Ireland Hockey World Cup Qualification Piece: The Tallaght Echo (Online) – October 23 2021

Mixed results for Ireland hockey teams in World Cup qualifiers

Daire Walsh

There were mixed fortunes for Ireland’s premier international hockey sides in their respective World Cup qualifiers earlier today.

Whereas the women’s team – coached by Sean Dancer – reached the final stage of their qualification tournament with a gutsy 3-2 victory over Belarus in Italy, their male counterparts suffered an agonising penalty shootout elimination at the hands of Wales in a pulsating encounter in Cardiff.

Having reached the showpiece decider at the last World Cup in 2018 and competed at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, the expectation levels for the Ireland women’s hockey team have significantly risen in the past few years.

Although former Glenanne and Loreto head coach Graham Shaw has moved on to manage the New Zealand women, Dancer continues to call upon a number of local stars at the international grade.

Knocklyon native Sarah Torrans was named in the starting line-up earlier today, while Loreto netminder Liz Murphy and Deirdre Duke (formerly of Three Rock Rovers in Rathfarnham) were listed amongst the substitutes.

Ireland were determined to set their stall out in this game and sent out an early statement during an action-packed beginning to the contest.

Lena Tice and Anna O’Flanagan both rattled the net to give the Green Army a 2-0 advantage inside the opening four minutes.

Belarus responded quickly through Sviatlana Bahushevich, however, and Ryta Batura subsequently fired home to wipe out the Irish lead.

They threw down the gauntlet to the 2018 finalists, but UCD’s Niamh Carey came up with the goods on 48 minutes to swing the outcome in their favour.

As a result, the Ireland women are just 60 minutes away from qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Spain and the Netherlands.

Wales will provide the opposition in tomorrow’s tournament decider, which gets underway at 3.30pm Irish time.

They will be hoping for greater luck against the Welsh than the Ireland men’s hockey team after they were cruelly denied a spot at the 2023 World Cup in India by their Celtic rivals this afternoon.

His country’s all-time top-scorer with 110 goals, Knocklyon man Shane O’Donoghue was part of a game Irish effort on the day.

Like the Ireland women before them, they couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Following a superb turnover by John McKee, Michael Robson found the net with just two minutes gone on the clock.

Ireland remained in the ascendancy at the end of the first-quarter, before Wales eventually fought back with a goal from Joseph Naughalty on 19 minutes.

This left the tie finely balanced and with so much at stake, it was always unlikely to turn into a goal fest.

Mark Tumilty’s charges attacked in waves as the final whistle approached, but the Welsh defence held firm under intense pressure.

This ensured penalties would be required to determine a winner of this crunch encounter.

Unfortunately, with captain Sean Murray the only one to find the target, Ireland ultimately fell to a heart-breaking 2-1 defeat in the shootout.

Posted in Hockey | Comments Off on Ireland Hockey World Cup Qualification Piece: The Tallaght Echo (Online) – October 23 2021

All-Ireland League Feature: Patrick Campbell (Young Munster) – The Irish Examiner – October 23 2021

All-Ireland winning footballer Patrick Campbell turning heads in new rugby role

A native of Rochestown in Cork, Campbell opted to leave his home county in order to study law and accounting at the University of Limerick.

Following his graduation from Presentation Brothers College last summer, Patrick Campbell made a couple of big decisions in regards to the academic and sporting sides of his life.

A native of Rochestown in Cork, Campbell opted to leave his home county in order to study law and accounting at the University of Limerick.

Additionally, he chose to pursue a path in rugby over Gaelic football, despite being a central figure in Cork’s All-Ireland minor-winning side of 2019. Given its close proximity to UL and their status as an Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A club, Young Munster were a natural fit for Campbell as he looked to make rugby his primary sporting focus.

Although placing Gaelic Games on the back burner was a decision he didn’t take lightly, he is happy with the call he made.

“I sat down with my parents and some of the coaches I had at the time for rugby,” Campbell explained.

“We had a chat about it and had a long think about it. I think it was the best option for me and is still going well for me now.”

It has been a case of so far, so good for Campbell and Young Munster this season, with the Cookies posting three consecutive wins in the All-Ireland League and lifting the Munster Senior Cup for the first time since 2010.

The teenager has been a regular fixture at full-back in their blistering start to the campaign and crossed the whitewash in a magnificent away victory against Cork Constitution, a fortnight ago.

“A lot of my family were there from Cork and a lot of my friends were there. It was only a run-in from 5m for the try, but it’s always nice to score. I’m really lucky the management had the trust to throw me into the starting team in the first match. I’m grateful to the lads for accepting me to fulfil that role. Hopefully I can drive on and the rest of us can drive on for the remainder of the season.”

Having gone close to a year without playing a game —largely due to the pandemic — before joining forces with Young Munster, Campbell admits adapting to senior rugby hasn’t always been easy.

“It’s obviously a big difference going from when you’re playing with lads your age all the way up, to playing with lads who are 10, 11 years older than you. There’s a huge physical difference. I just try to play my own game and do what I normally do. I think that’s working out for me at the moment.”

Having made a number of appearances for the Munster development team this season, Campbell is seeking to make the grade at provincial level. He is also eligible for next year’s Ireland U20 squad.

Young Munster head coach Gearoid Prendergast believes he is more than capable of pushing to the next level.

“He’s such a good runner and very dangerous on the counter-attack. He has a good kicking game and a really good reader of the game as well. From a competency perspective he ticks a lot of boxes,” said Prendergast.

“He’s hugely exciting and he’s definitely one to keep an eye on. I’m hoping he’ll push through now into the Munster Academy and, please God, the Ireland U20s later this season.”

Posted in European Rugby, Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Feature: Patrick Campbell (Young Munster) – The Irish Examiner – October 23 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – The Irish Times – October 23 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College crowned champions

Blackrock College miss out on victory by four points at Energia Park

Newbridge College 19 Blackrock College 15

Paddy Taylor amassed a personal tally of 14 points at Energia Park on Friday as Newbridge College were crowned Leinster Schools Junior Cup champions at the expense of Blackrock College.

After both of these schools had shared the junior title in 2020 – following the cancellation of their final meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic – this decider offered one of them an opportunity to win the competition outright.

Thanks to eight points from the boot of Taylor – and a well-worked try from Todd Lawlor – the Kildare school found themselves 13-0 in front at the break. ‘Rock fought back on the resumption with five-pointers by Jack Angulo and Brian O’Flaherty, but it wasn’t enough to deny Newbridge a superb victory.

Scorers  Newbridge College: T Lawlor try, P Taylor 4 pens, con. Blackrock College: J Angulo, B O’Flaherty try each, C O’Shaughnessy pen, con

Newbridge College: T Lawlor; D Cosgrave, C Mangan, C Murphy; A Magee; P Taylor, D Connolly; T Kelly, JR Walsh, B Bohan; J Dennis, C Hanly; J Montgomery, R Munnelly, P Forde

Replacements: M Wilson for Walsh (52)

Blackrock College: B O’Flaherty; C Dennehy-Vazquez, D Moloney, C Woodcock, C Molony; C O’Shaughnessy, S Shortt; D Grehan, J Pollard, N Smyth; T Butler, D McGuire; H McCarthy, M Walsh, J Angulo.

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – The Irish Times – October 23 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – The Irish Examiner – October 23 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup: Paddy Taylor kicks Newbridge College to glory

After both of these schools had shared the junior title in 2020 this decider offered one of them an opportunity to win the competition outright

Newbridge College 19 Blackrock College 15

Paddy Taylor amassed a personal tally of 14 points at Energia Park on Friday as Newbridge College were crowned Leinster Schools Junior Cup champions at the expense of Blackrock College.

Thanks to eight points from the boot of Taylor – and a well-worked try from Todd Lawlor – the Kildare school found themselves 13-0 in front at the break. ‘Rock fought back on the resumption with five-pointers by Jack Angulo and Brian O’Flaherty, but it wasn’t enough to deny Newbridge a superb victory.

After both of these schools had shared the junior title in 2020 – following the cancellation of their final meeting due to the Covid-19 pandemic – this decider offered one of them an opportunity to win the competition outright.

While ‘Rock started the game brightly with strong carries from O’Flaherty and Thomas Butler, Newbridge subsequently found their feet in fine style. Taylor had contributed 63 points en route to this showpiece and the captain got his side up and running with a brace of penalties either side of the first-quarter mark.

Dave Brew’s charges were visibly growing in confidence and when Taylor added the bonuses to Lawlor’s five-pointer on the stroke of the interval, they were firmly in the driving seat.

Blackrock needed a strong start to the second half in order to keep their hopes alive and they got it when skipper Angulo drove over the whitewash after gathering possession at the back of a line-out maul.

Momentum appeared to be with ‘Rock when Conor O’Shaughnessy registered five unanswered points off the kicking tee, but Taylor and Newbridge had other ideas.

Following two more penalties from the dynamic number 10, the Lilywhites were nine points clear (19-10) with the finishing line in sight. O’Flaherty’s unconverted finish set-up a nerve-jangling finale, but Newbridge ultimately came away with the top prize.

Scorers for Newbridge College: T Lawlor try, P Taylor 4 pens, con.

Scorers for Blackrock College: J Angulo, B O’Flaherty try each, C O’Shaughnessy pen, con.

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: T Lawlor; D Cosgrave, C Mangan, C Murphy; A Magee; P Taylor, D Connolly; T Kelly, JR Walsh, B Bohan; J Dennis, C Hanly; J Montgomery, R Munnelly, P Forde.

Replacement: M Wilson for Walsh (52).

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: B O’Flaherty; C Dennehy-Vazquez, D Moloney, C Woodcock, C Molony; C O’Shaughnessy, S Shortt; D Grehan, J Pollard, N Smyth; T Butler, D McGuire; H McCarthy, M Walsh, J Angulo.

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – The Irish Examiner – October 23 2021

FAI Cup Semi-Final: St Patrick’s Athletic V Dundalk – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – October 22 2021

Saints to face Bohs in Cup decider after overcoming Dundalk in Inchicore

St Patrick’s Athletic will face Bohemians in next month’s FAI Cup final after the Saints recorded a 3-1 triumph over Dundalk at Richmond Park this evening.

Following traded goals between Billy King and Patrick Hoban, the sides were tied at the midway point in this penultimate round contest.

However, it was the hosts who discovered an extra gear in the second half with Matty Smith and Darragh Burns finding the net to seal a magnificent success.

The two sides on show in this game have endured contrasting fortunes in the league this season.

Whereas Pat’s are currently positioned in second with a haul of 53 points, Dundalk are 14 points behind the south Dubliners in seventh.

This tie was always likely to take on a life on its own, but it was the home team who broke the deadlock on 26 minutes.

Following a loose back pass by Dundalk midfielder Greg Sloggett, King pounced and unleashed a powerful right-footed strike beyond the reach of netminder Peter Cherrie.

Although this was a major morale boost for Stephen O’Donnell’s outfit, the visitors struck back four minutes prior to the interval.

After he was picked out by Will Patching in space, Hoban fired home his 19th goal of the season to leave the teams deadlocked at the break.

Given their opponents have an impeccable recent record in semi-finals – they were seeking a seventh successive final spot – there might have been a fear amongst the Saints faithful that the pendulum had swung in Dundalk’s favour.

Their fears were allayed 12 minutes after the restart, however, when Pat’s regained the lead in fine style.

Latching onto a superb through-ball by Burns, Smith – like his fellow Scot King – had only one thought in his mind. From just inside the box, he fired into the top corner at an acute right-hand angle.

This suddenly propelled the Inchicore men back into the driving seat and within sight of a much-coveted showpiece slot.

Robbie Benson, Jason McClelland and Ronan Coughlan were all introduced off the bench as the Saints looked to see out the game.

Coughlan had started the season as the main man in the Pat’s attack, but he made a telling contribution by playing in Burns for a game-clinching goal four minutes from time.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on FAI Cup Semi-Final: St Patrick’s Athletic V Dundalk – The Tallaght Echo (Online) – October 22 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – Leinsterrugby.ie – October 22 2021

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE ARE THE 2021 JUNIOR CUP CHAMPIONS

Newbridge College 19 Blackrock College 15

By Daire Walsh

Paddy Taylor amassed a personal tally of 14 points at Energia Park as Newbridge College were crowned Bank Of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup champions at the expense of Blackrock College.

Thanks to eight points from the boot of Taylor – and a well-worked try from Todd Lawlor – the Kildare school found themselves 13-0 in front at the break. ‘Rock fought back on the resumption with five-pointers by Jack Angulo and Brian O’Flaherty, but it wasn’t enough to deny Newbridge a superb victory.

Having shared the title at this grade in 2020 – after their final meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – it was quite apt that Newbridge and Blackrock were the teams that advanced to this year’s decider.

While both teams played a free-flowing, attacking style in their respective victories at the penultimate stage (Newbridge overcame Castleknock College, while ‘Rock saw off the challenge of fellow Dubliners Terenure College), this was expected to be a much tighter affair.

Courtesy of powerful carries from Niall Smyth, Thomas Butler and full-back O’Flaherty, ‘Rock were establishing an early foothold in the game. Their Kildare counterparts were digging deep in defence, but found themselves under the cosh when Conor O’Shaughnessy kicked a ‘Rock penalty to the corner on the stroke of 10 minutes.

However, Newbridge secured possession off the ensuing line-out and consequently broke the deadlock three minutes later.

Team captain Taylor came into the contest on the back of superb form in their previous successes over Belvedere College and Castleknock College. The out-half contributed 24 in his side’s quarter-final win at the expense of Belvo, before amassing a personal tally of 18 points in the latter fixture.

His dead-ball prowess was in full display during these convincing triumphs and he made no mistake by slotting a penalty from a left-hand angle between the posts. Newbridge grew in confidence as a result of this deadlock-breaker and were increasingly forcing the ‘Rock defence on the back-foot.

Additional pressure from the Newbridge pack led to another penalty just outside the ‘Rock ’22’ with just under 21 minutes gone on the clock. Taylor once again stepped up to the kicking tee and proceeded to double the ‘Bridge lead with minimal fuss.

As a result of these scores, Dave Brew’s charges visibly grew in confidence. Although ‘Rock did their utmost to respond, they were increasingly forced on the back-foot as the interval quickly approached.

Newbridge were moving through their attacking phases with patience and composure, and were given their just reward when full-back Lawlor touched down from a kick in behind on the half-hour mark.

This try was supplemented by a Taylor bonus strike to offer Newbridge a 13-0 cushion as they headed into the dressing rooms at the break.

While this put ‘Bridge in a strong position, there was still time for ‘Rock to edge back into contention. A strong start to the second period was required if the Williamstown school had designs on coming away with the silverware and that is precisely what they managed.

Gathering the ball at the back of a line-out deep inside enemy territory, ‘Rock skipper Angulo showed great acceleration to break over the whitewash in devastating fashion. O’Shaughnessy’s conversion added fresh impetus for the Metropolitan outfit and the same player cut their deficit to three points by dissecting the uprights off a 42nd-minute penalty.

Momentum appeared to be with ‘Rock at this juncture, but Taylor and Newbridge had other ideas. Having featured in their memorable 2020 campaign, the dynamic number 10 was determined to add another medal to his list of personal accolades.

He maintained his 100 per cent record off the kicking tee with a fourth successful effort on 44 minutes. This presented Newbridge with some much-needed breathing space and there was to be further joy for the Lilywhites inside the final-quarter.

After Calum Murphy had initiated an attack with a superb interception on the halfway line, Taylor added three more points to his already-impressive haul to leave Newbridge within touching distance of the crown.

This latest place-kick coincided with the sin-binning of ‘Rock out-half O’Shaughnessy. While he struck a penalty off-target upon his return, he was instrumental in his team’s second try five minutes from the end.

Following an excellent spell inside the Newbridge ’22’, O’Shaughnessy and Cian Dennehy-Vazquez combined for O’Flaherty to dot down on the right-flank. O’Shaughnessy couldn’t supply the extras from a tight-angle, but a tantalising conclusion lay in store nonetheless.

However, Newbridge kept their composure and – instead of kicking to touch with the hope of securing a line-out – they opted for a scrum off a 59th-minute penalty. This allowed them to retain possession until the very end of the game.

When the ball was eventually lofted into the stands, the passionate Newbridge supporters were sent into raptures.

Scorers – Newbridge College: Todd Lawlor try, Paddy Taylor 4 penalties, 1 conversion. Blackrock College: Jack Angulo, Brian O’Flaherty try each, Conor O’Shaughnessy 1 penalty, 1 conversion.

Newbridge College: Todd Lawlor; Dara Cosgrave, Ciarán Mangan, Calum Murphy, Ardin Magee; Paddy Taylor, Daniel Connolly; Tadhg Kelly, John R Walsh (Max Wilson 52), Billy Bohan; Jack Dennis, Conor Hanly; Josh Montgomery, Ruairí Munnelly, Patrick Forde.

Blackrock College: Brian O’Flaherty; Cian Dennehy-Vazquez, Derry Moloney, Charlie Woodcock, Charlie Molony; Conor O’Shaughnessy, Seb Shortt; Donie Grehan, Jack Pollard, Niall Smyth; Thomas Butler, Donnacha McGuire; Hubie McCarthy, Michael Walsh, Jack Angulo.

 

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Junior Cup Final: Newbridge College V Blackrock College – Leinsterrugby.ie – October 22 2021

Ireland Sevens Allianz Partnership Announcement: Billy Dardis – The42.ie – October 22 2021

Short Olympic lead-in led to Ireland 7s’ Tokyo drift, says Billy Dardis

The men’s side had to settle for 10th spot in Japan.

IRELAND MEN’s 7s captain Billy Dardis believes the ‘emotional and physical’ toll that qualification took on his team had a large bearing on their frustrating performances at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Following a superb triumph at a World Repechage Tournament in Monaco on 20 June, Dardis and his international colleagues made history by becoming the first Irish rugby side to qualify for the Olympics.

Just over a month later – on 26 July, to be exact – Anthony Eddy’s squad began their campaign in the Japanese capital with a group stage defeat to South Africa. They eventually had to settle for a 10th place finish overall and while Dardis initially felt the short build-up to the Summer Games was going to be an advantage for Ireland, it ultimately proved to be a hindrance.

“At the time I was thinking about it as positively as I could,” Dardis says. “We were probably a month ahead of people because we were preparing for Monaco in June, whereas they were preparing for July. I thought we were riding a bit of a wave of momentum going into the Olympics, on the back of Monaco. I thought we were in a good spot.

“The emotional and physical toll that Monaco took, there was a physical and mental hangover from that. We went over there and things just didn’t really click for us. Things weren’t sticking, passes weren’t sticking to hand. It was incredibly frustrating. A real bitter pill to swallow afterwards. I just think with the qualifying tournament being so close to it, it didn’t really help.”

Dardis was speaking yesterday at an event to mark the announcement of Allianz’s three-year partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland. This new arrangement is set to span two games; next year’s Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

While the latter tournament will be a focus for Dardis and the Ireland 7s in time, there is also the small matter of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September 2022.

Since finishing ninth at the most recent edition of this global tournament – held three years ago in San Francisco – the Ireland men have become a core nation on the World Series stage. For previous World Cups, teams could qualify through their results on this circuit with four places being allocated to those who hadn’t already been granted an automatic place in the finals.

However, this is no longer the case and the 16 qualification spots that remain will instead be determined from six continental championships. This isn’t ideal from Dardis’ point of view, but is something that he is willing to embrace nonetheless.

“We were actually quite excited about it being from the World Series because it meant that we have something to play for all year and it actually brings out the best in you. It also would have meant that, come the summer, we might have gotten a bit of a break before the World Cup. So we would have gotten a bit of time off just after the World Series.

“I’m not 100% sure what the process is because we didn’t actually play in Rugby Europe last year. There’s still a bit of uncertainty, but I usually just go with the flow. That’s the brilliant thing about Sevens that I’ve found since I’ve gone into the set-up. Every year, every summer there’s something to play for. We’ve something to try and qualify for.”

After an absence of 18 months, the Ireland Men’s 7s were finally back in World Series action last month with back-to-back tournaments in Vancouver and Edmonton. Dardis featured in the second leg of this Canada Sevens double-header and led out a squad that is very much in transition.

In the wake of the Tokyo Olympics, the likes of Greg O’Shea, Adam Leavy (brother of Leinster and Ireland back-row Dan), Foster Horan and Harry McNulty made the decision to step away from the Sevens programme.

This has opened the door for a plethora of hopefuls, including Chris Cosgrave and Shane Jennings from this year’s Ireland U20s set-up. As strange as it is to see his long-standing team-mates moving onto other challenges – some of them have pursued options outside of sport – he has been reinvigorated by the injection of young blood to the system ahead of the new World Series season kicking off at the end of November.

“There are some really good players. Shane Jennings seems like a young Robbie Henshaw, he seems to have it all. He’s quite a naturally good footballer. I am sure that he’s been made well aware by [Connacht head coach] Andy Friend, who would be familiar with Sevens, that if you play well in Sevens it can put you in a good spot for 15s.

“I think we have seen that with the likes of Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O’Brien, Rob Baloucoune, Shane Daly and Nick Timoney. For young lads who have come into the system over the last few months, hopefully they can look at them for some inspiration in and around what you can get out of Sevens over the next few months.

“Hopefully they can get some World Series experience. It’s pretty tough in the World Series and the more experience they can get at that level the better,” Dardis added.

Daire Walsh

Posted in International Rugby | Comments Off on Ireland Sevens Allianz Partnership Announcement: Billy Dardis – The42.ie – October 22 2021

Leinster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Final: Newbridge College V Castleknock College – The Kildare Nationalist – October 19 2021

RUGBY: LEINSTER SCHOOLS JUNIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL

Cosgrave And Taylor Send Newbridge Into Final

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE 53

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE 14

By Daire Walsh

PATRICK Taylor and Dara Cosgrave combined for 33 points at Energia Park last Thursday to propel Newbridge College towards an emphatic triumph over Castleknock College in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup semi-final.

A hat-trick hero in Newbridge’s quarter-final success over Belvedere College, the outstanding Taylor contributed a brace of tries and four conversions in another clinical individual display. The elusive Cosgrave matched his team-mate’s previous exploits, crossing the whitewash on three occasions over the course of the hour.

Ciarán Mangan, Ruairí Munnelly and Paddy Martin were also amongst the tries as Dave Brew’s charges comfortably advanced to face Blackrock College in this Friday’s decider at the same venue. Having seen their proposed final meeting in March 2020 cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these two sides are expected to serve up a mouthwatering encounter.

Newbridge initially found themselves under pressure from Castleknock, who had defeated CBS Monkstown in the last-eight. The southern county outfit subsequently discovered their groove, however, and broke the deadlock on seven minutes.

Following a superb link-up with half-back partner Daniel Connolly, Taylor sprinted over the line for a clinical deadlock-breaking try. This was an ideal confidence booster for Newbridge and their chances of success increased significantly either side of the first-quarter mark.

After Mangan released Cosgrave for his maiden five-pointer of the contest, Taylor grabbed his second in typically assured fashion. He also added the bonuses to this score, propelling his team into a 17-point lead with as many minutes played.

It was inevitable that Castleknock would come up with some sort of response and it eventually arrived in the form of Max Lavelle’s try off a line-out move. Yet with flanker Munnelly dotting down in similar style, Newbridge brought a commanding 24-7 cushion into the interval.

Already well on the way towards reaching a 10th final at this grade, Newbridge inflicted further damage on their Dublin counterparts after the resumption. At the end of a lung-bursting run, full-back Todd Lawlor passed out wide for Cosgrave to race through for a 33rd-minute finish over the line.

Castleknock tighthead prop John Cadogan did power over the whitewash at the opposite end, but this only provided the eight-time champions with a brief respite. Despite the presence of MU Barnhall head coach Adrian Flavin on the sidelines – he is the school’s Director of Rugby – the pace and power of Newbridge ensured they were chasing the game throughout.

It was Mangan’s turn to get in on the scoring act and his try on 38 minutes increased the gap to 20 points (34-14). Although the outcome was well beyond doubt inside the final-quarter, Newbridge were determined to finish the action in style.

Replacement Martin capped a fine cameo role by rounding off an incisive attack on the left-wing and Mangan doubled his own personal tally moments later. There was just enough time on the clock for Cosgrave to complete his hat-trick, which brought the curtain down on another devastating performance in the Donnybrook venue for a rampant ‘Bridge.

Scorers – Newbridge College: Patrick Taylor 2 tries, 4 conversions, Dara Cosgrave 3 tries, Ciarán Mangan 2 tries, Ruairí Munnelly, Paddy Martin try each. Castleknock College: Max Lavelle, John Cadogan try each, Ben Egenton 2 conversions.

NEWBRIDGE COLLEGE: Todd Lawlor; Dara Cosgrave, Ciarán Mangan, Calum Murphy, Ardin Magee; Patrick Taylor, Daniel Connolly; Tadhg Kelly, John R Walsh, Billy Bohan; Conor Hanly, Jack Dennis; Josh Montgomery, Ruairí Munnelly, Patrick Forde.

Replacements: Paddy Martin for C Murphy (37), Max Wilson for Walsh, Sam O’Loughlin for Kelly, Ross Kenny for Magee (all 49), James Redmond for Hanly, Riain Murphy for Dennis, Jack O’Neill for Montgomery, Christian Barry for Connolly (all 53).

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE: Cian Dowd; Harry Mathews, Ben Egenton, Paraic Gildea, Daire McCarthy; Liam Dillon, Charlie Ward; Robert Niland, Max Lavelle, John Cadogan; Conor Duffy, Ben M Foley; Max Kennedy, Adam Malone, Conan Lennon.

Replacements: Sean Bridson for Malone (30), Tom Powderly for Egenton (42), Colm Barrett for Niland (44), Sean Fitzpatrick for Cadogan (51), Eamon Shanahan for Lavelle, Shane Donohue for Kennedy, Patrick O’Donnell for Mathews, Callum Keane for Dillon (all 53).

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Final: Newbridge College V Castleknock College – The Kildare Nationalist – October 19 2021

FAI Cup Semi-Final Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic V Dundalk – The Tallaght Echo – October 21 2021

FAI CUP SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW: ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC V DUNDALK

By Daire Walsh

St Patrick’s Athletic will be seeking to reach their first FAI Cup decider in seven years when defending champions Dundalk visit Richmond Park for a mouthwatering semi-final encounter tomorrow evening (kick-off 7.45pm).

Since last winning the competition back in 2014 with a 2-0 success over Derry City, the Inchicore men have rarely found themselves in the reckoning for the biggest day in the domestic soccer calendar. Aside from a last-four reversal at the hands of eventual winners Cork City in 2016, the Saints have generally exited the Cup in the early rounds.

Last year saw them bowing out to Finn Harps in the opening phase, but 2021 has been far kinder to Stephen O’Donnell’s charges. Bray Wanderers, Cork and Wexford have already been accounted for and now the three-time victors have Dundalk in their sights.

Despite seeing their league form deteriorating in the past couple of seasons, the Lilywhites have remained a potent force in the FAI Cup. Having missed out on a domestic treble in 2019 by losing to Shamrock Rovers on penalties, the Co Louth outfit bounced back to get the better of the Hoops in an empty Aviva 12 months later.

Filippo Giovagnoli was in charge of the squad for last year’s success, but Tallaght native Vinny Perth is now back at the helm. It is the one trophy he didn’t accrue during his original stint as manager, albeit the club did win it on two occasions when he was assistant to Stephen Kenny.

This is actually the first of two games between these sides in the space of four days with Dundalk returning to Inchicore for a league encounter on Monday evening (kick-off 7.45pm). While that fixture holds an importance for both teams, the chance to line out in another FAI Cup showpiece will be on their minds for the time being.

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on FAI Cup Semi-Final Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic V Dundalk – The Tallaght Echo – October 21 2021

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division Preview: Longford Town V Shamrock Rovers – The Tallaght Echo – October 21 2021

SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW: LONGFORD TOWN V SHAMROCK ROVERS

By Daire Walsh

Runaway leaders Shamrock Rovers will have a golden opportunity to move 16 points clear at the summit of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division when they face Longford Town at Bishopsgate on Saturday evening (kick-off 7.30pm).

Following last Monday’s 1-1 draw with arch rivals Bohemians, Stephen Bradley’s Hoops only need to accrue six points from their remaining five games to ensure the top-flight title resides in Tallaght for a second consecutive season. With their main rivals St Patrick’s Athletic not back in league action until Monday, the holders can edge a step closer to retaining their crown by getting the better of Daire Doyle’s Midlanders.

The gap between the two teams couldn’t be more stark with a defeat away to Drogheda United last Friday confirming the relegation of Longford back down to the First Division – despite them still having six games left to play. All of 52 points separate them from Rovers in the league standings, though this disparity hasn’t been reflected in their head-to-head encounters this year.

While Rovers have claimed maximum points in their three games to date against Longford, they have required stoppage-time winners on each occasion. Having initially fallen behind to a Dylan Grimes penalty in Tallaght on April 17, the hosts ultimately claimed the spoils with a Sean Gannon goal in the 93rd-minute.

They left it even later during their subsequent showdowns with ‘De Town’ on May 29 and August 8 as Rory Gaffney and the now-departed Liam Scales, respectively, found the net in the 95th minute to seal 1-0 wins.

The Hoops have consistently found a way to get over the line during the current campaign, which has elevated them to their present position of strength. Should they do so again this weekend, then a 19th league crown will be almost within their grasp.

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