Leinster Schools Senior Cup Final Preview: Newbridge College V Clongowes Wood College – The Leinster Leader – March 10 2020

Historic final as Newbridge and Clongowes go head-to-head

Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup final

Daire Walsh looks ahead as Newbridge College and Clongowes Wood College clash in an all-Kildare senior schools final, for the first time in 133 years

By Daire Walsh

New ground will be broken at the RDS Arena in Ballsbridge next Tuesday (March 17) when Newbridge College face Clongowes Wood College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup decider.

For the first time in the competition’s 133-year history, two Kildare teams will compete against each other in a showpiece decider.

It will also be the first final contested by non-Dublin schools since 2011 – a 46-15 triumph for Clongowes at the expense of Cistercian College Roscrea.

Thus far in 2020, the Clane school have accumulated a combined tally of 118 points in consecutive wins over Terenure College, St Gerard’s, Bray and Castleknock College.

Yet, whereas Pat Kenny’s charges were expected to come through all three of these games, Newbridge caused a seismic shock when dethroning 2019 champions St Michael’s College at the semi-final stage.

It was all going according to plan for the holders when converted tries from Henry McErlean and Lee Barron propelled them into a 14-0 lead with as many minutes gone on the clock.

However, with former Munster, Leicester Tigers and Naas stalwart Johne Murphy at the helm, ‘Bridge have displayed remarkable resilience in the face of considerable adversity.

In their opening clash with CBC Monkstown in Donnybrook, they trailed for much of the first half before eventually storming to a comprehensive 45-7 victory.

On their return to Energia Park for a quarter-final showdown against Kilkenny College, they were forced to negotiate an eight-point interval deficit before Sam Prendergast’s final-quarter penalty eventually sealed the deal on a scoreline of 10-8.

While overturning a formidable Michael’s outfit seemed like a bridge too far, Newbridge defied the odds in spectacular fashion.

After a Prendergast place-kick got them up and running, Newbridge stormed in front on the resumption through Cormac King and Donal Conroy five-pointers.

Michael’s looked set to push on again when Eddie Kelly crossed the whitewash, only for David O’Sullivan’s finish at the opposite end to inspire ‘Bridge towards an unexpected 25-22 triumph.

Murphy undoubtedly has a very talented group at his disposal with 22 players returning from last year’s senior squad. Prendergast has offered a strong presence alongside King at half-back, while captain Marcus Kiely is a magnificent leader of the team at outside centre.

In the absence of the influential Conor McGroary – who missed out through illness – Luke Dunleavy slotted in seamlessly at openside flanker for the Michael’s game. Though McGroary is expected to regain fitness, his deputy certainly provided food for thought in a back-row that includes the ever-present duo of Mark Dennis and Donough Lawlor.

As a consequence of claiming the scalp of Michael’s, Newbridge will have to contend with higher expectations next Tuesday. Still, Clongowes are a side brimming with quality and will not want this opportunity to go to waste.

Their most recent final appearance was in 2014 – a 22-17 defeat at the hands of a Blackrock College side that featured Kildare natives Joey Carbery and Jeremy Loughman.

They suffered four semi-final defeats in the space of five years, before finally getting it right against Castleknock last Monday week (March 2).

Like Newbridge, they had to negotiate a 14-point deficit in the early moments of this clash before also falling adrift in the closing-quarter of a tense affair.

Eddie Carr and Oisin Devitt tries ensured it was a powerful finish from Clongowes in Donnybrook and this continued an astonishing trend in the games they’ve played en route to the final.

Having initially gone behind in their first round encounter with Terenure College, they put on the after burners to eventually claim a 34-14 win.

The same was true of their quarter-final against St Gerard’s. Level at 24-24 early in the second period, they proceeded to register a jaw-dropping 31 points without reply.

The key creative force in this Clongowes team is fly-half David Wilkinson and having struggled with injury in the early stages of the competition, he marked his return to the starting line-up with a nine-point haul against Castleknock.

Whilst Pat Kenny is head coach of Wood, the presence of Joe Carbery, father of Joey, in the management set-up is even more intriguing. Have watched on as his son thwarted Clongowes six years ago, Leinster’s CRO for the North Midlands will hope to play his part in securing a ninth senior title for the north Kildare men and, by extension, deny Newbridge a third crown at this grade.

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Rugby Column Number 178: The Kildare Nationalist – March 10 2020

RUGBY COLUMN – MARCH 10

By Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING a second consecutive weekend without a competitive game, Ireland are set to resume their Six Nations campaign against France at Saint-Denis next Saturday.

After a much-needed rest week in the wake of their crushing third round defeat at the hands of England on 23 February they were set to host Italy at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday afternoon, but the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) put a stop to this proposed encounter.

While this epidemic has spread slowly across the globe – including on these shores – Italy is the worse affected country in Europe. The Azzurri’s final round meeting with England has also been postponed and with summer tours factored into the equation, we may have to wait until October for this year’s Championship to come to an end.

In the absence of Ireland and Italy, England and Scotland opened up the whole series with respective victories against Wales and France. Building on their success over Italy, the Scots brought Les Bleus’ Grand Slam hopes to a halt with a surprise 28-17 win at Murrayfield.

France remain in contention for pole position in the table as they find themselves marginally behind England on score difference. As a result of claiming a major scalp in Edinburgh, Scotland leapfrog Ireland into third place.

Though this makes grim reading on one level for Ireland, this is the inevitable consequence of having a game in hand. Had Andy Farrell’s men played Italy at the weekend – and claimed a bonus-point win – they would have moved to the summit with a point to spare over both England and France.

If they can get the measure of Fabien Galthié’s charges, the prospects of a fourth Six Nations triumph in the space of seven years will become a live possibility for Ireland. There is still a chance this forthcoming test could be delayed because of COVID-19, given the French government have signalled their reluctance to host public gatherings holding more than 1,000 people.

Yet at the time of writing, it was set to be staged in Paris at 9pm local time (or 8pm Irish time) on Saturday.

Closer to home, the Newbridge College juniors will look to match the heroics of their senior allies when they face Terenure College in a Leinster schools semi-final later today (kick-off 3pm). Dave Brew’s outfit caused a seismic shock at the quarter-final stage by knocking 2019 champions St Michael’s College out.

At the end of a thrilling contest, Michael Collins’ penalty handed the south Kildare side a superb 20-18 victory. This served as the preamble to the Newbridge senior team’s own dethroning of Michael’s – a stunning comeback win in the penultimate round on a scoreline of 25-22.

With an all-Kildare decider against Clane’s Clongowes Wood College now lying in wait, it would cap a remarkable 2020 for the school if they could make it to a second showpiece. They will first have to negotiate their way past Terenure, who ousted Kilkenny College and Cistercian College Roscrea en route to the last-four.

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Post-Match Reaction: Leinster Schools Senior Cup Semi-Final – Newbridge College Coach Johne Murphy – The Kildare Nationalist – March 10 2020

POST-MATCH REACTION: LEINSTER SCHOOLS SENIOR CUP SEMI-FINAL – JOHNE MURPHY

By Daire Walsh

It is a mark of the ambition shown by Newbridge College in this year’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup that head coach Johne Murphy already had his eye on future events within minutes of their monumental semi-final victory against St Michael’s College last Tuesday.

Following their magnificent triumph at the expense of the 2019 champions in Donnybrook, Newbridge now have an all-Kildare showpiece with Clongowes Wood College to look forward to at the RDS on this day week (March 17) and they are not prepared to let this golden opportunity go to waste.

“It’s great for the school. I think the school is on a crest of a wave in terms of last week’s result for the juniors and this today. It’s about embracing it now and enjoying it,” Murphy said, making reference to Newbridge’s Junior Cup success over the same school six days earlier.

“You have to enjoy these moments as well. The lads inside, they’ve made life memories there today in terms of no one will ever be able to take that away from them. What they did there this afternoon. My job is to try and ground them in the next 48 hours and start the process of what brings us to Paddy’s Day.”

Nevertheless, Murphy’s own connection to the college – dating back a number of generations – meant this was a result filled with raw emotion for the former Leicester, Munster and Naas stalwart.

“It’s brilliant, it really is. As a past pupil, it means a hell of a lot more. My nephews were here today, my son was at one of the previous games. The family will be coming on Paddy’s Day. My granddad was in Newbridge College, all my uncles. My brothers and sisters. It means a huge amount.”

The prospect of a penultimate round upset seemed unlikely during the early moments of the contest as Newbridge found themselves staring into a 14-0 deficit. However, they knuckled down in the second period, outscoring their opponents 22-8 to eventually secure the spoils with three points to spare (25-22).

While he acknowledged it wasn’t ideal to give the south Dubliners a head start of this nature, Murphy explained how it ultimately worked in their favour.

“When you look at that for what it is, it’s never good to go 14-0 down. But in the context of the game, it probably suits us. Because we slowly get back into it and when we go ahead late on, there’s no time. There’s very little time for them to get back ahead. Whereas if we go 14-0, they still have 60 minutes to catch us.

“It fell probably to us and the lads showed fantastic resilience and heart. Daryl Gibson told me in one of my first two weeks over in Leicester, ‘you can’t buy ticker’ and our lads have it in abundance.”

Considering they suffered comprehensive quarter-final reversals to Belvedere College in the past two seasons, Newbridge have taken a giant leap forward in Murphy’s first season at the helm. Yet, the Rathangan native feels they can reach another level before their forthcoming tussle against Clongowes.

“We’ve learnt a lot throughout the season and we’re still learning. There’s a lot of improvement to come ahead of Paddy’s Day and it just comes down to grit. To be able to grind your teeth, bite down your gum shield and get on with those mishaps that have happened along the way. I think it’s very, very important from a personal development standout, holistically for the lads, that they’re capable of doing that,” Murphy added.

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Dublin Minor Football League Division Two: Naomh Barrog V St Pat’s, Donabate – The Evening Herald – March 10 2020

STEPHEN’S DAY ENGS IN SHARE OF SPOILS

McDermott’s stoppage-time penalty earns St Pat’s Donabate draw in riveting clash with Naomh Barrog

MINOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO

NAOMH BARROG 1-9

ST PAT’S, DONABATE 2-6

Daire Walsh

STEPHEN MCDERMOTT struck a stoppage-time penalty at St Fintan’s HS, Sutton on Sunday to give St Pat’s, Donabate a share of the spoils in their Dublin Minor Football League Division Two clash with Naomh Barrog.

Having overcome a difficult start to the contest, Barrog looked set to hold out for a precious win after they developed a three-point cushion with just four minutes of normal time remaining. However, Pat’s refused to give up the ghost and McDermott’s composed finish ensured they returned to Robbie Farrell Park with something to show for their efforts.

Whereas Barrog had also finished level in their opening round encounter against Naomh Mearnog in Portmarnock, Pat’s enjoyed a 2-15 to 1-9 success on home soil at the expense of Erin’s Isle. They carried this impressive form into the early moments of their second competitive game of 2019.

Via excellent approach play by Fionan Turner, Oliver Brooks rattled the back of the Barrog net with a firm second-minute strike. The elusive centre-forward subsequently added a point to increase the gap between the teams at the Dublin Road venue.

Yet, as expected, Barrog grew in stature as the action progressed. Marauding wing-back Patrick Doyle caused a host of problems for Pat’s and he clipped an excellent point off his left foot to get the hosts up and running.

They received a further boost in the ninth-minute when Brian Hanratty was adjudged to have fouled Joe Flanagan inside the small square. Doyle stepped forward to negotiate the resulting place-kick and he coolly slotted into the bottom right-hand corner of the Pat’s net.

While this was a set-back for Enda Finnan’s visitors, they reined in the march of their opponents courtesy of quick-fire points from McDermott (free) and Killian McKeon. The Barrog threat was beginning to grow, though, and it took a wonder save by Alex Redmond to deny Matthew Nolan a goal on 14 minutes.

After Sean Gallagher converted a routine free, Doyle’s long-range kick hopped over the bar inside the second-quarter. This moved Barrog back on level terms and when Flanagan rounded off a patient move with a 21st-minute point, they edged in front for the very first time.

Gallagher added his second free following a foul on the influential Doyle, before a Turner placed ball ended a lengthy barren spell for Pat’s. This left them a single point adrift at the break (1-5 to 1-4) and firmly in contention for a second consecutive league win.

It took a full eight minutes for the next score to arrive on the resumption – Gallagher’s fine point from play giving Barrog additional daylight over their fellow northsiders. This was quickly supplemented by Nolan as the Kilbarrack outfit looked to push on for a maiden triumph in 2020.

It was turning into quite a tentative affair with clear-cut opportunities coming at a premium. Given they now had a three-point cushion to their credit, this suited Barrog down to the ground.

The challenge of Pat’s was not to be discounted, however, and McDermott kept them in touch with a pointed free on 41 minutes.

Gallagher did likewise at the opposite end to keep Barrog in the driving seat, but Pat’s set themselves up for a strong finish when substitute Daniel Moore struck a superb point on the turn.

Barrog’s own replacement, Eoin Carroll, also found the target, which meant Pat’s required a goal in the dying minutes to rescue a draw from this fixture.

They were offered a timely lifeline when Louis Finnan’s shot at an awkward angle was ruled to have been foot-blocked. There was enormous pressure on McDermott’s shoulders, but he stood up to the plate with a cool finish beyond the reach of Barrog custodian Killian Wallace.

Pat’s will look to build on this positive result when they welcome Fingallians to Donabate on Sunday week (March 22).

Meanwhile, Barrog face a tricky away assignment against Naomh Olaf at Pairc Ui Bhriain in Sandyford on the same day.

MATCH FILE

Scorers – Naomh Barrog: P Doyle 1-2 (1-0 pen), S Gallagher 0-4 (3f), M Nolan, J Flanagan, E Carroll 0-1 each. St Pat’s, Donabate: S McDermott 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), O Brooks 1-1, F Turner (f), K McKeon, D Moore 0-1 each.

NAOMH BARROG: K Wallace; L Glynn, S Craine, S O’Reilly; S Elliott, D Keegan, P Doyle; A Comerford, H Nolan; S Gallagher, M Nolan, G Lonergan; C McHugh, J Flanagan, C O’Daly.

Subs: E Carroll for McHugh (h-t), S Byrne for O’Daly (44).

ST PAT’S, DONABATE: A Redmond; K Murray, B Hanratty, A Groves; D Ryan, O Elmiger, P McGill; F Turner, M Crowe; L Finnan, O Brooks, K McKeon; S Kane, S McDermott, K Conroy.

Subs: D Moore for Crowe (h-t), R Hensey for Kane (39), Kane for Elmiger (56).

MENTORS – Naomh Barrog: Leo Gallagher, Paul Croft, Anthony Brady, Rory Lyne, Martin Doyle. St Pat’s, Donabate: Enda Finnan, Leslie Brooks, Peter Murray.

Referee: Finbarr Shanahan (St Margaret’s).

WIDES – Naomh Barrog: 6 (3+3). St Pat’s, Donabate: 10 (3+7).

CONDITIONS: Dry and bright throughout with a stiff breeze.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Patrick Doyle (Naomh Barrog).

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Dublin Adult Hurling League Division Two Round-Up (March 8): Dublingaa.ie – March 10 2020

ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP

ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: MARCH 8 

By Daire Walsh 

Courtesy of their respective victories against Naomh Fionnbarra and St Sylvester’s on Sunday morning, St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh and Scoil Ui Chonaill are setting the early pace at the summit of the Adult Hurling League Division Two table.

While four teams in the division were making their competitive bows of 2020, Plunkett’s and Scoil already had a win under their belts. With former Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan making an appearance off the bench, Plunkett’s recorded a 4-19 to 2-13 win at the expense of St Jude’s in Martin Savage Park on February 23.

It was also a successful opening to the year for Scoil on the same day as they had six points to spare (2-16 to 0-16) over Fionnbarra on the Clontarf Road. Matt Cushen’s northsiders faced a big test in their second game of the campaign, a tricky away meeting with Sylvester’s in Broomfield.

However, they came through this encounter with flying colours – registering an emphatic 2-19 to 0-14 triumph in the end. It was a much closer affair at ‘The Bogies’ where Fionnbarra played host to Plunkett’s.

The Cabra men enjoyed a productive end to 2019 in the second-tier with three wins on the bounce propelling them towards a respectable seventh-place finish. For their part, Plunkett’s finished third in last year’s Division Two standings – just four points adrift of eventual winners Naomh Barrog.

They were pushed all the way by a resilient Fionnbarra on this occasion, but Derek Brennan’s charges ultimately recorded a 0-15 to 1-9 victory.

Inclement weather conditions led to a number of postponements in the opening round, including the proposed duel between Raheny and Kilmacud Crokes at St Anne’s Park. As a result, both teams were understandably eager to hit the ground running last Sunday – and so it proved.

Crokes had the measure of Erin’s Isle at Silver Park on a scoreline of 0-20 to 0-9 and Raheny were 4-18 to 2-8 victors in their game with Crumlin at Pearse Park. Despite finding themselves three points behind at the interval – 2-7 to 1-7 – Raheny turned on the style after the resumption to get the better of their southside counterparts.

Ballyboden St Enda’s were another side seeing action for the first time this year, following the postponement of their home game against Sylvester’s a fortnight earlier. It was worth the wait for the Pairc Ui Murchu men, who claimed local bragging rights with a 1-17 to 2-8 success over Thomas Davis at Kiltipper Road.

At Abbotstown, St Jude’s recovered from their opening day reversal to Plunkett’s in consummate fashion. They were convincing 4-19 to 0-9 winners against O’Toole’s at the National Games Development Centre.

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Noel McNamara On Postponed Ireland U20s Game V France: Irishrugby.ie – March 10 2020

McNamara: It’s Not Just About The Start, It’s About Continuous Improvement

By Daire Walsh

Ireland Under-20 head coach Noel McNamara has insisted his young squad are looking forward to seeing out this year’s U-20 Six Nations Championship – despite a significant disruption to their bid for back-to-back Grand Slam titles.

The David McCann-led side have started their 2020 campaign with three straight bonus point wins. With the Triple Crown secured, they were seeking to maintain their winning form for the visit of Italy to Irish Independent Park last Friday night.

However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease led to the postponement of that game, and this week’s final round encounter with France in Perpignan is set to suffer a similar fate. As frustrating as these developments have been, McNamara’s mind is focused on the bigger picture – both on and off the pitch.

“I think in terms of the Championship first and foremost, they have made a really good start. It’s been a really positive start to the Championship and we are looking at completing that at some point,” explained the Clare native.

“Time will go into finding suitable dates and there are challenges with that, particularly with this group in terms of exams and their college commitments and all other things. We are still looking forward to finishing the Championship.

“The reality is that any team that ever wins anything, it’s not just about the start. It is the team that can continuously improve. That is what it is about, for us it is about continuously improving. Trying to work hard and find that improvement while they are with us.

“For us I think it is important to state, yes, it’s disappointing. But it is no more than that. The reality is that the health and safety of the public is paramount and that has to be the number one priority. It’s just important to have real clarity on that.”

Following the precedent set by the 2001 Six Nations Championship when the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease halted a number of fixtures, Andy Farrell’s senior men are due to play out their two postponed fixtures in October.

There are no plans in place just yet for the Under-20 matches, but McNamara is eager for their games to be played out at an earlier date.

“There are certainly windows to play the games. Potentially in June, prior to the start of the World Rugby U-20 Championship. Considering the situation in the north of Italy (where the U-20 World Championship is set to take place), it is unclear how that will play out as well.

“For us, May is a significant month for a lot of these guys in terms of college exams and things like that. We’re certainly very hopeful that it will be completed before the start of the new season because we would like to see the lads get an opportunity to finish off this Championship. Equally, we would like to see them step up at the start of next season.”

Although their World Championship campaign does not get underway until the end of June – they face Argentina in Calvisano on the 28th of the month – there will be an opportunity for a number of the current Ireland U-20 squad to get international game-time in the not-too-distant future.

With the Ireland Under-19s having two games against France pencilled in for April at Dublin and Belfast venues, McNamara noted: “I think there was 11 (Under-19s) in the original U-20 squad that came through and there’s quite a few of even the last matchday squad (against England) that we had.

Tom Stewart, Joe McCarthy, Alexis Soroka, Dan Kelly, Ben Murphy, Tim Corkery. There’s guys outside of that – Cathal Forde, Conor McKee, Ben Moxham, Harry O’Riordan. There’s a really considerable group of players that would be involved in those U-19 fixtures and be eligible for next year’s U-20s.”

Because there will be such a delay between their Six Nations games, you would be forgiven for thinking McNamara and his coaching team may have their work cut out keeping the squad’s feet on the ground. However, as he acknowledged, this process began within days of their 39-21 triumph over England last month.

He explained: “We probably had a little bit of a grounding against the seniors in our training session the following Friday. I think it’s important for the lads to recognise that was a positive performance (against England). It wasn’t a complete performance, there were parts of it where we were a little bit shaky.

“The lads were able to recognise that themselves and I think that is one of the things that created a bit more excitement in the group. There is quite a bit of room for growth for us, even within this performance. There is always a bit of giddiness as young players, but in terms of tangible winning things they haven’t won anything yet.”

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Andy Farrell On Postponed Ireland Men’s Game V France: Irishrugby.ie – March 10 2020

‘Our Destiny Is Still In Our Hands’ – Farrell

By Daire Walsh

Despite having just discovered that his team were going to be idle in the Guinness Six Nations for a second week running, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell remained upbeat throughout yesterday’s press conference at the Sport Ireland Campus.

After the outbreak of the Coronavirus caused the postponement of their fourth round match against Italy at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday, Ireland were hoping to resume their Championship campaign against France in Paris in four days’ time.

However, with the French Government signalling their intention to call off any public gathering of more than 1,000 people, a somewhat inevitable decision was undertaken on Monday afternoon. This leaves the Ireland squad in limbo as regards the conclusion of the Six Nations with their remaining fixtures now possibly taking place in October.

As things currently stand, England and France sit top of the table on 13 points, followed by Scotland (10) and Ireland on nine. Farrell’s charges have played one game less, so the title is still very much up for grabs.

“We’re a team that is still in control of our own destiny so it’s not a bad place to be. Everybody knows that the Six Nations is unbelievably difficult and everyone judges us on our performance,” admitted the Ireland head coach.

“At the end of the day we are two wins from three and so are a couple of other teams and some teams are below that. Regarding the outcome of those games, our destiny is still in our hands.”

Given a 35-strong squad had assembled at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre for a week of intense preparation, Farrell acknowledged there was obvious disappointment in the camp at the prospect of another week without a competitive game.

Nonetheless, Farrell understands the sound logic behind the decision to call off their latest showdown with les Bleus, agreeing: “It is what it is. You can’t do anything but the right thing. The reaction of the players when we’ve come back off a good morning’s work was one of deflation a little bit.

“Gutted. We’ve built up for a couple of weeks on the back of a disappointment and we were looking forward to the week ahead. We were literally on the training field going through our prep for this afternoon and tomorrow.

“We had some good chat setting up our week nicely and we’ve come off the indoor training field and we get the news. We’re disappointed it’s not going ahead but we understand fully. We had a joke. We said let’s just forget about those three hours’ work!

“No, it’s all good. It’s all in the bag, isn’t it? That last couple of weeks’ preparation. We shall make sure we harness that and then we’ll catch up on the bits we’ve missed out on in the not too distant future.”

Farrell will now have to wait until July for his fourth international at Ireland’s helm – the first of two summer Tests away to Australia. After that, it becomes quite hectic for the Wigan native and his troops with the rearranged Six Nations fixtures possibly preceding the GUINNESS Series in November.

The Ireland players also have provincial commitments to consider during this period and Farrell admitted their plans for the closing months of 2020 could be thrown up in the air.

“We thought we had two games to play before the Australian tour, but that’s not to be. The boys will slot back in with their provinces in the not too distant future and there will be some big games coming up between now and Australia. We don’t know where we are going to be in a month’s time, never mind in a few months’ time.

“There’s a plan in the back of our minds, but plans change along the way as well. You’ve got to look at the whole picture of the November calendar from our perspective. We’ve got three really tough games coming up. We’ve got the two against Australia, and then South Africa, Australia and Japan in November.

“It’s a tough old five games and then you’re throwing in what is effectively, hopefully, a semi-final and a final, regarding the Six Nations. It changes the goalposts a little bit so it does take some reflection.”

Munster and Ireland were dealt a blow last week with the news that Joey Carbery will miss the rest of the 2019/20 season following ankle surgery. Farrell is confident that the 24-year-old talent can regain fitness and form in the coming months.

“I’m gutted for Joey. He’s been through a lot over the last few seasons, but I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and his luck will turn. It will. He needs to do the right thing and get himself fully fit and we’ll make sure that we help Munster to try and make that happen. He’s a great human being for one, and he’s a class player as well.”

Farrell also had some words of encouragement for back row duo Dan Leavy and Jack Conan, who are still in the rehabilitation phase following their respective knee and foot injuries in the past year.

“Dan’s doing really well as far as his recovery is concerned. He’s meeting all the markers and they are very excited about where he’s at at Leinster. Him and Jack Conan, we hope to see them back sooner rather than later,” he revealed.

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Leinster Schools Junior Cup Semi-Final: Blackrock College V Castleknock College – The Irish Examiner – March 10 2020

Blackrock show firepower in routing Castleknock

By Daire Walsh

Blackrock College 42

Castleknock College 7

Blackrock College stormed into the Leinster Schools Junior Cup final with a 42-7 win over Castleknock College at Donnybrook yesterday.

Either side of Daniel Ruane’s converted score for Castleknock, Sean McKechnie and Tom Brigg bagged tries for the Williamstown outfit. Oliver Coffey added points off the tee to propel ‘Rock into a 17-7 interval lead.

Castleknock suffered a further set-back when Brigg touched down for his second try just after the resumption. Eoghan Walsh’s five-pointer placed the outcome beyond doubt on 44 minutes. The dynamic outside centre crossed over again in the final quarter with James O’Sullivan also touching down.

Scorers for Blackrock College: T Brigg, E Walsh 2 tries each, S McKechnie, J O’Sullivan try each, O Coffey 2 pens, 3 cons.

Scorers for Castleknock College: D Ruane try, con.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: J O’Sullivan; D Doyle, E Walsh, L Kritzinger, D Bennett; H Whelan, O Coffey; A Mullan, M Yarr, G Barron; Thomas Byrnes, M Colreavy; Theo Byrnes, S McKechnie, T Brigg.

Replacements: C Hodges, T O’Riordan, D Crowley, J Angulo, J Larkin, L Dignam, A Quinn, F Mei.

CASTLEKNOCK COLLEGE: E Wallace; J Fewer, E Brady, S Wisniewski, D Enright; R O’Connor, L Donohue; P McNally, S Mahon, J Cadogan; C Lennon, W Khwaja; I Scallon, C Boyle, D Ruane.

Replacements: D O’Callaghan, D Smith, B Dowling, O Malone, C O’Brien, B Elliot, B Dunne, J O’Neill.

Referee: B White (LRR).

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Dublin Adult Hurling League Division One Round-Up (March 8): Dublingaa.ie – March 9 2020

ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP

ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: MARCH 8 

By Daire Walsh 

Cuala and Na Fianna maintained their unbeaten starts to the new Adult Hurling League Division One season with respective victories over Naomh Barrog and Faughs on Sunday morning.

Reigning champions Cuala opened the defence of their crown with a 3-11 to 1-13 triumph at the expense of Faughs at Islandbridge on February 22. Bray Emmet’s was the venue for their second round clash against Naomh Barrog – newly-promoted from Division Two of the AHL.

The Kilbarrack men enjoyed a dream start to life in the top-flight as they finished with four points to spare over Ballyboden St Enda’s (2-13 to 0-15) in their competitive bow of 2020. They were on course for another successful outing when they developed a 1-4 to 0-1 cushion during the early exchanges of their meeting with Cuala.

Yet with Oisin Gough leading the way, they gradually came to terms with the Barrog attack. Liam Murphy and Darragh O’Connell were also prominent and when the half-time whistle was sounded, Cuala found themselves 1-13 to 1-9 in front.

The Dalkey outfit had a considerable wind advantage at their disposal after the restart and thanks in no small part to the scoring prowess of Dublin senior star Mark Schutte, they created additional daylight between the teams. Though a game Barrog persevered with their challenge, Cuala ultimately emerged on the right side of a 2-30 to 1-12 final scoreline.

Na Fianna were seeking to build on an opening day triumph against local rivals Whitehall Colmcille when they welcomed Faughs to St Mobhi Road. The Glasnevin hosts dominated the action from very early on and proceeded to register a convincing 4-29 to 0-10 victory.

Though it is still early days – and a number of teams have a game in hand – Na Fianna are currently at the summit of the table, marginally in front of Cuala on score difference.

Elsewhere, Ballyboden St Enda’s bounced back from their defeat at the hands of Barrog with a 1-14 to 0-14 win over Kilmacud Crokes at Pairc Ui Murchu. With Eoghan O’Neill bagging a goal, ‘Boden established a 1-10 to 0-4 interval buffer.

Inter-county stars of past and present dovetailed effectively for the home team with Conor Dooley, James Roche, Conal Keaney and Shane Durkin all stepping up to the mark. Crokes did their best to stem the tide and cut considerably into the ‘Boden lead on the resumption.

However, they ultimately suffered a 1-14 to 0-14 reversal to their southside counterparts. Nonetheless, after getting the better of Ballinteer St John’s at Silver Park a fortnight earlier, Crokes remain within touching distance of top spot.

They are joined on two points by Lucan Sarsfields, who began their campaign in fine style against Ballinteer. Originally set to face St Brigid’s at 12th Lock on February 23, Lucan travelled to Ballinteer Community School for their 2020 debut on Sunday morning.

Supplementing Ben Coffey’s six-point haul, Sean McClelland, former county star Peter Kelly and Ciaran Dowling rattled the John’s net to propel the visitors towards a 3-22 to 1-12 victory. St Vincent’s triumphed on the exact same scoreline at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn against Whitehall Colmcille.

Like Lucan, Vincent’s remained idle on the opening weekend of the term and will now hope to bring momentum into their away encounter with Faughs on Sunday week (March 22).

Despite possessing the goalscoring touch at Russell Park, St Brigid’s lost out to Craobh Chiarain on a margin of 0-19 to 3-8. Cian Derwin and Paul Kelly amassed a combined tally of 0-11 for Chiarain’s, but the likes of Billy Ryan, James Finn and Keith Cooling also made valuable contributions for the Clonshaugh brigade.

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HEC Third Level Championship Finals Captain’s Day: Hannah Hegarty (DCU) – The Evening Herald – March 7 2020

Hegarty holds dual ambitions

Daire Walsh

Though she is now a firmly established intercounty camogie star, Dublin’s Hannah Hegarty hasn’t ruled out the prospect of switching to ladies football in the distant future.

A gifted dual performer up to the minor grade, the St Jude’s clubwoman is set to captain the DCU footballers in next Friday’s O’Connor Cup semi-final against UCC.

While she acknowledges it would take a massive commitment, the opportunity to play both codes simultaneously is something that intrigues Hegarty.

“I played dual up until minor year and then had taken a year out in my Leaving Cert year. Didn’t play county that year in the senior set-up.

“I love them both and David Herity, the camogie manager at the time, just happened to ask me first. I kind of just jumped at the chance, I didn’t really put too much thought into it,” Hegarty explained.

“I’d love to play both some day. You see the likes of Rena Buckley, Briege Corkery and Hannah Looney in Cork getting to do them both. I’d love to be able to do both, but it’s a big task.

“It’s a big commitment to try and do both. I know Mick Bohan [ladies football manager] expects high standards, which is fair enough. With three [All-Irelands] in-a-row, that’s what you’d expect.

“I wouldn’t be turning my head from it just yet. I wouldn’t be closing any doors or anything like that. If I got the opportunity, I’d love to.”

Hegarty has already featured twice for the Dublin in Division 1 of the Camogie League – back-to-back defeats at the hands of Galway and Tipperary. Tomorrow they face Limerick in LIT (1.0).

Once that game is done, she can focus on the O’Connor Cup weekend at the Kerry Centre of Excellence.

If they do overcome the challenges of UCC, they will be back in action the following day against the winners of the other semi-final between UCD and holders UL.

“Looking back to the league, we were disappointed with how the final went. We had UL in the final and we definitely came away very disappointed with the performance. Had to pick it up from then. The two wins in the [championship] group games, very happy with them. Hopefully we can keep the winning streak going,” Hegarty added.

Posted in Colleges GAA, Ladies GAA | Comments Off on HEC Third Level Championship Finals Captain’s Day: Hannah Hegarty (DCU) – The Evening Herald – March 7 2020