in the end, the large crowd showing their appreciation for their sterling efforts.
Overall, it was a great chance for Ennis CBS to foster links with a neighbouring club and, certainly, it proved a terrific starting-gun to the new season!
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