SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: UCD V Shamrock Rovers – The Irish Independent – May 18 2019

Dan Carr’s goal enough to give Shamrock Rovers victory over UCD at Belfield

UCD 0 Shamrock Rovers 1

Dan Carr’s 21st-minute strike was enough to give Shamrock Rovers a slender win over a struggling UCD at Belfield tonight.

As a consequence, the Hoops remain within touch distance of reigning champions Dundalk at the summit of the Premier Division. By contrast UCD’s seventh straight defeat of the season leaves them rooted to the bottom of the top-tier table.

Following a recent run of three losses in four, Rovers surrendered top spot to reigning champions Dundalk.

They survived a major scare on 14 minutes when UCD striker Yoyo Mahdy hit fresh air with the Rovers goal at his mercy. The visitors were generally on top of possession, however, and eventually broke the deadlock just shy of the first-quarter mark.

Carr got his foot to Aaron Greene’s enticing right-wing cross to bag his second league goal of the campaign. Even though Roberto Lopes subsequently denied Conor Davis a equaliser with a last-gasp clearance off the line, Rovers were good value for an interval lead.

Wary of a potential UCD backlash, they pressed for a second goal after the play resumed. The lively Carr went close on a couple of occasions and Jack Byrne later poked wide at the end of a counter-attack.

In spite of the commendable industry from the hosts, Rovers continued to offer the greater attacking threat. Inside the final-quarter, a fierce drive by substitute Joel Coustrain rebounded off the woodwork before drifting away to safety.

A series of Conor Kearns save kept UCD’s hopes alive, but Rovers ultimately held out for their 12th victory of the term.

UCD – Kearns; Farrell, Collins, Scales; O’Farrell, Davis, O’Neill, Doyle, Farrugia; McClelland, Mahdy (McDonald 46).

SHAMROCK ROVERS – Mannus; O’Brien, Lopes, Grace, Clarke; Bolger, Watts; Kavanagh (Coustrain 62), Byrne, Carr (Boyle 76); Greene (Vojic 83).

REF – N Doyle (Dublin).

Posted in League Of Ireland | Comments Off on SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: UCD V Shamrock Rovers – The Irish Independent – May 18 2019

Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Final: St Aidan’s CBS V Maynooth SS – The Evening Herald – May 16 2019


Foley to fore as Aidan’s get goals

Daire Walsh

ST AIDAN’S CBS delivered a stunning goal blitz at the National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown yesterday to claim the Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship crown.

With their central attacking axis of John Foley and Kerrie Hannon in top form throughout, they secured top-tier honours for the first time since 2016. Maynooth SS kept in touch for large stretches, but ultimately struggled to match the firepower of their Collins Avenue rivals.

With half-back Tadhg Kellett leading their charge, Aidan’s opened up an early advantage. Champions at this grade as recently as 2017, Maynooth subsequently moved into the ascendancy with a series of well-worked scores.

However, Aidan’s kept their composure to eventually lead 2-4 to 0-7 at the break. Fresh from his appearance for St Vincent’s in their AFL1 defeat to St Jude’s on Tuesday night, Sean Lowry exerted a powerful influence. He ended the contest with a goal to his name, though half-forward partners Eoin Flaherty and Foley also played pivotal roles in Aidan’s success.

Flaherty contributed 1-1 over the course of the hour, but it was the excellent Foley who proved to be scorer-in-chief.

The centre-forward amassed a personal tally of 2-6 – 2-3 of which came from open play.

Netminder Jamie O’Brien was kept busy at various intervals by a persistent Maynooth, but Aidan’s always possessed a potent threat in the opposition half.

Hannon registered a brace of goals for his side and with Glen Sheridan and Sean Giles also getting in on the scoring act, St Aidan’s emerged as thoroughly deserving winners on the day.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Final: St Aidan’s CBS V Maynooth SS – The Evening Herald – May 16 2019

Dublin Schools Minor ‘A’ Camogie Championship Final: St Joseph’s College, Lucan V Dominican College – The Evening Herald – May 16 2019


Joseph’s put stop to a Dominican treble

Daire Walsh

ST JOSEPH’S College, Lucan produced a powerful performance at Good Counsel GAA last Friday to claim the Dublin Schools Minor ‘A’ Camogie Championship at Dominican College’s expense.

Thanks in no small part to the scoring prowess of attacking duo Hannah Gibbs and Sophie McIntyre, the Esker North outfit edged through on a final scoreline of 3-7 to 4-1.

Having earned top honours in this season’s Junior ‘A’ and Senior ‘A’ deciders, Dominicans were looking to complete a schools camogie treble.

Despite staging a commendable second-half rally, they couldn’t rein in the challenge of Joseph’s. When the two sides met in the group stages, it was Dominicans who came out on top. The Griffith Avenue school remained unbeaten en route to this showpiece, but were placed under intense pressure from the word go. Centre-back Aisling Behan was outstanding throughout and drove Joseph’s forward at every available opportunity.

Gibbs bagged a brace of goals for the Lucan girls and with McIntyre also in fine form, they held a seven-point cushion at the interval.

A resilient Dominicans switched Ruth Fitzsimons to full-forward and she significantly bolstered their tally with a hat-trick of goals and Jessica Howlett also made her presence felt.

They reduced their deficit to three points in the dying minutes, setting up a tantalising conclusion. Nevertheless, St Joseph’s – led on the day by full-back Cara Ware – dug deep to hold out for a precious victory in the end.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Minor ‘A’ Camogie Championship Final: St Joseph’s College, Lucan V Dominican College – The Evening Herald – May 16 2019

Ireland U20 World Rugby Championship Squad Announcement: Noel McNamara – – May 16 2019

McNamara: It’s About Our Ability To Get The Best Out Of Ourselves

By Daire Walsh

Buoyed by their magnificent Grand Slam success in the springtime, the Ireland Under-20s will embark on next month’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina high on confidence and self belief.

Despite entering the U-20 Six Nations as underdogs, Noel McNamara’s squad defied the odds to win the title with five straight victories. A first round home win over England set the wheels in motion, and it is the English who provide the opposition for Ireland’s Pool A opener at Club de Rugby Atheneo Immaculada in Santa Fe on Tuesday, June 4.

Having enduring a difficult 2018 World Rugby U-20 Championship in France where they finished 11th overall, Ireland will return to the global tournament with a significant pep in their step. The squad has been reunited in recent weeks and McNamara is hopeful the achievements of the past few months can drive them on to even greater heights.

“This is a really exciting group to be part of and we felt that when we came back together last week,” explained the Clare man. “We spoke to the leadership group and then the rest of the squad, and one of the things that kept coming back was the belief that they got over the course of the last few months. That underpins any level of performance, so it is very important.

“It’s equally important to move on from it after taking that belief and the learnings from it. The group have done that well and we are excited. One of the things with a global calendar is that the opportunity to tour isn’t there that much anymore and the opportunity to tour the southern Hemisphere even less.

“There are guys who will go through a full professional career and they might get just one opportunity to tour the southern Hemisphere. There will be great challenges, to travel and live in a different country for four weeks. Experience a different culture. Many of them won’t have played against a southern Hemisphere team before. This tournament brings a different dynamic as well.”

As they aim to repeat the impressive February victory against England, Ireland will travel to south America without some of their Six Nations heroes. In addition to Munster winger Conor Phillips, the Leinster triumvirate of David Hawkshaw, Harry Byrne and Scott Penny have been ruled out through injury.

In the absence of Hawkshaw, towering UCD and Leinster lock Charlie Ryan has been promoted to the role of team captain. While it is unfortunate to lose these key players ahead of the tournament, McNamara views it as part and parcel of the international game.

“That’s part of sport unfortunately. The reality is that part of this process is so that guys can go on and contribute provincial and international rugby. In fairness to Scott and Harry, they have done that. Obviously the initial reaction is that it is disappointing for them because it is an opportunity on a big stage to show what they can do. Then you look at the opportunity it will be for someone else.”

Indeed, among the extended 32-man Ireland Under-20 squad, which is set to be reduced to 28 players next week, McNamara has included eight uncapped players. Ulster pair Azur Allison and Stewart Moore were initially set to feature in the Six Nations, before injury delayed their U-20 debuts.

Thanks to some excellent displays for Clontarf and Terenure College respectively in the top flight of the All-Ireland League, Declan Adamson and Adam La Grue have also been rewarded with call-ups.

“Azur Allison and Stewart Moore are two guys originally named in the Six Nations squad. We hoped that, at some point, they would be able to get back to full fitness. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out like that. They would have played Irish Schools, Irish U-19s and be really strong performers for them. That is where those guys are coming from.

“Declan Adamson has just had a really good year. I’m at pains to point out the importance of the AIL to the U-20s. Declan has had a tremendous year with Clontarf where they went all the way to the final. Paddy Finlay was their starting hooker, but missed large chunks of the season. Declan stepped in and did really well for them.

“Adam La Grue the same. Terenure initially had a very tough year and then it looked like if they could get into the play-offs towards the end of it. Adam has had a tremendous year with Terenure. Been one of their top performers, scoring tries, defensively very solid. He’s got an opportunity on the back of that.”

Munster second row prospect Thomas Ahern and prop Charlie Ward are also part of the uncapped group, the latter seeking to emulate the path of fellow Tullow native Sean O’Brien into the senior ranks with both province and country.

McNamara added: “Thomas Ahern is a physically impressive athlete. I went to watch the (Ireland) Under-19s play in France and was particularly impressed with him and his performances there. You don’t meet many 6ft 8in guys, who are as athletic as he is. There is definitely a lot of upside to him.

“Equally, Charlie Ward is comfortable both sides of the scrum. He is a guy who has come through the Youths pathway. Another man from Tullow, just as one leaves us another arrives. Hopefully, Charlie can have a similar impact to the previous ‘Tullow Tank’.”

As well as having to deal with some early start times (their pool games against Australia and Italy both kick-off at 10.30am local time), Ireland may be forced to contend with the harsh climate of an Argentinian winter. There is a sense of deja vu for McNamara, who has spent time in New Zealand since Ireland last competed in the global tournament.

“I can’t wait for my fourth winter! I went from winter in Ireland, to winter in New Zealand to winter in Ireland and, now, winter in Argentina. It’s four in a row. I’m definitely going to get some vitamin D tablets before I travel out there! We’re probably about four hours north of Buenos Aires in Santa Fe.

“It will be mild. Probably looking at high teens, hopefully. You prepare as best as you can. I’m really clear in my own mind and the players are clear that high performance equals people’s ability to be adaptable.

“There are going to be challenges. The kick-off times, the travel. The different surface, the different refereeing interpretations and so on. It is about our ability to get the best out of ourselves. Our ability to be adaptable which will be the key.”

Posted in U20 Rugby World Cup, U20 World Cup Rugby | Comments Off on Ireland U20 World Rugby Championship Squad Announcement: Noel McNamara – – May 16 2019

Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (May 15): – May 16 2019



By Daire Walsh 

Following their entertaining draw at Bray Emmet’s on Monday evening, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Cuala continue to lead way at the summit of the Adult Hurling League Division One table.

Having accumulated three wins in succession, the two teams entered their clash in north Wicklow on maximum points. ‘Boden completed a league and championship double in 2018 and, as the season progresses, will become more determined to hang onto their respective crowns.

A brace of one-point victories over Lucan Sarsfields and Whitehall Colmcille ensures they are in pole position in Group Four of the Senior Championship. They had already put St Vincent’s, Ballinteer St John’s and Lucan to the sword in the league, boosting their confidence levels ahead of the resumption in top-flight action.

Under the stewardship of current Sky Blues boss Mattie Kenny, Cuala picked up seven major trophies – including back-to-back All-Ireland titles in 2017 and 2018. They were eventually succeeded as county champions by Ballyboden last October and to mark this achievement, Cuala gave the visitors a guard of honour onto the pitch at the Old Connaught venue.

After a shaky opening to the contest, ‘Boden eventually settled into a familiar stride. Former Dublin hurler Shane Durkin was industrious as ever in the middle-third, while Conor Dooley and Aidan Mellett offered a potent threat in attack.

A well-taken goal from the lively Mellett ensured ‘Boden created an early gap over their southside rivals. Cuala remained in touch early on, thanks to no small part to Colm Sheanon’s ingenuity in the forward line.

Diarmuid O’Flynn and John Sheanon also stood out for Willie Maher’s men, but they nevertheless found themselves starting into a four-point deficit (1-8 to 1-4) at the break. ‘Boden looked set to preserve 100% record when they pulled further in front on the resumption – only for a re-energised Cuala to bring a significant halt to their momentum.

Naoise Waldron was sublime in the second half for Cuala, helping them to edge into the ascendancy during the closing moments of the tie. Despite passing up a number of late opportunities, they left ‘Boden chasing the game with the final whistle approaching.

There was enough time for ‘Boden to salvage a point from the game, however. Dooley was entrusted with a last-gasp free and the ex-Sky Blues netminder made no mistake to secure a share of the spoils for his side (1-16 to 1-16).

Whereas Cuala will face Crumlin at Pearse Park this Saturday, Ballyboden play host to Na Fianna in a mouthwatering encounter. This will be a rematch of last year’s league decider – when ‘Boden emerged with four points to spare (1-14 to 1-10) over their northside counterparts.

Na Fianna lost out narrowly to Cuala on March 24, but got their campaign back on track with a gutsy 0-21 to 0-19 success against St Brigid’s at Russell Park on Wednesday night. They withstood a spirited showing from the home team and are now just one point adrift of the division’s pace-setters.

Less than 24 hours after their senior footballers had suffered a 10-point defeat to St Jude’s at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn, St Vincent’s pulled off a reverse result in the same venue. Supplementing a previous triumph at the expense of Craobh Chiarain, the Marino outfit prevailed against Jude’s on a final scoreline of 1-17 to 0-10.

They currently lie sixth in the league table, with a game in hand on those above them. Capitalising on the stalemate between Whitehall Colmcille and Kilmacud Crokes at Collins Avenue, Ballinteer edged past Craobh Chiarain at Marley Park (1-12 to 1-11) to assume seventh place in the standings.

Owing to their participation in the group stages of the Senior ‘B’ Championship – they fell to a 3-20 to 2-12 reversal at the hands of Na Fianna ‘B’ – Crumlin were not in league action on Wednesday. Lucan were also idle as a result and will be aiming to pick up their first points when they face Craobh Chiarain at Clonshaugh on Saturday.

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (May 15): – May 16 2019

Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One: Whitehall Colmcille V Kilmacud Crokes – – May 16 2019





By Daire Walsh

Sean McGrath converted a ’65’ deep into second half stoppage-time at Collins Avenue on Wednesday night to earn Kilmacud Crokes a share of the spoils with Whitehall Colmcille in Division One of the Adult Hurling League.

When Sean Gray registered his fourth point of the contest on 62 minutes, it looked set to squeeze Whitehall over the line for their second win of the campaign. There was enough time for a final sting in the tale, however, and McGrath maintained his composure to ensure the sides were inseparable in the end.

In league action for the first time since March 24, the two sides were aiming to bounce back from their respective reversals in round three. Whitehall had most recently lost out to St Jude’s in Abbotstown – 0-17 to 1-8 – whereas Kilmacud Crokes suffered a 1-18 to 2-11 defeat to St Brigid’s at Silver Park on the same evening.

Both teams had also previously come up short against Craobh Chiarain and were therefore hoping to avoid another top-flight slip-up. Backed by a gentle breeze on their home turf, Whitehall moved three points clear during the early exchanges.

After Crokes centre-back Cian Mac Gabhann traded points with Niall O’Connor, the northsiders edged ahead courtesy of a stunning Conor Sheedy major. The inside forward gathered a long delivery and drilled a powerful shot beyond the reach of netminder Matt Collins.

Either side of McGrath’s opening free of the tie, Paddy Spellacy and Enda O’Donnell found the target for an increasingly confident Whitehall. They then received a set-back on the stroke of 10 minutes as corner-back Dillon Constantine was withdrawn through injury.

Crokes immediately rallied with back-to-back points by McGrath and Aaron O’Toole – only for Whitehall to do likewise with impressive Sheedy and Spellacy efforts. Anthony Daly’s visitors persevered with their challenge as the play progressed and midfielder Lorcan McMullan complimented a Mac Gabhann ’65’ to keep them in touch.

It was proving to be a frantic opening period of hurling, with Cathal Ryan raising white flags for Whitehall either side of another McGrath point. The former Dublin senior panellist swapped frees with his opposite number Sean Gray, before working in unison with Alex Considine to cut the gap to a bare minimum.

Nevertheless, Niall O’Donnell found the range in spectacular style to offer Whitehall a 1-9 to 0-10 interval cushion. Crokes were well in the reckoning when the proceedings resumed and with experienced figures like Niall Corcoran, Ryan O’Dwyer and McGrath in their side, they were expected to fight tooth and nail for the two points.

O’Toole and McGrath were on hand to cancel out a brace of well-worked Whitehall points – including another for Gray – before McGrath once again displayed his unerring accuracy. Their opponents remained calm as the tension was ramped up, wing-forwards Spellacy and Gray (free) enhancing their personal tallies.

Although Sheedy split the posts in clinical fashion, four quick-fire Crokes points (three for McGrath and another for Mac Gabhann) restored parity with 12 minutes remaining on the clock. With the exception of an early miss, McGrath’s shot selection was imperious for the county finalists.

His 11th of the game helped Crokes to finally reclaim the lead and provided them with significant momentum with the finishing line in sight. Yet Whitehall still had plenty left in reserve and regained control through Enda O’Donnell and Gray points.

After McGrath’s latest free was matched by the equally dependable Gray, it left Crokes chasing the game in the closing moments. They were afforded one last chance on goal and, four minutes into time added on, McGrath kept his cool to bring his final haul to 0-13.

Crokes will now seek to build on this stalemate when they play host to St Vincent’s on Saturday evening. Whitehall have home advantage once again this weekend – St Brigid’s being the latest side to make the journey out to Dublin 9.

Scorers – Whitehall Colmcille: Conor Sheedy 1-3, Sean Gray 0-4 (4f), Paddy Spellacy 0-3, Enda O’Donnell, Cathal Ryan 0-2 each, Cian McCarthy, Niall O’Donnell, Niall O’Connor 0-1 each. Kilmacud Crokes: Sean McGrath 0-13 (0-9f, 0-1 ’65’), Cian Mac Gabhann 0-3 (2f, 1 ’65), Aaron O’Toole 0-2, Lorcan McMullan, Alex Considine 0-1 each.

WHITEHALL COLMCILLE: Ronan Murray; Sean Kellett, Cian Murphy, Dillon Constantine; Cian McCarthy, Sean Scallan, Niall O’Donnell; Lee Gannon, Conor Cummins; Sean Gray, Enda O’Donnell, Paddy Spellacy; Conor Sheedy, Niall O’Connor, Cathal Ryan. Subs: Paddy Giles for Constantine (10), Mikey Noonan for Ryan (46), Sean Power for Scallan (48).

KILMACUD CROKES: Matt Collins; Brian Sheehy, Daragh Butler, Cillian O’Shea; Conor Mooney, Cian Mac Gabhann, Niall Corcoran; Lorcan McMullan, Padhraic Linehan; Seamie Leahy, Ryan O’Dwyer, Sean McGrath; Alex Considine, Damien Kelly, Aaron O’Toole. Sub: Joe O’Dwyer for Mooney (45).

Referee: Damien Burnett (Craobh Chiarain).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One: Whitehall Colmcille V Kilmacud Crokes – – May 16 2019

Dublin Adult Football League Division One: St Jude’s V St Vincent’s – – May 15 2019




By Daire Walsh

St Jude’s moved up to fifth in the Adult Football League Division One table courtesy of a 10-point victory over St Vincent’s at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn on Tuesday evening.

Despite a slow start to this rescheduled contest, the Wellington Lane outfit rallied to eventually record their first win on the road in 2019. Corner-forwards Niall Coakley and Padraic Clarke amassed a combined total of 1-10 for the southsiders, while substitute Simon King found the net in the dying stages to put the seal on their triumph.

The two sides have been familiar foes in recent times, with some high-profile championship clashes surrounding their regular battles in the league. Vins defeated Jude’s en route to claiming the Dublin SFC title in 2017, before being turned over by the same opponents in last year’s semi-final encounter at Parnell Park.

Vincent’s subsequently bounced back to claim the league crown and thanks to three wins in their four games to date, they entered this tie within touching distance of early pace-setters Ballinteer St John’s.

Having earned the spoils away to Fingallians last Wednesday, the Marino men were in a buoyant mood. Jude’s had the measure of Lucan Sarsfields on the same night, but struggled to find their feet during the initial stages of this round five affair.

Inside the opening 60 seconds of play, Vins set their stall out with a brace of points. After midfielder Albert Martin completed a patient team move, Diarmuid Connolly – once again positioned at centre-back – released Shane Carthy for a fisted effort.

Martin was dominating the early aerial exchanges and he helped to set up Adam Baxter for a well-worked point. Wing-back Eddie Duffy superbly curled between the posts on six minutes as a rampaging Vins sought to create clear daylight.

Coakley finally opened the Jude’s account off the resulting restart, however, and he swiftly added to his tally with an outstanding strike on the left-wing. Raiding corner-back Sean Lambe combined with Baxter for another Vins point but, either side of the first-quarter mark, the Jude’s challenge truly took flight.

Ronan Joyce, Colm Murphy and Coakley all found the target in quick succession to wipe out the home team’s lead and they maintained their attacking momentum for the remainder of the half.

Kieran Doherty joined his centre-field partner Murphy on the scoresheet – preceding Clarke (free) and Coakley singles for the visitors. Their chances of success gained a massive boost on 19 minutes when Coakley was picked out in front of goal and calmly fired beyond the reach of Vins netminder Josh O’Neill.

Tom Lahiff and Clarke found the range in the closing minutes of the opening period and even though Baxter and Lorcan Smyth cancelled out their efforts, Jude’s held a 1-10 to 0-7 advantage at the interval.

In addition to James O’Donnell – who replaced the injured Carthy in the 26th-minute – Tomas Quinn and Lorcan Galvin were introduced on the resumption in a bid to get Vins back on track. Cormac Diamond lifted their spirits with a superb point, though Clarke calmly slotted over a resulting free at the opposite end to keep Jude’s firmly in the ascendancy.

Following a driving run by Connolly, Quinn opened his own tally with a routine score in the front of the posts. Further points from Clarke and full-back Jack McGuire ensured Jude’s continued to hold the aces, albeit Vins were not to be easily dismissed.

After picking up possession off a sublime Connolly delivery, Quick bagged his second pointed free of the half. A fifth point for Clarke looked set to be the insurance for Jude’s, although a fierce Martin shot marginally drifted over the woodwork on 55 minutes.

A Vins goal could have served up a dramatic conclusion to the action. Instead, it was St Jude’s who finished the stronger.

A Coakley free increased the gap to seven points and King staked his claim for a starting berth by rolling a close-range shot to the Vincent’s net in stoppage-time.

Next up for Jude’s is a home meeting on May 22 against Ballinteer St John’s, who remain unbeaten with five wins from five. Vincent’s will resume their own league campaign on the same evening – St Brigid’s providing the opposition at Russell Park.

SCORERS – St Jude’s: Niall Coakley 1-5 (0-1f), Padraic Clarke 0-5 (3f), Simon King 1-0, Jack McGuire, Colm Murphy, Kieran Doherty, Tom Lahiff, Ronan Joyce 0-1 each. St Vincent’s: Tomas Quinn (0-2f), Adam Baxter (0-1f), Albert Martin 0-2 each, Sean Lambe, Eddie Duffy, Shane Carthy, Cormac Diamond, Lorcan Smyth 0-1 each.

ST JUDE’S: Paul Copeland; Andy Sweeney, Jack McGuire, Rian Wallace; Alex Hassett, Mark Sweeney, Aidan Fitzmaurice; Colm Murphy, Kieran Doherty; David Sheehy, Tom Lahiff, Ronan Joyce; Niall Coakley, Brian Coakley, Padraic Clarke. Subs: Ciaran McLoughlin for Hassett (35-37, blood), Simon King for Sheehy (50), McLoughlin for Hassett, Dara Kavanagh for Murphy (both 56).

ST VINCENT’S: Josh O’Neill; Sean Lambe, Gavin Burke, Michael Concarr; Cameron Diamond, Diarmuid Connolly, Eddie Duffy; Albert Martin, Joe Feeney; Shane Carthy, Tiernan Diamond, Cormac Diamond; Sean Lowry, Adam Baxter, Lorcan Smyth. Subs: James O’Donnell for Carthy (26), Tomas Quinn for Baxter, Lorcan Galvin for Feeney (both half-time), Sean O’Meara for Lowry (40).

REF: J King (Garda/Westmanstown Gaels).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Adult Football League Division One: St Jude’s V St Vincent’s – – May 15 2019

European Rugby Champions Cup Review: Leinster V Saracens – The Kildare Nationalist – May 14 2019


Key moments cost Leinster dearly

By Daire Walsh

THERE was an unfamiliar feeling for Leinster at St James’ Park on Saturday as they fell to defeat in a European final for the very first time.

Despite finding themselves 10 points in front approaching half-time, the Blues were subsequently pegged back by English Premiership giants Saracens in the Newcastle-set Champions Cup decider. While it was widely acknowledged that Mark McCall’s men were the better side over the course of 80 minutes, a couple of key moments swung the tie in their favour.

Instead of signalling the end of the opening period with a boot to touch, Leinster scrum-half Luke McGrath opted for a box-kick into the Saracens half. This backfired on the defending champions, with Sarries playmaker Owen Farrell eventually releasing Sean Maitland for a try on the left-flank.

The Blues had an opportunity to make amends shortly after the restart, only for Garry Ringrose to turn down a cast-iron overlap inside the ’22’. The centre was superbly dispossessed by Liam Williams and with the eastern province struggling to regain a foothold, Saracens ultimately ran out 20-10 winners.

A three-time winner of the competition during his stellar playing career, Naas’ Jamie Heaslip was Channel 4’s co-commentator for the final in Newcastle. Speaking in the direct aftermath of the game, the former back-row believes Leinster will need to absorb the lesson from their defeat and use it as fuel for another bid at European glory next season.

“They’ll be disappointed. They’ll take their learnings from this. When you look at the game, they did leave a lot of opportunities. In the first half, a five on three stands out in my mind. When you think about it, 10 minutes before half-time they’re 10 points ahead,” Heaslip said.

“Sarries scored 20 unanswered points to win this game and that’s a sign of a class side. Leinster will have to look at that and take the learnings from it. They’ll have to lick their wounds a little bit. Just like Sarries did last year [quarter-final loss to Leinster], they’ll learn from it. Get better and chasing that fifth star again.”

Shaking off initial doubts about his participation in the contest, a fully fit Sean Cronin was favoured ahead of Kill’s James Tracy in the Leinster front-row. Suncroft’s Fergus McFadden missed out through suspension while Kill’s Adam Byrne was injured.

It looked set to be a memorable day for tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong, who marked his 100th appearance for Leinster with a superb try on 32 minutes. This followed the sin-binning of Maro Itoje and given front-row pair Mako Vunipola and Titi Lamositele were also forced out of the action, Sarries appeared to be on the ropes.

McCall’s outfit held firm in the face of adversity, though, and Farrell supplemented his long-distance penalty by superbly converting Maitland’s try on the stroke of the break. With the sides still deadlocked (10-10) 11 minutes into the second period, Tracy assumed the hooker mantle from Cronin. His miscued line-out immediately placed Leinster on the back-foot, but it was Scott Fardy’s yellow card on 58 minutes that really ramped up the pressure on the holders. In his absence, a Farrell penalty preceded Billy Vunipola’s outstanding finish off a five-metre scrum.

Whilst Leinster battled with all their might to address a 10-point deficit, they were second best to a superior team in the end. This was an historic win for McCall, who became the first Irish man to guide a club to three top-tier European titles.

Leo Cullen missed out on a second European crown as a coach (and a fifth in total), but felt his side paid the price for allowing Saracens to ‘suffocate’ them in the final stretches of the play.

“We’re gutted obviously. I thought we were in the game first half. The end of the first half, where Sarries had a man in the bin and we just probably don’t manage the game during that period. We had chances there, we had chances at the start of the second half. We just didn’t quite execute them,” the Leinster head coach explained.

“Once Sarries get their noses in front, as we all know they’re a very hard team to chase the game against. I thought they suffocated us in probably the last 30 minutes. There’s lots of learnings for us out there today. How we manage this type of team, that try to suffocate you. We’ll try to come back, get stronger.”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on European Rugby Champions Cup Review: Leinster V Saracens – The Kildare Nationalist – May 14 2019

All-Ireland League Awards: Peter Osborne (Naas RFC) – The Kildare Nationalist – May 14 2019


Osborne’s scoring exploits earn a national award

By Daire Walsh

AFTER making local headlines last year for his scoring exploits, the 2018/19 season saw Naas full-back Peter Osborne being recognised on a national level.

During a comprehensive final round victory over Dolphin last April, Osborne contributed an astonishing tally of 33 points. In addition staving off the threat of relegation, this set a new club record at Forenaughts and rejuvenated the squad ahead of another tilt at promotion.

They ultimately fell short to Old Wesley in a play-off semi-final at Donnybrook last month, but Osborne’s impressive seasonal haul of 169 points earned him the coveted prize of Division One Top Points Scorer at last Tuesday’s AIL Awards ceremony at the Aviva Stadium.

While acknowledging it was a great achievement on a personal level, Osborne believes it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of his team-mates.

“It was a very long season. We’d been training since July and only really finished up last week against Old Wesley in a semi-final. Which unfortunately we lost. It’s good to get the recognition, but at the same time it’s a team effort and it’s a squad effort,” Osborne remarked.

“We trained really hard over the last nine months or so. We’ll take the time off and re-group in July. Try and go one step further, and get promoted into 1A.”

Even though their visit to Old Wesley ended in heartbreak, the indomitable spirit of Naas was on display in their extra-time defeat to Morgan Lennon’s men.

“We’re a never-say-die team really, we go right down to the wire. We always give it 100%. We gave it our best shot and unfortunately we just came up short,” Osborne explained.

“That’s the way it goes and that’s why we play the game. You just don’t know what way the game is going to go, but that’s why we play the game.”

Despite having their dream of top-flight rugby put on hold for at least another 12 months, Naas certainly appear to be heading in the right direction. A product of the underage system at Forenaughts, Osborne believes the development of local talent has aided the club’s rise through the ranks.

“The club is buzzing at the moment. They’ve one of the biggest youth sections in Naas as well. It’s a lot of homegrown players. We’re going out Tuesdays and Thursdays with more so our friends than just players. Which makes you want to wear the jersey and do better for the jersey, because you know you’re playing with friends.”

As well as featuring alongside some of the county’s hottest prospects, Osborne has rubbed shoulders with two notable professional stars of the recent past. Former Leicester Tigers and Munster back Johne Murphy brought his four-year stint as player/coach to an end in the aftermath of their play-off exit to Old Wesley.

Ex-Connacht and Leinster winger Carr will also be seeking pastures new – leaving a leadership void that Osborne hopes to fill when the domestic action resumes in September.

“I’ve learnt an awful lot from Johne from the past three or four years. He was top try-scorer in the English Premiership with Leicester and then went down to Munster.

“To get to play alongside Johne and even Fionn Carr, who is moving on this year as well, it has brought my game on so much. Hopefully I can bring that experience, now that I’m getting a little bit older, for the younger guys coming through.”

Just hours before Osborne was awarded his prize, news filtered through that Murphy was to assume the helm of Newbridge College’s Senior Cup Team from next season onwards. As a former student of the school, he believes Murphy has all the tools required for a demanding role.

“From a former Newbridge College student myself, it’s brilliant for the school and Johne will bring a wealth of experience to them and they’re itching to win a Senior Cup now.

“With Johne’s knowledge of the game and his technical skills, I’m sure he’ll be able to bring that out to the best in Newbridge and hopefully they can give it a very good shot over the next few years at winning the Senior Cup,” Osborne said.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Awards: Peter Osborne (Naas RFC) – The Kildare Nationalist – May 14 2019

Post-Match Reaction: Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A Final – Naas CBS Coach Joe Kelly – May 14 2019


Rugby booming in Naas CBS

By Daire Walsh

NAAS CBS coach Joe Kelly was full of praise for his squad after they rounded off a memorable season by claiming the Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A title at Donnybrook last Thursday.

Having already captured the Fr Godfrey Cup and Duff Cup in recent months, they got the better of Kildare rivals Ardscoil na Trionoide (Athy) to secure a unique treble for the school.

“We’ve come here at the end of the season, we’re playing since September. To keep the enthusiasm and focus to the very end was always going to be a little bit of a challenge. But we played a lot of attractive looking rugby. If you came to watch this game, you’d have seen both teams actually threw it around quite a bit,” Kelly remarked in the aftermath of the contest.

“Maybe not as clinical as we’d like to be, but I think we managed to get through in the end. We gave all 23 squad members [a run], some guys who hadn’t really played in the early part of the season. They’ve really come into their own in the last few games.”

Given they also reached the quarter-final of the Leinster Schools Junior Cup, Naas were firm favourites to prevail on the day. Nevertheless, Kelly was aware of Ardscoil’s desire to spoil their celebrations and felt they made it harder than the 19-0 final scoreline might suggest.

“There’s a lot at stake for both teams in some ways. I know we’ve won the two cup competitions, but we still wanted to win the treble.

“Obviously Athy would take great pride in taking a trophy from the season as well. It was a really well-contested and tough game.

“Unfortunately, our number six Jamie Carroll is off to hospital there. Just precautionary, he should be okay. We’ve a few walking wounded, but I reckon the boys will be okay.”

Like their Duff Cup final in the same venue – Salesian College, Celbridge provided the opposition on that occasion – this was an all-Kildare affair at Energia Park.

Kelly believes this is testament to the grassroots development of rugby throughout the province of Leinster and he hopes CBS can continue to be the market leader in this regard.

“The work that is done in CCRO level, at club level and at school level in the wider provinces, it’s paying dividends. It has been growing for a number of years. We want to keep that up,” Kelly added.

Posted in Schools Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Leinster Schools Junior League Division 2A Final – Naas CBS Coach Joe Kelly – May 14 2019