Sigerson Cup Quarter-Final: DCU V Queen’s University – The Irish Independent – January 20 2020

Seven-up DCU storm on

Sigerson Cup: DCU 7-14 Queen’s University 0-9

DCU stormed into the Sigerson Cup semi-final with a ruthless attacking display at St Clare’s.

First-quarter goals from Thomas Edward Donohoe, Brian Stack and Kevin Flynn gave Paddy Christie’s men a powerful platform. David Garland, Micheal Bannigan (two) and Stephen Smith contributed goals on the resumption as DCU safely advanced to a meeting with UCD on Wednesday night.

Flynn, Declan Monaghan and Bannigan all found the target early on for DCU, with Darragh McGurn responding at the opposite end. In the space of just seven minutes, Donohoe, Stack and Flynn all rattled the net. Although Donal McKeever and Daniel McGuinness pointed for Queen’s, they were 3-9 to 0-3 in arrears at half time. After the restart, David Garland’s 1-1 stretched them further in front before Bannigan palmed a goal. McGurn and Odhran Eastwood did their utmost to lift Queen’s, but with Bannigan’s 2-4, DCU sent out a statement of intent.

Scorers – DCU: M Bannigan 2-4 (1f); D Garland (1f, 1m), B Stack 1-2 each; K Flynn, TE Donohoe, S Smith 1-1 each; D Monaghan, S Bugler, P Small 0-1 each. Queen’s: D McGurn 0-4 (1f, 1m); O Eastwood 0-2 (2f); D Guinness, D McKeever, T Bogue 0-1 each.

DCU – E Comerford; C Morrison, B McCole, D Corcoran; K Flynn, S McMahon, D Monaghan; J Morrissey, S Carthy; S Bugler, M Bannigan, B Stack; TE Donohoe, P Small, D Garland. Subs: S Smith for Donohoe (35), T Fox for Bugler (35), S Akram for Flynn (42), M Barry for Carthy (45), S Tierney for Garland (45).

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY – E Mulholland; O Lappin, A Lynch, P Fegan; D Guinness, C O’Neill, A McAvoy; D McKeever, C Higgins; R Campbell, C Gorman, T Bogue; E Fyfe, D McGurn, O Eastwood. Subs: B Gallen for Campbell (18), B Haveron for O’Neill, C Cox for Gorman (both 42), A Fullerton for Eastwood (45), E Deane for Higgins (53).

REF – B Cawley (Kildare).
Posted in Colleges GAA | Comments Off on Sigerson Cup Quarter-Final: DCU V Queen’s University – The Irish Independent – January 20 2020

All-Ireland Junior Club Hurling Championship Final: Conahy Shamrocks V Russell Rovers – The Evening Echo – January 20 2020

Cork junior champions Russell Rovers are defeated at Croke Park

Conahy Shamrocks 0-22 Russell Rovers 0-15

RUSSELL ROVERS suffered All-Ireland junior club hurling final heartache at the expense of an impressive Conahy Shamrocks in Croke Park on Saturday.

This capped a disappointing end to a previously flawless 2019/20 season for the East Cork outfit, which had seen them accumulating county and provincial championship successes for the first time in their history.

That said, there no shame in losing out to their formidable Kilkenny counterparts – for whom James Bergin and Kieran Mooney amassed a combined tally of 17 points.

Given they had to wait until just 18 months ago for their first divisional triumph, they can now move forward into the intermediate ranks with great cause for optimism.

After the returning Josh Beausang uncharacteristically fired an opening minute free wide of the posts, Rovers fell behind to Donal Brennan and Eoin Cahill points.

Beausang eventually opened their account with an eye-catching score from play, only for Conahy to gradually gain control of the contest.

Inside duo Bill Murphy and Mooney raised white flags for the 2008 champions and while the lively Brian Hartnett responded in fine style, Conahy reeled off four points in succession through James Bergin (three) and Mooney.

Nevertheless, with Beausang very much to the fore, the Leesiders forced their way into the reckoning.

Following a superb effort by midfielder Kieran Walsh on the right-wing, the dynamic full-forward knocked over three consecutive frees to leave just two points between the sides.

However, Conahy has their own ace marksman in the shape of influential skipper Bergin.

He converted three placed balls in the space of five minutes to reinforce the authority of Paul Buggy’s charges.

Beausang halted this scoring sequence with a ’65’, but he was subsequently replaced after suffering a recurrence of the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the All-Ireland semi-final victory against Micheal Breathnach.

Although they were just four in arrears at the break (0-11 to 0-7), the withdrawal of such a talismanic figure was undoubtedly a set-back for Rovers. Consequently, Conahy sensed there was an opportunity to widen the gap even further on the resumption.

Despite the best endeavours of the Rovers rearguard, the twin threat of Mooney (two) and Bergin duly obliged with three unanswered points in as many minutes.

A brace of Luke Duggan Murray singles were cancelled out by Conahy strikes from Tom Phelan and Bergin, but Hartnett was later on cue to split the posts off a 40th-minute free. Hartnett assumed dead-ball duties in the absence of Beausang in the earlier round and once again proved himself to be an able deputy.

Substitute Daniel O’Brien and Hartnett posted additional points to provide Rovers with renewed hope, though a dramatic final-quarter fightback was ultimately a bridge too far.

The outstanding Bergin pushed into overdrive with a quickfire three-point salvo, while Donal Brennan was also on target for Conahy in a dominant spell.

To Rovers’ credit, they fought until the bitter end.

Hartnett, netminder Ross Walsh and captain Daniel Moynihan all added frees to ensure they emerged from GAA HQ with their heads held high.

Scorers for Conahy Shamrocks: James Bergin 0-13 (9f), Kieran Mooney 0-4, Donal Brennan 0-2, Eddie Delaney, Eoin Cahill, Bill Murphy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Russell Rovers: Josh Beausang 0-5 (3f, 1 ’65’), Brian Hartnett 0-4 (3f), Luke Duggan Murray 0-2, Ross Walsh (f), Daniel Moynihan (f), Kieran Walsh, Daniel O’Brien 0-1 each.

CONAHY SHAMROCKS: Padraic Delaney; Liam Cass, Davy Healy, Simon Callinan; Darren Cuddihy, Brian Healy, Eoin Carroll; Donal Brennan, Eddie Delaney; Eoin Cahill, John Mullan, Tom Phelan; James Bergin, Kieran Mooney, Bill Murphy.

Subs: Alan Healy for Cuddihy (48), Tom Rice for Cahill (60), Tom Nolan for Murphy (62).

RUSSELL ROVERS: Ross Walsh; Kevin O’Brien, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Paul Lane; Chris Ruddy, John Paul Ivers, James Kennifick; Kevin Tattan, Kieran Walsh; Jack McGrath, Luke Duggan Murray, Daniel Moynihan; Kevin Moynihan, Josh Beausang, Brian Hartnett.

Subs: Daniel O’Brien for Beausang (30+1).

Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on All-Ireland Junior Club Hurling Championship Final: Conahy Shamrocks V Russell Rovers – The Evening Echo – January 20 2020

Sigerson Cup Quarter-Final: DCU V Queen’s University – The Irish Examiner – January 20 2020

DCU blast seven goals on stroll to semi-final

By Daire Walsh

DCU 7-14 Queen’s University 0-9

DCU produced a ruthless attacking display against Queen’s University at St Clare’s on Sunday to storm into the Sigerson Cup semis.

First-quarter goals from Thomas Edward Donohoe, Brian Stack, and Kevin Flynn saw Paddy Christie’s men lay a powerful early platform in this last-eight encounter. David Garland, Micheal Bannigan (two), and Stephen Smith netted on the resumption as the four-time winners safely progressed to a penultimate round meeting with UCD on Wednesday night.

Thanks to a late scoring blitz by the aforementioned Bannigan, DCU squeezed past the stubborn challenge of Garda College at the same venue seven days earlier. Queen’s overcame TU Dublin City on home soil last Saturday week and were seeking to bridge a 13-year gap to their last success at this grade.

Yet with Flynn, Declan Monaghan, and Bannigan all finding the target early on, DCU were making the greater inroads during the opening exchanges. Darragh McGurn pointed off an advanced mark at the opposite end to get Queen’s up and running, but the hosts then took charge with that stunning scoring blitz.

In the space of just seven minutes, they struck for three goals – Stack’s clinical strike in the 13th-minute proving to be the pick of the bunch. Queen’s briefly halted their momentum when Donal McKeever pointed on the run, but it only served as a temporary respite.

Although Daniel McGuinness also raised a white flag after Eamon Fyfe had been denied by Evan Comerford, the trio of Donohoe, Bannigan and Garland ensured DCU brought an unassailable 3-9 to 0-3 buffer into the interval.

Despite their impressive advantage they maintained their stranglehold on the proceedings. David Garland’s 1-1 salvo stretched them further in front and while Tiarnan Bogue picked off a nice score for Queen’s, a fifth DCU goal inevitably arrived.

Not wanting to be outdone by his Monaghan compatriot Garland, the outstanding Bannigan palmed beyond the reach of Queen’s Eoghan Mulholland on 37 minutes. McGurn and Odhran Eastwood did their utmost to keep Queens in the game – the latter finding the range either side of a Smith point for DCU.

Nevertheless, with three Sigerson crowns accumulated in the last decade alone, DCU are hell-bent on the beginning the new era on a positive note. Sky Blues native Smith is pushing hard for a starting place in their side and did his chances no harm with a smooth finish just shy of the third-quarter mark.

Dublin senior panellist Paddy Small became the ninth DCU scorer on the stroke of 50 minutes, while Bannigan brought his final haul to 2-4 inside the closing stages. The hard-working McGurn added a brace of points late on as Queen’s persevered in the face of extreme adversity, but it was DCU who marched on in utterly convincing fashion.

Scorers for DCU: M Bannigan (2-4, 1f), D Garland (1f, 1 mark), B Stack (1-2 each), K Flynn, TE Donohoe, S Smith (1-1 each), D Monaghan, S Bugler, P Small (0-1 each).

Scorers for Queen’s University: D McGurn (0-4 (1f, 1 mark), O Eastwood (0-2, 2f), D Guinness, D McKeever, T Bogue (0-1 each).

DCU: E Comerford (Dublin); C Morrison (Donegal), B McCole (Donegal), D Corcoran (Louth); K Flynn (Kildare), S MacMahon (Dublin), D Monaghan (Dublin); J Morrissey (Carlow), S Carthy (Dublin); S Bugler (Dublin), M Bannigan (Monaghan), B Stack (Roscommon); TE Donohoe (Cavan), P Small (Dublin), D Garland (Monaghan).

Subs: S Smith (Dublin) for Donohoe, T Fox (Dublin) for Bugler (both 35), S Akram (Mayo) for Flynn (42), M Barry (Laois) for Carthy, S Tierney (Offaly) for Garland (both 45).

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY: E Mulholland (Armagh); O Lappin (Armagh), A Lynch, P Fegan; D Guinness (all Down), C O’Neill (Armagh), A McAvoy (Down); D McKeever (Down), C Higgins (Armagh); R Campbell (Down), C Gorman (Down), T Bogue (Fermanagh); E Fyfe (Antrim), D McGurn (Fermanagh), O Eastwood (Antrim).

Subs: B Gallen (Down) for Campbell (18), B Haveron (Armagh) for O’Neill, C Cox (Down) for Gorman (both 42), A Fullerton (Tyrone) for Eastwood (45), E Deane (Derry) for Higgins (53).

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).

Posted in Colleges GAA | Comments Off on Sigerson Cup Quarter-Final: DCU V Queen’s University – The Irish Examiner – January 20 2020

Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: James Lowe – – January 17 2020

‘We know we’ve got a target on our backs… they want to put a shot on us’

James Lowe knows that Leinster can take nothing for granted if they want to secure Champions Cup top seeding.

WHEN LEINSTER MAKE the trip to Stadio Monigo for tomorrow’s final round Champions Cup pool encounter against Benetton, they will be aiming to extend an extraordinary run that dates all the way back to May of last year.

Following the devastation of a maiden European final defeat at the hands of Saracens, Leo Cullen’s men subsequently bounced back to retain their Pro14 title and have carried this rich vein of form into 2019/20. Should they get the better of the Italians this weekend, their record for the season will stand at 16 wins from 16 games played.

While Blues winger James Lowe has never played in a team that experienced this kind of a streak, he did help to halt an unbeaten run on his Super Rugby debut with the Chiefs in February 2014. With the tie finely balanced late on, the flamboyant New Zealander scored an intercept try to inflict a first home league defeat on the Crusaders since 30 June 2012.

“It was actually round one of the season down in Canterbury against Crusaders. We were up by one. Corey Flynn and Nafi Tuitavake shot down the short side. Ben Tameifuna, big man, shot in and left me stranded. I didn’t want to tackle back then, so I went for an intercept!” Lowe recalls of their clash at the AMI Stadium.

However, despite claiming that significant scalp, the Chiefs had entered that campaign as reigning champions after successfully defending their maiden top-flight crown of 2012. Lowe is therefore well accustomed to the favourites tag, which Leinster will have to deal with once again in Treviso.

“We know we’ve got a target on our backs. If we’re on an unbeaten run or it’s round one of a competition. People want to beat us. We’ve been at the top for a couple of years. We’re a premier team in Europe. It doesn’t matter what team turns up. They want to put a shot on us. That’s for sure.”

With big games to follow in the coming weeks and months – not to mention the presence of 16 of their players in Andy Farrell’s Six Nations squad – it would be easy for Leinster to take their foot off the gas against Pool One’s basement side tomorrow.

Yet the eastern province need another win to be assured of top seeding for the knockout rounds and given how tough their previous battles have been with Kieran Crowley’s side, Lowe acknowledged they can’t afford to let their guard slip.

“It doesn’t matter what we have done before this game. There is such a huge bearing on this game. If we win, then we get first, a home quarter. If we win that, a home semi. If we are able to win that, we get to pick the changing rooms [for the final]. This will have such a huge bearing on the outcome of the season,” Lowe explained.

“Benetton’s results don’t reflect the team that they are. There is a lot of international quality sprinkled throughout it. They have beaten us before. We have drawn to them.

“Every single game we have played against them, we haven’t been able to put them away, so obviously they can go in confident. But it is all about us. If we can get in there and be clinical, get on top, stay on top, hopefully we can come away with the win.”

Whereas the majority of Leinster’s first-choice selection will be ensconced in the Ireland camp during the Six Nations, Lowe will remain behind with the rest of the squad as they return to Pro14 action.

This is expected to change for the Guinness Series in November when the Nelson native becomes Irish-qualified. Although this will most likely limit his game time with Leinster, that is currently the furthest thing from Lowe’s mind.

“I’m enjoying my rugby at the moment. If I get picked, then I want to perform. I want to play 80. I’ve been very lucky to have gone this far without any serious niggles or things that have kept me out of games. Touch wood, hopefully, I can get to the end of the season and worry about that next hurdle when it comes,” Lowe said.

Daire Walsh

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: James Lowe – – January 17 2020

Schools GAA Round-Up: The Evening Herald – January 16 2020


Benildus win Junior ‘A’ crown

Daire Walsh

ST BENILDUS College squeezed past the challenge of St Aidan’s CBS at Russell Park last Friday to claim the Dublin Junior ‘A’ Football Championship.

Competing in their first final at this grade since February 2015 – when Aidan’s got the better of them in Ringsend – the Stillorgan outfit dug deep at the home of St Brigid’s GAA to ultimately secure the spoils by the slenderest of margins (1-10 to 1-9).

Meanwhile, Colaiste Eoin secured a hard-earned draw – 2-10 to 2-13 – at Portlaoise yesterday to earn themselves a spot in the semi-finals of the Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship. Earlier defeat to Kieran’s and Eoin had already ruled Dublin North out of contention and their group campaign ended in a 2-18 to 0-8 defeat at the hands of St Peter’s College.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Schools GAA Round-Up: The Evening Herald – January 16 2020

Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: Andrew Porter – – January 16 2020

‘It freshens things up’: Porter looking forward to life under Ireland’s new regime

Leinster prop is hoping to establish himself as first choice for both province and country.

WHEN YOU SIT down to analyse the role Andrew Porter played in Ireland’s 2019 World Cup campaign, there are two stats that immediately stand out.

While the versatile prop was one of nine Irish players to feature in all five games in Japan, he was also among a quartet in the squad that failed to make a single start over the course of the tournament.

Providing back-up to Leinster team-mate Tadhg Furlong on no fewer than four occasions, he also deputised for Dave Kilcoyne in the closing minutes of the pool stage win against Russia.

It is often a similar case for Porter at provincial level, where Furlong is normally the preferred choice at tighthead for the majority of Leinster’s big games.

“At the time, it’s a bit frustrating,” says of his time in Japan. “It’s the team first, I wasn’t really holding any grudges. I was just trying to put my best performance on when I came on in the games. It’s great to get the opportunity now to start a few games [with Leinster] and really get a good bit of game time under my belt.”

Given his age profile – he turns 24 today – Porter has time on his side as he bids to establish himself as a number one option for both Leinster and Ireland. Yet with so much at stake from now until the end of the season, he can’t afford to gaze too far into the future.

“I make goals week by week. If I’m starting or on the bench, I’m just trying to cement myself there. Try and put in my best performance. The next week, if I’m on the bench, I’ve to make a good impact off the bench. It’s small goals like that, because everyone is after that starting position. It’s just the amount of competition now that drives our performance.”

The pre-determined departure of Joe Schmidt following the completion of the World Cup has led to a change in the Irish coaching structure and, by extension, to Leinster’s as well. Joining head coach Andy Farrell in the new international set-up are Mike Catt (attack) and John Fogarty (scrum) with Welsh man Robin McBryde replacing the latter at the eastern province.

Porter acknowledges McBryde hasn’t made any drastic alterations since assuming his new role, but welcomes a fresh voice to compliment the working already being done by Leo Cullen, Stuart Lancaster and Felipe Contepomi.

Even though he offers the same seal of approval to Catt, he is nevertheless pleased to have a familiar face like Fogarty within the Irish camp.

“Obviously he [McBryde] was with Wales so it’s great to get a new perspective from a different coach. He was telling me things that they would have tried to target when they were playing us, so it’s great to hear those things.

“I think a change of personnel is quite good, it freshens things up. We have Mike Catt in the Irish set-up now and he can bring fresh, new ideas. It’s great for something like that to happen for the squad, especially. He [Fogarty] knows what I’m like and I know what he’s like. It’s good having him there.”

Before switching his attention to the forthcoming Six Nations campaign – which will be his third at senior test level – Porter will place all his focus on Leinster’s Champions Cup encounter with Benetton at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

Heading into this final round pool encounter, Leinster are on a winning run that stands at 15 games for the 2019/20 season. The St Andrew’s College prodigy admits this formidable run of form, and the never-ending competition for places, ensures he is never lacking in motivation.

“It’s great to be winning. It’s one of the best feelings, really, when we’re on a streak like this. This is my club, this is my home and it’s great to be pushing for that number one spot. Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to be in that squad,” Porter explains.

“Even the young lads in here, we’ve used something like 51 players this season already. That’s a testament to our strength in depth and the young lads who are pushing through and putting pressure on the senior lads.”

Daire Walsh

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: Andrew Porter – – January 16 2020

Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: Felipe Contepomi – – January 15 2020

Embarrassment of riches at out-half won’t hinder young guns’ development, says Contepomi

‘They need to understand they need to play to their strength without compromising our system or the way Leinster wants to play.’

LEINSTER BACKS COACH Felipe Contepomi has moved to dismiss the notion that the province have too many out-halves in their first-team squad.

In addition to club captain Jonathan Sexton, the Byrne brothers – Ross and Harry – and the highly-rated Ciaran Frawley are options for the number 10 shirt in the blues’ line-up. Even allowing for the continued absence of Sexton through a knee injury, one of the remaining three candidates will miss out on matchday selection for the weekend Champions Cup assignment against Benetton.

However, Contepomi – who competed with Sexton for a starting berth during his own time as a Leinster player – insists it is a positive to have the quartet on their books.

“It’s never too many. To start with, the idea is to keep everyone fit and so on. Everyone wants to play. They can prove themselves in training. The good thing with the way we set the environment up, is everyone will have their opportunity. It’s about being ready, preparing yourself to take them,” the Argentinian explained in a press conference at Leinster HQ on Tuesday.

“I think the interesting thing is they all have their strength and they need to understand they need to play to their strength without compromising our system or the way Leinster wants to play. They have to understand how they are the most valuable for the team to function, exploding their strength.

“Ross is a rugby brain. You can see it how he is looking for space and how he can find it. Frawley is athletic. He needs to exploit that, his way of running. Harry, he’s young now and free and likes to pass. Definitely he still has to learn a lot but he’s getting there. Johnny, what can you say? He is great in what he does. I think he is a good example of exploiting the best of his strengths.”

Thanks to 15 wins on the bounce during the current campaign – or 17 if you date back to the tail-end of last season – Leinster are rated by many as the in-form side in European club rugby. They have amassed 77 tries across the Pro14 and Champions Cup this term and Contepomi feels a strong variety in attack is the key behind this remarkable unbeaten run.

“It’s great to have a team with that mentality to go out and play like that. It’s not just backs scoring or forwards scoring, it’s a big variety and that’s where we want to get.

“If we need to score five tries from a maul, we’ll try to score them. If we have to score by counter or flowing rugby, we’ll do it as well. That’s what we want to be, an unpredictable team in terms of how you play against us.”

Although they are a full 18 points clear of Benetton in the Pool A standings, Leinster have reason to be wary of the challenge that awaits them in Italy on Saturday afternoon. When the sides met at Stadio Monigo in the Pro14 at the end of September, the defending champions squeezed through on a 32-27 scoreline after playing the closing half-hour with an extra man.

Their European pool clash on 16 November represented Leinster’s first competitive victory against the Azzurri outfit in three attempts at the RDS and they encountered considerable resistance on their way to claiming the spoils.

Contepomi is expecting another stern examination from Kieran Crowley’s charges, but is grateful Leinster have put themselves in such a strong position to secure top ranking for the knockout rounds.

“They are a tough team to play against and sometimes when you play against teams like that and you can’t break them, you become frustrated. It’s that type of thing, if you don’t take your chances early in the game Benetton is a team that won’t give up at all. It’s always a tough game but that’s the challenge we know we are facing this weekend.

“Having a position where we are already qualified and we know that if we perform properly, we have better chances of getting the result we want. We know it will go for 80 minutes because it’s always like that against Benetton.”

Daire Walsh

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Media Briefing Pre-Benetton European Away Game: Felipe Contepomi – – January 15 2020

Vinnie Murray Cup First Round: The King’s Hospital V Patricians Newbridge – The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020


Patrician go close on first time out in Vinnie Murray Cup



By Daire Walsh

DESPITE a gallant effort over the course of the contest, Patrician Secondary School were knocked out of the Vinnie Murray Cup at the expense of The King’s Hospital in Templeville Road last Wednesday.

The Newbridge side were competing in this competition for the first time in their history and while the final scoreline might suggest a comprehensive reversal for the Piercetown outfit, they more than held their own in this first round clash. Thanks in no small part to tries in each half for impressive winger Kyle O’Brien, they found themselves within touching distance of King’s Hospital for large spells.

A final-quarter scoring blitz ultimately helped their Palmerstown counterparts to advance, but Patricians nevertheless emerged from the south Dublin venue with their heads held high. After missing out on qualification for last year’s Senior Cup, King’s Hospital are understandably eager to make the grade in 2020.

They enjoyed a dream start to this encounter as Adam Bagnall burst through a gap in the Patricians defence to touch down underneath the posts. Skipper Matthew Mahood comfortably added the bonuses to give King’s Hospital a strong platform at the home of St Mary’s College RFC.

This was an early set-back for Patricians, who lost out to CBS Enniscorthy in the penultimate round of the McMullen Cup last month. Though O’Brien made some powerful carries up the right-wing, King’s Hospital continued to dominate possession as the action developed.

To their credit, the Patricians rearguard dug deep and forced a number of turnovers inside their own half. However, persistence inevitably paid off for their Metropolitan rivals on the first-quarter mark.

Following a lengthy attacking spell to the left of the posts, No 8 Steven Walshe powered over the whitewash in clinical fashion. Mahood’s second conversion was wide of the mark, but King’s Hospital appeared to have all the aces up their sleeves.

Yet, Patricians were not prepared to go down without a fight. Having finally established attacking momentum inside enemy territory, they pounced for their maiden try in the 25th-minute.

O’Brien was picked out in space on the right-hand side and successfully evaded a series of challenges on his way to dotting down beyond the King’s Hospital line. Scrum-half Conn Kehoe expertly split the uprights to leave Patricians just five points in arrears (12-7) at the break.

This presented Patricians with a realistic chance of pulling off a major scalp, but their task was made more difficult just six minutes after the resumption. Off a five-metre attacking scrum, Brian Oh was on hand to release Bagnall for his second try.

The gauntlet had been thrown down to Patricians and even though Adam Hurley added considerable impetus off the bench, scoring opportunities were coming at a premium for the Lilywhites. Although Sean Maher was agonisingly close to picking out O’Brien with the try-line sight, it came as little surprise when King’s Hospital extended their lead on 55 minutes.

A simple finish for full-back Eoin Francis left all of 15 points between the teams, but Patricians once again showcased their fighting spirit at the opposite end. O’Brien raced onto a cross-field pass and burst through a gap for a stunning five-pointer.

Unfortunately, this only served to reignite the King’s Hospital challenge. A swift counter off a Patricians scrum was rounded off in the left-corner by Kenneth Cooper – placing the outcome beyond doubt in the process.

There was enough time for replacement David Brennan to add his own name to the scoresheet, but their final margin of victory wasn’t a true reflection of how the game had transpired.

THE KING’S HOSPITAL: Eoin Francis; Adam Bagnall, James Kelly, Eduard Bauer, Kenneth Cooper; Matthew Mahood, Brian Oh; Magnus Weilandt, Hugh Perry, Dylan Bagnall; Dylan Forster, Alexander Walsh; Abraham Shodiya, Oluwatoni Lawal, Steven Walshe.

Replacements: Mikey Doyle, Scott Wilson, Ifeoluwapo Dada, Jack Leitch, David Brennan, Paddy Connolly-Carew, Georges Troivaux, Carlo Healy.

PATRICIANS NEWBRIDGE: Tom Martin; Kyle O’Brien, Senan Brannock, Aidan O’Brien, Daniel Joyce; Conor Martin, Conn Kehoe; James Choiseul, Dylan McHugh, Max McLoughlin; Niall Clancy, Paul Farrell; Fergal O’Grady, Ronan Conney, Sean Maher.

Replacements: Connall Sharkey, Conor Spratt, Sean Murray, David Olasogba, Adam Hurley, Fionnan O’Tiarnaigh, Liam Hayes.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Vinnie Murray Cup First Round: The King’s Hospital V Patricians Newbridge – The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020

Joey Carbery Injury Piece: The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020


Luckless Carbery to miss Six Nations

By Daire Walsh

JUST when it looked like he was ready to leave his injury troubles firmly behind him, Athy’s Joey Carbery was a dealt a fresh blow in the aftermath of Munster’s recent interprovincial defeat to Ulster.

After finally making a full recovery from the ankle injury that he carried through the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Carbery was looking towards the recent bout of Heineken Champions Cup games as the perfect audition for a Six Nations starting berth.

A cameo against former club Leinster preceded the Red Army’s trip to Belfast, but a damaged wrist in the latter game ensures the 24-year-old will return to the treatment table for an estimated period of between two to four months.

Having enjoyed an excellent debut campaign at Munster, Carbery was eager to push forward upon his return from Japan.

The chance to work with former Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham (who was appointed assistant coach at the province during the off-season) would have added a spring to his step after the disappointment of the World Cup and this latest set-back comes at a time when his services are needed the most.

At provincial level, Tyler Bleyendaal and JJ Hanrahan have both spent time on the sideline in recent weeks with Academy star Ben Healy the next viable alternative in the playmaker role. Although it is anticipated that he will back to full fitness in time for Ireland’s Six Nations opener with Scotland in February, Jonathan Sexton last saw action for Leinster in their Champions Cup success over Northampton Saints on 7 December.

The Dubliner turns 35 in July but, in the absence of Carbery, he remains the stand-out choice for the number 10 shirt as new head coach Andy Farrell aims to get his tenure off to a positive start. Despite being a worthy addition to the squad, Sexton’s club-mate Ross Byrne is yet to make his Six Nations bow and Ulster’s Billy Burns is completely uncapped at international level.

World Cup squad member Jack Carty may return to the reckoning in light of Joey Carbery’s injury, but the emergence of Conor Fitzgerald has put his place in the Connacht team under the microscope in recent weeks.

Though there is an understandable clamour for Farrell to tear down the hierarchy that has been built up within the Irish squad, all of the above means Sexton is a likely starter for his first game in charge.

As far as Carbery is concerned, all he can do is work as hard as he can behind the scenes in Limerick and hope that the Wigan man keeps him in mind for the summer tests in Australia.

Due to his Ireland commitments and a succession of injuries, he has played a grand total of four games for Munster over the course of the past 12 months. The former Ardscoil na Trionoide student often finds himself thrown back in at the deep end, so perhaps a more measure approach will be required for his next return to competitive fare.

Posted in European Rugby, International Rugby | Comments Off on Joey Carbery Injury Piece: The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020

Rugby Column Number 172: The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020


Tracy plays his part as Leinster continue to rack up the wins

By Daire Walsh

KILL native James Tracy enjoyed a second consecutive home European start at the RDS last Sunday as Leinster maintained their remarkable unbeaten run in 2019/20.

Courtesy of an impressive six-try display against Lyon in front of a crowd of 18,138, Leinster recorded their 15th win in succession – or 17th if you date back to the closing weeks of last season. A rejuvenated Dave Kearney bagged a brace of tries in the opening period, while Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan, Sean Cronin and Andrew Porter also crossed the whitewash over the course of the action.

Although Tracy has been a virtual ever-present in Leinster match day squads, he has encountered fresh competition for the number two jersey in Leo Cullen’s side. The emergence of Ronan Kelleher ensured the former Newbridge College student had to make do with a place on the bench during the initial weeks of the term – he has appeared as a replacement on no fewer than eight occasions.

The return of Sean Cronin from the World Cup would also have been playing on his mind, but the Limerick man was subsequently sidelined by a neck injury sustained in the build-up to the quarter-final hammering at the expense of New Zealand. Kelleher has since had his own spell on the treatment table and while Cronin has regained fitness, he has made a gradual return to competitive fare.

As a result, Tracy has been presented with an opportunity to stake his claim for future selection. In addition to being the hooker of choice for the comprehensive triumph over Northampton Saints at the Aviva Stadium in mid-December, the 28-year-old was handed a starting berth in the Christmas victory over Munster at Thomond Park.

He featured for 54 minutes in Ballsbridge at the weekend, prior to making way for the aforementioned Cronin. Alongside his tally of nine metres from nine carries, Tracy also executed six tackles in his time on the field.

It was another productive performance overall for the six-times capped international, but Cronin’s try-scoring cameo served to reinforce the battle he has for a place at the front of the Leinster scrum. The blues will bring their Champions Cup pool campaign to a close when they travel to Italy on Saturday for a showdown with Benetton at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Given their status as pool winners has already been secured, there may well be scope for Cullen to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up.

Meanwhile, Athy’s Jeremy Loughman was a replacement for Munster in their 39-22 defeat to Racing 92 in Paris. In the absence of injured duo Joey Carbery (Athy) and Tadhg Beirne (Eadestown), Loughman was the sole Kildare representative for Johann van Graan’s charges.

When he entered the fray for Dave Kilcoyne on 65 minutes, the reds held a slender 22-20 cushion. However, following unanswered tries courtesy of Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa and Juan Imhoff, the hosts emerged with the spoils to leave Munster on the brink of European elimination.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 172: The Kildare Nationalist – January 14 2020