Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – November 16 2017


Eoin and Benildus show true grit to earn draws

Daire Walsh

COLAISTE Eoin and St Benildus College dug deep in their opening Leinster Schools SF ‘A’ Championship games this week, as the newly revamped competition got underway.

A new group format (where schools are guaranteed to play at least two games in a three-team section) meant Eoin’s encounter with Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar at Cusack Park on Tuesday wasn’t a do-or-die affair, but thanks to fine scores from Fionn Ó Ceallaigh, Diarmaid O Floinn, Conor Ó Cinseallach and Eoghan O Ceallacháin, they developed a 0-8 to 1-2 interval lead.

The hosts would restore parity after the restart, before a goal from Tomás Ó Néill edged the southsiders back in front. Another Mhuire three-pointer ensured they were chasing the game in the closing stages, but the determined Booterstown boys eventually responded to secure a share of the spoils (1-12 to 2-9).

Benildus were at home to defending champions St Peter’s, Wexford in Group E yesterday, and a crucial second-half goal ensured they were also on level terms at full-time (1-12 to 0-15). St Fintan’s HS, Sutton’s Group F campaign began against Maynooth PP, and they were on the receiving end of a 1-6 to 3-13 reversal.

Meanwhile, St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny reached the Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling League decider yesterday, courtesy of a 3-17 to 0-11 semi-final success over Dublin North.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – November 16 2017

Dublin Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Football Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – November 16 2017


Aidan’s and Maynooth progress to Juvenile ‘A’ final

Daire Walsh

ST Aidan’s CBS will face Maynooth SS in the Top Oil Dublin Schools Juvenile ‘A’ Football Championship decider, following their respective semi-final victories last Friday afternoon.

Aidan’s entered their encounter with Ardscoil Ris at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn on the back of a morale-boosting quarter-final success over St Benildus College two weeks earlier, and an early goal from James Maloney helped them to settle. Maloney was combining effectively with Rhys McCarthy during the early moments of the contest, and thanks to strong defensive displays from Daniel Day and Sean Grehan, they found themselves in front at the midway point.

The Ardscoil attack did pose a threat for large spells of the action, however, and Aidan’s netminder Luke Garland produced a number of fine saves to keep his side in the ascendancy. Yet, Aidan’s proved to be more clinical with the opportunities that fell their way, and with the impressive Sean Gannon driving forward from midfield, they progressed on a winning scoreline of 5-8 to 1-7.

Maynooth were defeated by eventual champions Colaiste Eoin at the penultimate stage of last year’s competition, but after they had three points to spare (1-11 to 3-2) against St Fintan’s HS, Sutton in Moyglare on the same day, they are expected to provide stiff opposition to Aidan’s in the upcoming final.

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School Sports Star Of The Week: Dara Purseil (Colaiste Eoin) – The Evening Herald – November 16 2017



COLAISTE Eoin had a number of fine performers in Abbotstown on Monday afternoon, when they secured the Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling title at the expense of Ardscoil Ris. Their attack worked well as a unit throughout the course of the action, but it was inside forward Dara Puirséil who proved to be the jewel in their crown.

The ace marksman picked off a number of fine scores from play for the Gaelcholaiste, and with his ability to win primary possession also in evidence, he is a worthy winner of this week’s award.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on School Sports Star Of The Week: Dara Purseil (Colaiste Eoin) – The Evening Herald – November 16 2017

Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Colaiste Eoin V Ardscoil Ris – The Evening Herald – November 16 2017



Booterstown boys take Junior ‘A’ hurling crown from champs

Daire Walsh

PADRAIG Ó Luinneacháin and Dara Puirséil were in excellent form at Abbotstown on Monday, when Colaiste Eoin secured the Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship crown with a convincing win over Ardscoil Ris.

Eoin were narrowly defeated by Ardscoil in last year’s decider at this grade, but despite conceding an early point to opposition midfielder Rory Finn, they were awarded a penalty with just four minutes gone in the action.

The subsequent place-ball strike by Ó Luinneacháin was brilliantly turned away by Ardscoil goalkeeper Neil Currie, before unanswered scoring hauls from Ó Luinneacháin (three) and Dara Puirséil (two) helped the Booterstown boys take control.

Ardscoil responded through Joe O’Connell, only for Conall Ó Tuathaill’s stoppage-time effort to present the Booterstown school with a 0-6 to 0-2 interval cushion. Currie played with great authority for Ardscoil, and after he produced a double save from Puirséil and Ó Tuathaill on the resumption, Finn cut the gap from an expertly-converted free.

The Griffith Avenue outfit remained in contention following swapped scores between Ó Luinneacháin and Finn, but Eoin threatened to pull away with consecutive scores from Ó Tuathaill and Puirséil.

Ardscoil kept their hopes alive with a 49th-minute point from Daniel Peel, but with Ó Luinneacháin (two), Puirséil and Dárach Mac Giolla Bhríde all finding the target in the closing stages, Colaiste Eoin celebrated a well-deserved triumph.

Scorers – Colaiste Eoin: P Ó Luinneacháin 0-6 (4f), D Puirséil 0-4, C Ó Tuathaill 0-2, D Mac Giolla Bhríde 0-1. Ardscoil Ris: R Finn 0-3 (2f), D Peel (f), J O’Connell 0-1 each.

COLAISTE EOIN: D Mac Gabhann; C Mac Mathúna, B Mac Síthigh, C Ó Gráinne; C Ó Cathasaigh, I Ó hEithir, F Ó Murchú; R Ó Maoileoin, D Mac Duinnsléibhe; O Mac Gearailt, P Ó Luinneacháin, D Mac Giolla Bhríde; S Ó Cuanaigh, D Puirséil, C Ó Tuathaill. Subs: H Bál for Ó Cuanaigh (39), C Ó Maoileoin for Ó Tuathaill (62).

ARDSCOIL RIS: N Currie; M Higgins, C O’Neill, C Nolan; D Clerkin, M L’Estrange, T O’Brien; J O’Connell, R Finn; C Sheridan, P McCaw, C Kelly; S Mulcahy, R O’Neill, S Hession. Subs: D Peel for Hession (42), S Carty for Mulcahy (49).

Referee: J Dunning (St Brigid’s).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Final: Colaiste Eoin V Ardscoil Ris – The Evening Herald – November 16 2017

Dublin U15 ‘A’ Football Championship Final: Castleknock V Ballinteer St John’s – The Evening Herald – November 14 2017


Dublin 15 side battle to glory




Daire Walsh

CASTLEKNOCK completed an U15 ‘A’ double at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon, when late points from Conor Murray and Thomas Norton helped them to defeat Ballinteer St John’s in a tense Dublin Football Championship decider.

The Somerton Park outfit claimed the ‘A’ Hurling crown with a win over Ballyboden St Enda’s on October 22, and 17 of that panel were also involved in this encounter.

Their quest for a second title at this grade began in a bright fashion, and after Murray had registered an early point for his side, he coolly kicked beyond the reach of Ballinteer netminder David Reinhardt in the fifth-minute.

This was an early shock to the system for John’s, but thanks to unanswered points by Liam Fenton (two), half-back Jack Lundy and Adam O’Brian, they wiped out the Castleknock lead on 19 minutes.

Ballinteer were playing with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening period, and with Fenton and full-forward Luke Cullen in excellent form, they moved into the ascendancy for the first time.

Fenton, Cullen (0-2) and midfielder Paddy Quinn Glennon ensured that their side hit eight points without reply, and although Castleknock eventually responded through marauding wing-back Norton, Cullen’s third of the half provided John’s with a 0-9 to 1-2 interval cushion.

They were fully aware that Castleknock weren’t out of contention just yet, though, and points from inside forwards PJ Campbell and Mark Connellan cut the gap to the bare minimum after the restart.

‘Knock then received a timely boost on the stroke of 40 minutes when Fionn Gibbons fired to the roof of the Ballinteer net at the end of a fast-paced move, and a successful free by Murray ensured they maintained their momentum.

Ballinteer finally re-discovered their scoring form with back-to-back efforts from Glennon and Cullen, and although Swan secured Castleknock’s third goal after gathering a crossfield delivery from Murray, the excellent Fenton responded at the opposite end with a cool strike past Cian Sheerin.

This set-up a nail-biting conclusion, and traded scores between Glennon and Murray raised the possibility of extra-time.

Yet, Murray (who finished with an impressive tally of 1-4) and Norton put distance between the sides again, and after negotiating their way through nine minutes of stoppage-time – a series of cards for Ballinteer centre-back Liam Smith and ‘Knock duo Gibbons and Daniel Murphy held up the play – the Dublin 15 side ultimately claimed a hard-earned triumph.


Scorers – Castleknock: C Murray 1-4 (0-1f), F Gibbons, L Swan 1-0 each, T Norton 0-2, PJ Campbell, M Connellan 0-1 each. Ballinteer St John’s: L Fenton 1-3, L Cullen 0-4, P Quinn Glennon 0-3 (2f), J Lundy, A O’Brian 0-1 each.

CASTLEKNOCK: C Sheerin; E Carroll, S Forker, M Bohan; T Norton, B Harding, R O’Shea; F Gibbons, O Farrell; D Murphy, C Murray, E McSherry; PJ Campbell, L Swan, M Connellan.

Subs: R Deehan for Campbell (54), Campbell for Murphy, L Callinan for Gibbons (both 69).

BALLINTEER ST JOHN’S: D Reinhardt; L Walsh, B Millist, L O’Shea; F Chambers, L Smith, J Lundy; P Quinn Glennon, R Cullen; A O’Brian, L Fenton, D Murray; C Browne, L Cullen, C Joyce.

Subs: M Lynch for O’Brian (h-t), H Grant for Walsh (39), O Brennan for Browne (42), O Grady for Murray (54).

MENTORS – Castleknock: Johnny Murphy, Paul Harding, Karl Swan. Ballinteer St John’s: Darren Chambers, Rodney Joyce, Colm O’Donnell, Aidan Field.

Referee: Ian Howley (O’Dwyers).

WIDES – Castleknock: 8 (3+5). Ballinteer St John’s: 6 (2+4).

CONDITIONS: Dry and sunny weather, but quite cold as well.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Conor Murray (Castleknock).

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin U15 ‘A’ Football Championship Final: Castleknock V Ballinteer St John’s – The Evening Herald – November 14 2017

Rugby Column Number 98: The Kildare Nationalist – November 14 2017


Carbery makes impressive cameo appearance in record breaking Irish win

By Daire Walsh

IRELAND enjoyed an encouraging start to the latest Guinness Series at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening, when they recorded a comprehensive 38-3 triumph over an underwhelming South Africa.

This was the Green Army’s record victory against the Springboks (they previously claimed a 32-15 win at Lansdowne Road back in 2006), and though a late scoring burst did embellish the final scoreline to a certain degree, they were comfortably the better side on the night.

In addition to Simon Zebo’s absence from the squad, the build-up to the game was also dominated by the inclusion of Connacht cult hero Bundee Aki alongside his former provincial team-mate Robbie Henshaw in the Irish midfield.

Aki is the latest player – following in the notable footsteps of Jared Payne and CJ Stander – to qualify for Ireland through the three-year residency rule, which has sparked a great deal of debate in recent years. The rule is set to be extended to five years, and while this may effectively bring the ‘project player’ route for provinces to an end, Aki has gained a place in the Irish set-up prior to this tweak.

There can be no denying that Aki is a massive addition for Joe Schmidt, and while he was featuring in a back line that also included relative international novices like Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale, Ireland were the team making the attacking inroads early on.

Three penalties from Jonathan Sexton helped them to develop a healthy advantage at the end of the first-quarter, and following a period where the Springboks were doing their best to keep things tight in defence, Andrew Conway broke free for his first-ever try at international level.

Sexton was agonisingly off-target from the resulting conversion, but a 14-0 interval lead at their disposal, Ireland found themselves in a commanding position. Elton Jantjies got the visitors up and running in the second-half with a coolly penalty strike, and for much of the third-quarter, it was a much-improved performance from Allister Coetzee’s side.

Yet, Sexton’s fourth penalty on 56 minutes ensured that Ireland still had considerable breathing space, and a second try from Rhys Ruddock effectively placed the outcome beyond any doubt. This was the cue for Schmidt to fully unload his replacements bench, with former Cork hurler Darren Sweetnam making his debut in place of the dependable Rob Kearney.

Athy’s Joey Carbery also made a brief cameo at out-half, winning his fifth cap at senior level in the process.

He converted a try from Rob Herring just moments after his introduction, and also played a major role in Ireland’s fourth and final touchdown of the contest.

His precise crossfield kick was gathered by Sweetnam, and a dynamic team move was eventually finished off in the left-corner by Stockdale.

Carbery brilliantly split the posts for a second time from out on the touchline, and he is expected to feature in this Saturday’s game against Fiji, along with the Kill duo of Adam Byrne and James Tracy.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 98: The Kildare Nationalist – November 14 2017

Ulster Bank League Division 1A Review: St Mary’s College V Dublin University – Irishrugby.ie – November 14 2017

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 15 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 18, Templeville Road (played on Friday)
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Marcus O’Driscoll, Tim Maupin; Con: Conor Dean; Pen: Conor Dean
Dublin University: Tries: Richard Dunne, Paddy Finlay; Con: Bryan Mollen; Pens: Bryan Mollen 2

HT: St. Mary’s College 15 Dublin University 8

A strong scoring burst either side of half-time saw Dublin University battle past St. Mary’s College for a potentially crucial 18-15 win at Templeville Road on Friday.

Lying second-from-bottom, Trinity came from behind to secure their third triumph in four league games with returning Ireland Sevens international Bryan Mollen landing the match-winning penalty in the 54th minute.

St. Mary’s opened the scoring in the third minute with a supremely-executed penalty by out-half Conor Dean. On a damp evening, Trinity should have been level soon after but Mollen’s first kick of the night, from just outside the 22, drifted well past the left hand post.

It was not long until Mary’s were back on the front foot. Following a neat offload by Dean, Leinster-capped back rower Caelan Doris broke powerfully through a gap in the defence. He was hauled down just shy of the whitewash before play was switched out to the right where centre Marcus O’Driscoll was able to ease over for the opening try.

After Dean narrowly missed the conversion at 8-0, Mollen got the students off the mark from his second penalty attempt in the 25th minute. However, former Trinity favourite Tim Maupin stung his old club by clinically finishing a try in the right corner off a counter attack. Dean swung over a terrific touchline conversion for 15-3.

Nonetheless, just when Mary’s appeared to hold all the cards, Trinity responded with a crucial score just before half-time. Building through the phases, it was influential openside Richard Dunne who succeeded in holding off a series of tackles to notch a five-pointer under severe pressure.

The seven-point deficit was completely wiped out within two minutes of the resumption. Tony Smeeth’s youngsters gained a foothold close to the opposition posts after Maupin had spilled possession in the greasy conditions, and although they had to be patient, hooker Paddy Finlay eventually crossed the whitewash on the left.

A successful conversion from Mollen had Trinity back on level terms, and with Mary’s now struggling to find their rhythm, the visitors moved ahead on 54 minutes. Forceful attacking play from Trinity led to a penalty in front of the posts and Mollen comfortably added the three-pointer.

With four defeats from their previous five league outings, Mary’s were desperate to end a scoring sequence that had seen Trinity register 15 points without reply. They had a chance to do so close to the hour mark, but the visitors breathed a sigh of relief when Dean’s latest penalty attempt dropped short.

Mary’s started to get on top of possession moving into the final quarter, though, and with Dean kicking to touch from penalties in the 72nd and 74th minutes, it was clear that they wanted to seek out a match-winning try.

After securing the lineout from the second of these set pieces, Mary’s embarked on a multi-phase attack that looked set to yield the crucial score. However, the Trinity defence brilliantly manufactured a penalty on their own five-metre line, which allowed them to close out a narrow but deserved victory.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Terry Kennedy; Tim Maupin, Darren Moroney, Marcus O’Driscoll, Craig Kennedy; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Adam Coyle, Ciaran Ruddock (capt), Cathal O’Flaherty, Caelan Doris, Nick McCarthy, Jack Dilger.

Replacements: Cathal Ryan, Emmet Ferron, Jack Aungier, Hugh Kelleher, Robbie Glynn, Ryan O’Loughlin, Mark Fallon.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney (capt), Seb Fromm, Billy O’Hora; James Fennelly, Angus Lloyd; James Bollard, Paddy Finlay, Joe Byrne, Jack Burke, Alex McDonald, Sam Pim, Richard Dunne, David St Leger.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Darragh Higgins, Niall O’Riordan, Rowan Osborne, Jack Kelly.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on Ulster Bank League Division 1A Review: St Mary’s College V Dublin University – Irishrugby.ie – November 14 2017

Ireland V South Africa Guinness Series Post-Match Piece: Andrew Conway – Irishrugby.ie – November 13 2017

Hard Work Paying Off For ‘Grateful’ Conway

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Ireland V South Africa Guinness Series Post-Match Piece: Darren Sweetnam – Irishrugby.ie – November 13 2017

‘I Loved Every Bit Of It’ – Sweetnam On His First Cap

Saturday night’s GUINNESS Series encounter between Ireland and South Africa was an unforgettable experience for Darren Sweetnam, as the Munster winger made his international debut in a comprehensive 38-3 success for the hosts.

An injury to his provincial team-mate Keith Earls opened up a space in the matchday squad for Darren Sweetnam, who previously represented his country at the Under-20 grade. He had to wait until the 74th minute to enter the fray, but with a massive cheer accompanying his arrival, he was thrilled to be given a chance to showcase his talent at the highest level.

“It was absolutely incredible. It was all surreal. Growing up as a young kid in Ireland, all you want to do is put on that green jersey. I was absolutely thrilled, and there was a good old roar, so I enjoyed that as well,” said the 24-year-old from Dunmanway, Co. Cork.

There has been great interest in Sweetnam ever since he was signed to the Munster Academy back in 2012, having already excelled as a senior inter-county hurler. The former Bandon Grammar School student featured for the Cork hurlers in the same year that he made the permanent switch to rugby, coming off the bench during the Rebels’ All-Ireland SHC semi-final defeat to Galway at Croke Park.

While he acknowledged that playing at a packed-out Aviva Stadium is comparable in certain ways to his time with the Cork hurlers, the build-up to Saturday’s GUINNESS Series clash was completely different to anything he has witnessed in his sporting career to date.

“I haven’t experienced anything (like that). I was getting goosebumps running out there with the fireworks, and the smoke and stuff. It was something I’ve never experienced before. It was incredible, I loved every bit of it. It’s five years now since I’ve played in Croke Park, but obviously both (the Aviva and Croke Park) are incredible.”

In the lead up to the game, Sweetnam was eager to get advice from a number of his team-mates about what to expect on his first foray into the international arena. Jonathan Sexton and Andrew Conway helped him to feel at ease, and even though he was ruled out of contention himself, Earls also played a key role behind the scenes.

Sweetnam acknowledged: “The Munster lads have been great, everyone really. Johnny Sexton, Keith Earls has been so good to me. He just goes through every move and stuff. Even when he got injured, he came over to me, and making sure I was okay with everything.

“Andrew Conway as well, just telling me how it feels and getting me ready for the occasion. They’ve all been great. There’s a great bunch of lads around me.”

With the second game of the GUINNESS Series – against Fiji – taking place next Saturday, it is expected that Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will make significant changes to the starting XV. This may well see Sweetnam coming in as a starter, but with a week of training ahead of him, the Cork Constitution clubman is not looking too far ahead.

“Ah look, I won’t get ahead of myself now, I’ll just go back training now on Monday, work hard and hopefully (I get selected). We’ll see what happens. I never thought I’d get a cap, so I was absolutely delighted. I just need to keep working hard now, and keep working with the lads around me and keep going,” he added.

Posted in International Rugby | Comments Off on Ireland V South Africa Guinness Series Post-Match Piece: Darren Sweetnam – Irishrugby.ie – November 13 2017

Ireland V South Africa Guinness Series Post-Match Piece: Jacob Stockdale – Irishrugby.ie – November 13 2017

Stockdale: To Get The Try At The End Was Really Special

Posted in International Rugby | Comments Off on Ireland V South Africa Guinness Series Post-Match Piece: Jacob Stockdale – Irishrugby.ie – November 13 2017