British & Irish Cup Pool Four: Rotherham Titans V Connacht Eagles – The Irish Independent – October 16 2017

Rotherham rally sinks plucky Eagles

Rotherham 28 Connacht Eagles 23

A second-half rally proved decisive as Rotherham Titans got the better of Connacht A at Clifton Lane.

Following lengthy injury lay-offs, Ireland international Niyi Adeolokun and Fiji’s Naulia Dawai were making their first appearances of the season.

Dawai was keen to make an impression for Mossy Lawler’s men, and after Luke Carty and Ryan traded three-pointers in the early stages, the powerful flanker registered a converted try.

Rotherham restored parity with a well-worked finish from Charlie Maddison, but in addition to eight points from the boot of Carty, a try from Dave Heffernan ensured Connacht entered the second period in a commanding position.

Rotherham worked their way back into contention when Foley dotted down on 54 minutes, and courtesy of Burns’s five-pointer on the hour mark, the Connacht lead was reduced to the minimum.

This set-up a nail-biting conclusion, but after Ryan enhanced his personal tally in the closing moments of an entertaining encounter, Connacht had to be content with a losing bonus point on their journey home.

Rotherham Titans – B Foley; W Hamilton, Y Loizias, L Peters, D Cheshire; C Ryan, F Vieira; T Williams, C Maddison, A Foster; R Louw, G Borrowdale; M Postlethwaite, A Peters, T Burns. Reps: J Murphy, B Palmer, N Opedo, T Willis, W Porter, L Millar, J Cooke.

Connacht – M Byrne; N Adeolokun, S Ili, K Joyce, C de Buitléar; L Carty, C McKeon; D Robertson-McCoy, D Heffernan, JP Cooney; G Thornbury, P Claffey; N Dawai, P Boyle, H Fox. Reps: P O’Toole, C Kenny, N Murray, C Huxford, S Kerins, M Codyre, A Leavy.

Ref – E Williams (WRU).

Posted in British & Irish Cup Rugby | Comments Off on British & Irish Cup Pool Four: Rotherham Titans V Connacht Eagles – The Irish Independent – October 16 2017

British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Doncaster Knights V Leinster ‘A’ – The Irish Independent – October 16 2017

Deegan brace sees off Knights

Doncaster Knights 17 Leinster A 41

Leinster ‘A’ kick-started their British and Irish Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory over Doncaster Knights at Castle Park.

After weathering an early Doncaster storm, Noel McNamara’s charges opened their account with a Conor Dean penalty. The fly-half was also on target on the 27th-minute, and thanks to a brace of converted tries from the impressive Max Deegan, the visitors created daylight between the teams.

However, when a Will Owen try was supplemented by a bonus strike from Limerick native Declan Cusack, the Leinster lead was reduced to 13 points (20-7) in time for the interval.

Following fine build-up play from the hosts, Tyson Lewis crossed for an unconverted score early in the second half.

The Blues regained their composure and placed the outcome beyond doubt with a series of scores. Peter Dooley touched down after an extended move, front-row partner Jeremy Loughman drove over on 68 minutes, followed by a fifth courtesy of full-back Jordan Larmour.

Doncaster responded with a Michael Hills five-pointer, but it was mere consolation against a dominant Leinster ‘A’ outfit.

Doncaster Knights – C Foley; A Bulumakau, L Hayes, W Owen, T Lewis; D Cusack, M Heaney; J Bergmanas, B Hunter, J Sproston; M Challinor, M Eames; S Jones, M Hills, A Carpenter. Reps – C Langdon, C Quigley, I Williams, N Civetta, A Shaw, T James, S Humberstone.

Leinster ‘A’ – J Larmour; H Keenan, J O’Brien, C Frawley, I Fitzpatrick; C Dean, H O’Sullivan; E Byrne, B Byrne, V Abdaladze; M Kearney, J Murphy; P Timmins, W Connors, M Deegan. Reps – R Strauss, P Dooley, J Loughman, O Dowling, N McCarthy, H Byrne, M Silvester.

Ref – A Evans (WRU).

Posted in British & Irish Cup Rugby | Comments Off on British & Irish Cup Pool Two: Doncaster Knights V Leinster ‘A’ – The Irish Independent – October 16 2017

Post-Match Reaction Piece: Leinster V Montpellier – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

‘They showed bravery and courage’ – Leo Cullen heaps praise on his young guns after Montpellier win

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen was relieved after his side began their European Champions Cup campaign with a hard-earned 24-17 bonus-point win over Montpellier.

Ruan Pienaar’s 70th-minute penalty for the visitors set up a tense finale with just seven points between the sides, but despite losing Adam Byrne to the sin-bin for the final five minutes, Leinster hung on.

Second-half tries from man-of-the-match Robbie Henshaw and Barry Daly added to earlier efforts from Joey Carbery and Josh van der Flier for the hosts.

Pleased to pocket five points in a tough Pool 3 which also contains Exeter Chiefs and Glasgow Warriors, Cullen admitted: “I feel very relieved. Exhausted.

“It was pretty stressful watching at times, but we’re reasonably pleased with the overall outcome. It wasn’t pretty at times, but we knew it was going to be a huge challenge.

“For a lot of young guys to step in today, I thought they showed a lot of bravery and courage against some very big, physical individuals. We got a win and we can move on now.”

Leinster were missing Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton and Scott Fardy, and captain Isa Nacewa also hobbled off during the first half, leaving Rhys Ruddock, Devin Toner and man-of-the-match Henshaw to play key leadership roles.

The 22-year-old fly-half Ross Byrne was one of a number of young players to step up, with lock James Ryan and winger Daly making their Champions Cup debuts, and Cullen expects them to benefit from the experience.

“James had done a lot of Scott’s roles during the week,” he added.

“I thought he was very strong in contact, James. He’s a good athlete, good engine. It’s tough trying to take down a lot of those big guys, but I thought he did well.

“Again, that’s why Barry Daly got picked, because he’s able to score tries. I thought he was really good the way he finished.

“It’s a huge step up for those guys. Guys are coming in for their first games here in Europe, so they’re only going to get better for that experience.”

Meanwhile, Montpellier forwards coach Nathan Hines filled in for head coach Vern Cotter, who was unable to travel due to personal reasons.

A try in each half from their bulldozing Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo, coupled with Pienaar’s seven-point haul, earned Montpellier a losing bonus point.

“Honestly, we didn’t play the way we planned,” said Hines.

“We’re a bit disappointed with our structure of play and to be honest I think every time we tried to apply pressure, we turned over the ball, or a little bit of indiscipline cost us.

“We can’t afford to make those kind of errors, especially against a team like Leinster who make you pay. We were forced into errors and some were unforced.”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction Piece: Leinster V Montpellier – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

Dublin Senior Football Championship Semi-Final: Ballymun Kickhams V Kilmacud Crokes – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 2-15 KILMACUD CROKES 1-10

Daire Walsh

Dean Rock and Paddy Small were in excellent form at Parnell Park tonight, when Ballymun Kickhams booked their place in the Dublin Senior Football Championship decider with a comfortable semi-final victory over Kilmacud Crokes.

Small (a brother of Sky Blues senior footballer John) helped himself to three points during a productive first-half, and following a well-worked goal from Jason Whelan, Ballymun developed a commanding 1-8 to 0-3 interval cushion.

Indeed, after centre-back Ross O’Carroll was dismissed for a heavy sliding tackle challenge on Dublin star James McCarthy in the 20th-minute, the northside club also held a numerical advantage.

It looked an extremely harsh call and was a pivotal moment in the game.

An expertly-converted Rock penalty opened up a 12-point gap (2-13 to 0-7) with just 11 minutes remaining in the contest, and even though Crokes attacker Mark Vaughan responded with a three-pointer of his own, additional points from Rock and Whelan helped Ballymun towards a 2-15 to 1-10 triumph.

Scorers – Ballymun Kickhams: D Rock (1-0 pen), J Whelan 1-2 each, P Small 0-5, K Leahy 0-3, C Keeley, J McCarthy, D Byrne 0-1 each.

Kilmacud Crokes: M Vaughan 1-1, P Mannion 0-3 (2f), C Pearson 0-2, S Horan, P Burke, C O’Connor, A Jones 0-1 each.

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Senior Football Championship Semi-Final: Ballymun Kickhams V Kilmacud Crokes – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

Dublin Senior Football Championship Semi-Final: St Vincent’s V St Jude’s – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

Red cards crucial as St Vincent’s eventually see off 13-man St Jude’s

ST VINCENT’S 4-12 ST JUDE’S 1-12

Daire Walsh

Defending champions St Vincent’s will face Ballymun Kickhams in the final of the Dublin Senior Football Championship, after they got the better of 13-man St Jude’s at Parnell Park this evening.

The Jude’s defence frustrated their opponents for large periods of the opening half, and although Nathan Mullins – son of current Vincent’s manager Brian – claimed a superb solo goal on 20 minutes, four points from the boot of county star Kevin McManamon helped the southside club to remain on level terms (1-4 to 0-7) at the midway point.

This set up a tantalising second half, but after Mark Sweeney and goalkeeper Paul Copeland were red-carded in the 38th and 45th minutes respectively, Jude’s were left with a mountain to climb.

The potent Vincent’s forward line (spearheaded by Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly) were able to take advantage of their numerical supremacy, and subsequent goals from Tomas Quinn, Shane Carthy and Brendan Egan placed the outcome beyond doubt – before Diarmuid McLoughlin secured a late consolation score for Jude’s.

Scorers – St Vincent’s: T Quinn 1-3 (0-3f), S Carthy 1-1, B Egan, N Mullins 1-0 each, E Varley 0-3 (1f), C Diamond, R Trainor 0-2 each, D Connolly 0-1. St Jude’s: K McManamon (3f), N Coakley (1f) 0-4 each, D McLoughlin 1-1, K Doherty 0-2, R O’Brien 0-1.

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Senior Football Championship Semi-Final: St Vincent’s V St Jude’s – Independent.ie – October 14 2017

Leinster Colleges Senior Football Championship Draw: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

GAELIC GAMES: LEINSTER COLLEGES SF

Benildus draw champions in Leinster group

Daire Walsh

ST Benildus College will face title holders St Peter’s, Wexford in the newly-formed group stages of the Leinster Senior Football ‘A’ Championship, after the draw for the competition was made in Croke Park on Tuesday.

In a break from the traditional knockout format, the competing teams have been divided into six groups of three teams each – with the winners of each section being joined by two group teams at the quarter-final stage.

HOLDING

Leinster champions of 2015/16, Benildus, were represented at the draw by Oisin Donnelly, and he believes they are capable of holding their own against both Peter’s and Athlone CC.

“Peter’s obviously won it last year, but I feel we’re able to go out and challenge them. I feel that we’ve a good team this year, and we can go out and can get good results out of the games,” Donnelly remarked.

St Aidan’s CBS were drawn out with St Mel’s, Longford and Patrician Newbridge in Group A, but although they defeated both teams last season, their Whitehall Colmcille star – Brendan Daly – doesn’t expect it to have any bearing when the action gets underway on November 15.

“Between the schools it’s such a turnover of players. It doesn’t really matter who you’ve played or who you haven’t played.

“You might want to beat more teams than others, but I don’t think it really matters,” Daly stated.

Meanwhile, St Fintan’s HS, Sutton were drawn alongside Maynooth PP and Marist Athlone in Group F, whereas 2014 winners Colaiste Eoin will be joined in Group C by Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar and Scoil Mhuire, Clane.

Eoin are also competing in the Leinster Senior Football ‘A’ League, and thanks to a hat-trick of goals from Conor Ó Cinseallaigh, they recorded a 4-12 to 1-11 win against Moate CS at Silver Park last Thursday.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Colleges Senior Football Championship Draw: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

Dublin Schools Senior ‘B’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

GAELIC GAMES: DUBLIN SCHOOLS SENIOR ‘B’ HC

Terenure into the last-four

Daire Walsh

TERENURE College’s quest for a second Dublin Schools Senior Hurling ‘B’ title in the space of three seasons continued at Russell Park last Thursday, when they claimed a 5-22 to 4-13 win against Castleknock CC.

With county stars Luke McDwyer and Kevin Desmond leading by example, ‘Nure, who competed at the Senior ‘A’ grade last year, have emerged as the top team in Roinn One – which provides them with a direct route to the semi-final of the competition.

McDwyer registered a 0-10 haul in a previous victory over St Colmcille’s CS, and after Castleknock had raced into an early 2-2 to 0-2 lead, his switch to the full-forward line proved crucial.

SETTLE

A Conor Gilmour three-pointer had helped the southside school to settle into the game, and courtesy of two goals by McDwyer, they entered the break with a 3-14 to 3-5 advantage at their disposal.

Castleknock still posed an attacking threat upon the resumption, and the ‘Nure defence were kept on their toes throughout the course of the second-half.

Yet, McDwyer was a constant thorn in the side of their Carpenterstown Road counterparts, and he subsequently sealed his hat-trick with a neat finish.

His final tally of 3-8 made him the scorer-in-chief for Traolach Martin’s side, but a 1-3 salvo by Desmond – as well as scores from Benji Bowe, Seamus Noone, Jack O’Shea and Cillian Kirwan – also played a part in their eventual 12-point triumph.

Elsewhere, the 2016 winners of this competition – St Fintan’s HS – will face St Benildus College in the quarter-final of the ‘A’ Championship next Tuesday in Sutton (throw-in 2pm).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Senior ‘B’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

GAELIC GAMES: DUBLIN SCHOOLS SENIOR ‘A’ HC

Ardscoil Ris book semi-final spot

Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING their comprehensive victory over St Fintan’s HS, Sutton at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn last Thursday afternoon, Ardscoil Ris advanced to the semi-final of the Dublin Schools Senior Hurling ‘A’ Championship.

Defending champions Colaiste Eoin had already booked their place in the last-four, and Ardscoil knew a second group win would provide them with an automatic passage to the same stage. Fintan’s did keep in touch initially at the home of St Vincent’s GAA, but thanks to a second-quarter scoring burst, the wind-assisted Ardscoil brought a commanding 4-6 to 0-3 cushion into the interval.

They continued their dominance when the action resumed, and with an outstanding personal tally of 2-4, 2017 Dublin minor star Sean Currie was once again a key performer for the Griffith Avenue school. Sean Lambe (2-2), Mark Sweeney (2-0) and Liam McGovern (1-1) also made significant contributions for last year’s finalists, and with James Mulcahy, Tom Keogh and Micheal Murphy all in fine form, they eventually secured a 7-14 to 0-4 triumph.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Quarter-Final: Colaiste Eanna V St Aidan’s CBS – The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

DUBLIN SHC ‘A’ QUARTER-FINAL: COLAISTE EANNA 1-19 ST AIDAN’S CBS 2-14 (AET)

EANNA PROVE EXTRA SPECIAL

Cashmans and Codd steer Southsiders to dramatic win

Daire Walsh

THEY had to dig deep on their home patch, but Colaiste Eanna eventually booked their place in the semi-final of the Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship with a narrow extra-time victory over St Aidan’s CBS yesterday afternoon.

Eanna had raced into an early three-point lead with scores from Ben Kelly (’65’), Enda Cashman and half-back Cillian Wall, but even though Aidan’s centre-back Lee Gannon (a Dublin U17 and minor hurler this year) had a penalty saved by opposition netminder Jack Lambert, singles by Michael Noonan (two) and Enda O’Donnell helped his side to level matters on the stroke of 10 minutes.

BOOST

Eanna then received a massive boost just three minutes later – when Malachy Codd’s attempt at a point from the left wing drifted into the back of the Aidan’s net. This three-pointer was supplemented by white flag efforts from Enda Cashman and Codd, before Aidan’s worked their way back into contention with a 0-2 Noonan salvo.

The Aidan’s centre-forward added to his tally before the end of the half, but with Codd and Kelly finding the target either side of Noonan’s fifth, Eanna found themselves four points in front (1-7 to 0-6) at the midway stage in the contest.

Their Northside counterparts weren’t out of sight just yet, though, and unanswered scores by Enda O’Donnell, Gannon and Noonan cut the gap to a minimum after the restart.

Eanna briefly regained their composure with Ciaran Cashman’s first of the day, before Aidan’s moved into the ascendancy for the very first time with consecutive efforts from Noonan, Josh Thorpe and O’Donnell.

The Whitehall Colmcille star also added a brilliant individual score on the hour, but with Ciaran Cashman (0-3) and Codd (0-2) discovering their top form, Eanna looked set to claim a spot in the final-four.

There was still time for some late drama, though, and when Gannon flicked a stoppage-time Noonan free beyond the reach of Lambert, the sides were tied at 1-13 apiece.

This meant that 20 minutes of additional play were required, and although Ciaran Cashman and Codd combined to give the hosts a two-point advantage on 70 minutes, Sean Lowry finished neatly from close-range to hand the Collins Avenue outfit another slender cushion.

Yet, their momentum was halted by Ciaran Cashman (two) and Dan O’Riordan scores, and though the impressive Noonan set up a tense finale, Cashman’s eighth point from a long-distance free finally secured Eanna’s progression.

Scorers – Colaiste Eanna: C Cashman 0-8 (8f), M Codd 1-5, B Kelly (1f, 1 ’65’), E Cashman 0-2 each, C Wall, D O’Riordan 0-1 each. St Aidan’s CBS: M Noonan 0-8 (6f), L Gannon 1-1, E O’Donnell 0-4, S Lowry 1-0, J Thorpe 0-1.

COLAISTE EANNA: J Lambert; L McDonnell, J Dalton, J McDonnell; C Wall, R Hester, J Kenny; T Glynn, B Kelly; D O’Riordan, J O’Donoghue, E Cashman; C McDonnell, C Cashman, M Codd. Sub: C Corcoran for C McDonnell (40).

ST AIDAN’S CBS: C McLoughlin; B Daly, Cian Murphy, D Noonan; K Doran, L Gannon, Ciaran Murphy; E O’Donnell, J Thorpe; E Flaherty, M Noonan, S Lowry; S Finn, C Gleeson, K O’Sullivan. Subs: C Sheridan for O’Sullivan (16), T Gleeson for Daly (36), A Moran for Finn (44), N Power for Flaherty (53), R Fahey for C Gleeson (76).

Referee: D Sweeney (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Quarter-Final: Colaiste Eanna V St Aidan’s CBS – The Evening Herald – October 12 2017

Post-Match Reaction: Ulster Bank League Division 1A – Lansdowne V Cork Constitution – Cork Con Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – October 10 2017

Hickey sees the tables turned on Con against Lansdowne

Daire Walsh

CORK CONSTITUTION coach Brian Hickey felt the ‘tables were turned’ on his side in the final of 15 minutes of their game against Lansdowne last Sunday afternoon, as they eventually suffered a 24-10 away defeat in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League.

A 77th-minute try by former Con out-half Scott Deasy placed the outcome beyond doubt, and Hickey acknowledged that the Lansdowne defence were hard to break down in the final-quarter.

“We knew this was going to be a key game before the break. We’ve traditionally played this game in the final run of games, so it’s a bit unusual. I just thought the tables were turned on us a little bit in the last 10, 15 minutes.

“We needed to attack, and we were met by a very, very solid Lansdowne defence,” Hickey remarked.

“I think they just made us work very, very hard, and then they got the try that put them out of sight really. At that stage then we were looking at a losing bonus. I suppose it was disappointing, but I thought there was some positives in how we played as well.”

Indeed, Con were able to get some joy in the Lansdowne ’22’, with Ned Hodson and Kevin O’Byrne crossing the opposition whitewash in either half. However, Lansdowne responded on both occasions with scores of their own, and Hickey was disappointed that they couldn’t build momentum during these periods of the play.

“We kind of ended up putting ourselves under pressure then immediately after it [the tries] again, which was the disappointing aspect of it. Usually if you get the tries, as you say, you need to build on it and we didn’t in this case. Lansdowne were the ones who scored immediately after us on both occasions.”

With two wins and two defeats from four games to date, Con find themselves fifth in the league table ahead of a three-week break in competitive fare.

Like Terenure College (who claimed a 39-35 victory over Con on September 23), Lansdowne have made an unbeaten start to the campaign, and Hickey expects them to challenge strongly for top honours.

“I would have admired Lansdowne.

“They’re a very well coached side, they’ve a lot of very good players. They can play a couple of different types of game. A lot of power and a lot of pace. Lansdowne will always be up there.

“It really is the first game this year that we’ve come up against that degree of power and pace. We’ll have to just go away and re-assess how we managed it,” Hickey added.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Ulster Bank League Division 1A – Lansdowne V Cork Constitution – Cork Con Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – October 10 2017