D’Arcy hero as ‘Tarf reach final
TERENURE COLLEGE 0 CLONTARF 9
Three penalties from Matt D’Arcy were the difference in LakelandsPark yesterday, as defending champions Clontarf booked their place in the All-Ireland League final at the expense of Terenure College. Adverse weather conditions made it difficult for both sets of players, and in the absence of the reliable David Joyce through injury, inside centre D’Arcy assumed place-kicking duties.
He was marginally off target from a distance of 35 metres just two minutes into the contest, but was also wide of mark with his second attempt from the kicking tee. ‘Nure outhalf James Thornton misdirected a three-point opportunity of his own, and in spite of the best endeavours from both teams, the deadlock remained unbroken at the midway point.
Thornton was agonisingly close in his efforts to open Terenure’s account after the restart, before D’Arcy finally created some daylight with a well-directed 51st minute penalty. In a game of such fine margins, it looked like this score might be prove to be pivotal. Fergal Walsh almost crossed over for the hosts on the hour mark, but even though they lost Dermot O’Meara to the sin-bin, ‘Tarf subsequently extended their lead with a second successful D’Arcy score.
This threw down the gauntlet to Terenure, who had defeated ‘Tarf in the same venue last November. Scrumhalf Kevin O’Neill was held up just shy of the opposition line seven minutes from the end of normal time, but thanks to D’Arcy’s routine three-pointer deep into second-half stoppage-time, Clontarf’s back-to-back title ambitions remain alive.
Scorers – Clontarf: M D’Arcy 3 pens.