Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘B’ Quarter-Final: Lucan CBS V Salesian College – The Evening Herald – November 8 2018


Impressive Lucan advance to ‘B’ semis

LUCAN CBS………………………………4-20


Daire Walsh

LUCAN CBS advanced to the last-four of the Dublin Schools Junior ‘B’ Hurling Championship courtesy of a convincing 11-point triumph against Salesian College, Celbridge on Monday.

Finalists at this grade two years ago, the Ballydowd boys progressed from a group that included Castleknock CC, St Declan’s College and Maynooth Post-Primary.

Salesians competed in a three-team section alongside Terenure College and St Mac Dara’s CC, which meant they were always guaranteed a spot in the knockout rounds.

While the north Kildare outfit had some moments of joy in the opening period, they often struggled to break down a Lucan defence that was superbly marshalled by Cian Duffy. With Evin Dowling amassing an impressive tally of 1-4, CBS (or Coláiste Phádraig as they are also known) brought a 2-13 to 2-4 lead into the break.

Dowling was a key member of the Lucan side that captured the Juvenile ‘B’ hurling crown in May 2016 and he enhanced his personal haul with a superbly-struck penalty on the resumption.

Salesians persevered with their challenge as the action developed, forcing a series of fine saves out of opposition netminder Justin Meyler.

However, thanks to a terrific three-pointer by substitute Luke O’Neill, Lucan remained in firm control of their own destiny.

Ciaran O’Brien capped an industrious performance with a well-worked point, helping to ease his side into the penultimate stage of the competition.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools Junior Hurling ‘B’ Quarter-Final: Lucan CBS V Salesian College – The Evening Herald – November 8 2018

Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Clonkill – The Irish Times – November 7 2018

Ballyboden require extra-time to see off Clonkill in Leinster clash

Paul Ryan scores 0-15 as Westmeath champions very nearly pull off a shock

Ballyboden St Enda’s 2-25 Clonkill 2-19 AET

They required extra-time to finally advance on the night, but with Paul Ryan in sparkling form, Ballyboden St Enda’s eventually got the better of Clonkill in an engrossing Leinster hurling quarter-final clash at Parnell Park.

Originally set to take place on Sunday in the Donnycarney venue, this last-eight encounter was pushed back owing to the tragic death of Clonkill native Annabelle Loughlin.

A shock was on the cards for large stretches of the contest, as the Lake County men sought to defy expectations. Brendan Murtagh’s 64th-minute free prevented the Dublin champions from completing the job in 60 minutes, but with Ryan amassing a personal haul of 0-15, they finally overpowered their Midlands counterparts.

Despite facing into extraordinarily difficult circumstances, Clonkill enjoyed a whirlwind start to the contest. Points from Mark Keegan, Anthony Price and the vastly-experienced Murtagh placed the visitors into a surprise three-point lead, before ‘Boden eventually responded with a Conal Keaney brace.

Clonkill continued to establish an attacking foothold, as Murtagh found the target either side of a superb Eoin Price score.

Yet, following five points in the space of 11 minutes – by Paul Ryan (two), Aidan Mellett (two) and Niall Ryan – ‘Boden edged into the ascendancy for the first time.

Even though Price and Murtagh (0-2) ensured this cushion was a short-lived one, Paul Ryan’s dead-ball accuracy ensured ‘Boden were back on level terms.

Their prospects were further boosted when Niall Ryan flicked to the net from close-range, but there was enough time for Murtagh to register his sixth score – restricting Clonkill’s deficit to two points (1-9 to 0-10) as a result.

Murtagh converted a long-distance free to keep them in contention on the restart, but Paul Ryan’s 0-2 salvo looked set to herald a strong purple patch for ‘Boden.

It was Clonkill who made the next move, however – substitute Niall Mitchell setting up Luke Loughlin (cousin of Annabel) for a superb volleyed finish past rookie netminder Conor O’Donoghue (who was deputising for the suspended Gary Maguire).

During a nerve-jangling final-quarter, ‘Boden looked set to prevail when they developed a two-point cushion on 59 minutes. Back-to-back Loughlin points for Clonkill threw another spanner into the works, though, and Murtagh cancelled out an outstanding Niall McMorrow point to force the tie into the additional periods,

When Jordy Smyth was hauled down inside the square after the resumption, Murtagh was presented with a golden opportunity to put his name up in lights. However, the former county star fired his penalty past the left-hand post.

Having received a significant let-off, ‘Boden subsequently pushed ahead through Paul Doherty and Paul Ryan (‘65’). They then pulled further in front with contributions from Doherty, James Roche, Paul Ryan and Stephen O’Connor, and although Mitchell flicked to the net off a Murtagh ‘65’ late on, the impressive Doherty sealed Ballyboden’s passage with a clinical final-minute goal.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: C O’Donoghue; D Curran, L Corcoran, J Madden; S Durkin, S Lambert, D O’Connor; S O’Connor (0-1), F McGarry; C Keaney (0-2), C Dooley, N Ryan (1-1); A Mellett (0-2), C McCormack, P Ryan (0-15, 12f, 3 ‘65’). Subs: C Basquel for McCormack (44 mins); P Doherty (1-2) for Dooley and N McMorrow (0-1) for McGarry (both 52 mins); J Roche (0-1) for N Ryan (62 mins); N Ryan for Basquel (70 mins); M Travers for Lambert and C O’Neill for O’Connor (both 80 mins).

CLONKILL: A Mitchell; D Egerton, J Kenny, M McGrath; A McGrath, P Dowdall, L Folan; S Power, C Austin; L Laughlin (1-2), M Keegan (0-1), A Dowdall; A Price (0-1), E Price (0-4), B Murtagh (0-11, 7f). Subs: N Mitchell (1-0) for Folan (8 mins); J Smyth for A Dowdall (44 mins); A Dowdall for A Price (61 mins); J O’Brien for Power and J Fagan for McGrath (both 74 mins).

Referee: D Hughes (Carlow).

Posted in Hurling | Comments Off on Leinster Club Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Clonkill – The Irish Times – November 7 2018

All-Ireland League Division 1B: Old Belvedere V St Mary’s College – Irishrugby.ie – November 7 2018

Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Eoin Sweeney, Jack Keating, Martin Maloney, Peter O’Beirne, Roman Salanoa; Cons: Steve Crosbie 2
St. Mary’s College: Tries: David Aspil, Tim MacMahon, Penalty try; Cons: Conor Dean 2, Pen try con; Pen: Conor Dean

HT: Old Belvedere 17 St. Mary’s College 10

Roman Salanoa’s injury-time try swung a dramatic Division 1B clash in favour of hosts Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road. Despite enjoying 14-point advantages in both halves, ‘Belvo were left reeling by the concession of back-to-back converted tries.

St. Mary’s College looked set to claim a share of the spoils, only for replacement prop Salanoa, who had only just returned from the sin-bin, to dramatically intervene. Mary’s were in confident mood ahead of their short trip to Ballsbridge and they broke the deadlock with just under three minutes on the clock.

A series of attacking phases led to a 35-metre penalty, which the reliable Conor Dean, who is now part of the Connacht Academy, converted with minimal fuss. Despite falling behind early on, Old Belvedere gradually grew in stature as the first half progressed.

Experienced full-back Daniel Riordan released winger Fergus Flood for an overlap on the left flank, although the retreating Mary’s defence was able to gather his kick up the line. The hosts looked set to cross over when Ben Carty charged down an attempted clearance, but the centre knocked on just shy of the whitewash.

However, when player-backs coach and out-half Steve Crosbie kicked a 15th minute penalty to touch, it was the catalyst for the game’s maiden try. A powerful lineout maul saw the hosts gobble up the yards and lock Eoin Sweeney applied the finishing touches for a 5-3 scoreline.

After Crosbie’s conversion rebounded off the near left-hand post, Belvedere remained on the front foot and the 25th-minute sin-binning of Mary’s lock Liam Curran offered them a gilt-edge chance to kick on. They turned down several kicks at goal before the decision to spread play out to the right paid off with Riordan releasing Jack Keating for the winger’s fifth try of the campaign.

Backed by their vocal home support, Andy Kenny’s charges stung Mary’s with a third try as Crosbie, who was beginning to dictate affairs from half-back, unlocked the defence with an incisive break to set up young flanker Martin Maloney for a well-crafted seven-pointer.

However, Mary’s found their rhythm in attack to close the gap to 17-10 in time for the break. Dean sent a penalty to the left corner and openside David Aspil was able to round off a concerted attack by touching down against the base of the post. Dean knocked over the straightforward conversion to leave just seven points between them.

Belvedere had the better of the exchanges on the resumption, and it took just 11 minutes to register their bonus point try. Scrum half Peter O’Beirne scored it after getting on the end of Riordan’s spectacular break on the left. Crosbie’s conversion, coupled with the sin-binning of Mary’s replacement Paddy O’Driscoll, strengthened the hosts’ hand.

Again though, Mary’s showed their battling qualities and stayed in the hunt in impressive fashion. The dynamic Dean identified some space in behind the ‘Belvo defence and his well-weighted kick past the try-line was grounded by replacement Tim MacMahon for another confidence-boosting converted score.

The Mary’s forwards were causing increasing problems for Belvedere, making the lineout option all the more enticing for number 10 Dean. The back-up hooker, Stephen O’Brien, led the latest charge in the 66th minute which ended with referee Oisin Quinn awarding a penalty try for an illegally sacked maul.

That meant the sides were level at 24 points apiece but, crucially, Mary’s could not take advantage of the yellow cards for Belvedere front row replacements John McKee and Solanoa. Instead it was under-strength ‘Belvo who largely controlled possession for the remainder. They were denied a kick at goal but the 21-year-old Salanoa had other ideas, grounding the ball under a pile of bodies right at the death.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Jack Keating, Jamie McAleese, Ben Carty, Fergus Flood; Steve Crosbie (capt), Peter O’Beirne; James Bollard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Eoin Sweeney, Connor Owende, Martin Maloney, Eoin O’Neill, Colin Mallon.

Replacements: John McKee, Roman Salanoa, Michael Oyuga, Jack Kelly, Joe White, Adam Howard, Simon Killeen.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Tim MacMahon; Craig Kennedy, Myles Carey, Marcus O’Driscoll (capt), Mark Fogarty; Conor Dean, Cormac Foley; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Michael McCormack, Liam Corcoran, Liam Curran, David Aspil, Ronan Watters, Mark Fallon.

Replacements: Stephen O’Brien, Colm McMahon, Nick McCarthy, Paddy O’Driscoll, Hugo Conway.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Division 1B: Old Belvedere V St Mary’s College – Irishrugby.ie – November 7 2018

Rugby Column Number 130: The Kildare Nationalist – November 6 2018


Beirne makes dream first start for Ireland during facile win over Italy

By Daire Walsh

EADESTOWN’S Tadhg Beirne enjoyed a dream full debut for Ireland at Soldier’s Field, Chicago on Saturday, contributing a brace of tries in a facile 54-7 victory over Conor O’Shea’s Italy.

Following fleeting appearances off the bench during Ireland’s successful summer tour to Australia (the second and third test triumphs), Beirne was selected to start alongside Connacht’s Quinn Roux in an experimental Irish line-up.

He was joined by fellow Lilywhite Joey Carbery who, like the towering lock, has hit the ground running since linking up with Munster in the off-season. The Athy man was paired with former Leinster team-mate Luke McGrath at half-back, while Rhys Ruddock captained the side from the back-row.

Beirne’s try-scoring prowess helped him to stand-out in a memorable two-year stint at Scarlets – and he opened the scoring with a spectacular finish off a neat set-piece move. Carbery applied the extras as Ireland sought to open the floodgates in the home of the Chicago Bears.

Yet, even though they were facing an Italian outfit short of several first-choice operators, patience was required in their search for additional tries.

McGrath eventually crossed over via excellent approach work by Jordan Larmour, before a loose Ruddock pass allowed Michele Campagnaro to break through for a five-pointer.

This ensured Ireland’s lead stood at seven points (14-7) for the break, but they were a different proposition when the action resumed in the US city. Beirne’s second try arrived in the 43rd-minute and Larmour subsequently claimed Ireland’s fourth to effectively place the outcome beyond any doubt.

Sean Cronin and Garry Ringrose added their names to the scoresheet, but it was the electrifyingly quick Larmour who ultimately grabbed the headlines.

He evaded a host of challenges for his second try of the day and completed his hat-trick with the final play of the game, after receiving possession off replacement John Cooney deep inside his own half.

In addition to Larmour’s impressive haul, Carbery amassed 10 points in another accomplished display – his 13th in the green colours.

Meanwhile, Adam Byrne grabbed his second try in as many appearances for Leinster at the NMU Stadium on Sunday. After appearing regularly for the ‘A’ side in their Celtic Cup campaign, Byrne returned to first-team action against Benetton last week.

Joining him in the Blues’ line-up for their latest trip to South Africa was another Kill native in James Tracy. Their opponents, the Southern Kings, opened the scoring through Yaw Penxe before Byrne responded at the opposite end.

It was a relatively close opening period, until unanswered converted tries from Jamison Gibson-Park, Dan Leavy and Max Deegan propelled Leinster towards a 33-12 interval buffer. Despite coming into this game on a difficult run of form, the Kings continued to give a good account of themselves.

Stephan Ungerer, Luphumlo Mguca and Dries van Schalkwyk all crossed for the hosts on the resumption. Leinster were not to be denied, however, as an earlier Bryan Byrne five-pointer gave them a commanding 38-31 win.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 130: The Kildare Nationalist – November 6 2018

All-Ireland League Division 1A: Terenure College V Dublin University – Irishrugby.ie – November 3 2018

TERENURE COLLEGE 8 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 25, Lakelands Park (played on Friday)
Scorers: Terenure College: Try: Jamie Glynn; Pen: James Thornton
Dublin University: Tries: Arthur Greene, Max Kearney, Jack Kelly; Cons: James Fennelly 2; Pens: James Fennelly 2

HT: Terenure College 0 Dublin University 15

Three-try Dublin University climbed into the top half of the Division 1A table after running out 25-8 winners over bottom side Terenure College in their Friday Night Lights clash at Lakelands Park.

Trinity made it back-to-back wins with Arthur Greene, Max Kearney and returning Leinster ‘A’ captain Jack Kelly all touching down. Terenure, who trailed 15-0 at half-time, improved in the second half but it was not until injury-time that a neat Jamie Glynn finish gave them a elusive try.

A hat-trick hero last week against Young Munster, full-back Michael Silvester had a strong impact for the students in the early stages at Lakelands, while Liam Turner, the latest player to roll off Blackrock College’s famous schools rugby production line, almost scored at the end of an incisive move.

A powerful run out of defence by former Leinster winger Sam Coghlan Murray seemed to lift the pressure off Terenure’s shoulders, only for Trinity to respond with the opening try in the 12th minute. James Hickey and Kearney made initial drives towards the line, but it was lock Green who eventually touched down to the right of the posts.

Influential out-half James Fennelly converted and although ‘Nure started to settle as the first quarter progressed, they remained scoreless as a relieved Trinity defence watched Coghlan Murray’s overcook his pass to waiting winger Sam Dardis and a try went a-begging.

Indeed, the hosts fell further behind in the 29th minute when Fennelly knocked over a penalty, and a second try soon followed for Tony Smeeth’s well-drilled Trinity side. Captain Colm Hogan and Turner threatened on both wings before flanker Kearney supplied the finishing touches to a multi-phase attack which ground the ‘Nure defence into submission.

Fennelly’s conversion attempt rebounded off a post, leaving it 15-0 at the interval. James Blaney’smen needed the breaks to fall their way on the resumption and the sin-binning of Trinity prop Bart Vermeulen offered them a chance to get back in the hunt. With their set piece moves not quite producing dividends, James Thornton was called on to kick at goal in the 49th minute and open their account.

However, in spite of their numerical advantage, ‘Nure leaked three points to Fennelly at the other end, and once restored to their full complement, the Trinity pack kept the visitors on the front foot. A brilliant Kyle McCoy lineout steal thwarted them, though, and a series of handling errors also stopped the white shirts in their tracks.

Nonetheless, Trinity were able to seal the result when another attacking scrum spelled danger for Terenure and outside centre Kelly cut a superb line to power over for a high-quality seven-pointer. ‘Nure did at least finish with a flourish, switching play to the right where the ever-industrious Glynn, the former UCD scrum half and captain, jinked through for an eye-catching consolation score.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Sam Coghlan Murray; Harry Moore, Stephen O’Neill, Robbie Carroll, Sam Dardis; James Thornton, Jamie Glynn; Karl O’Brien, Robbie Smyth, Tiarnan Creagh, Michael Melia (capt), Matthew Caffrey, Kyle McCoy, Rory Murray, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Adam Clarkin, Killian Bolger, Aaron Ryan, Erik Wijten, Kevin O’Neill.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Liam Turner, Jack Kelly, James Hickey, Colm Hogan (capt); James Fennelly, Conor Lowndes; Bart Vermeulen, Joe Horan, Dylan Doyle, Arthur Greene, Jack Dunne, Paddy Nulty, Max Kearney, Niall O’Riordan.

Replacements: William Jennings, Thomas Clarkson, Alex MacDonald, Tomas Killeen, Robert Russell.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Division 1A: Terenure College V Dublin University – Irishrugby.ie – November 3 2018

Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling League Preview: The Evening Herald – November 1 2018


Dublin South face CBS in final game of group

Daire Walsh

DUBLIN South will be aiming to secure a spot in the Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling League decider next Wednesday when they face Kilkenny CBS in their final group game of the provincial competition.

Niall Williams’ charges already have a convincing win against St Peter’s, Wexford (2-24 to 1-14) under their belt ahead of a trip to the Marble County. Whereas the top teams in the other groups – champions St Kieran’s College and St Brendan’s, Birr – will face each other in a forthcoming semi-final, the side that finishes ahead of the chasing pack in Roinn Three gain automatic qualification for the showpiece event.

Given the substantial scoring average at their disposal, the Metropolitans are favourites to progress. CBS lost out to St Peter’s in the opening round on October 17, but will view this as an ideal opportunity to get their campaign back on track. South are the final outfit from the capital to be left standing in this league series, after Dublin North and Colaiste Eoin’s fell short in their quest for a knockout place. Despite an impressive success over Good Counsel, New Ross, a subsequent reversal to St Brendan’s ruled North out of contention.

Following a two-season absence, Eoin have returned to the Leinster grade. They began Roinn Two in fine style with a 0-20 to 1-11 triumph against Borris VS of Carlow, before meeting a formidable St Kieran’s in the back yard of the famed hurling nursery.

While the Gaelscoil ultimately suffered a 2-21 to 2-17 defeat, there were a number of encouraging signs in advance of their Championship bow against the aforementioned Kilkenny CBS on December 12.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling League Preview: The Evening Herald – November 1 2018

Rugby Column Number 129: The Kildare Nationalist – October 30 2018



By Daire Walsh

KILL natives Adam Byrne and James Tracy were to the fore in Leinster’s comprehensive 31-3 triumph over Benetton Treviso in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday at Stadio Monigo.

While there was a greater level of drama in Munster’s 25-24 success at the expense of Glasgow Warriors later on the same day, the defending champions produced a thoroughly accomplished display in northern Italy to remain in pole position at the summit of the Conference B table.

The Blues were aiming to bounce back from their narrow reversal (28-27) away to Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup six days earlier. They also had reason to be wary of the Benetton challenge, after Kieran Crowley’s men recorded a shock victory against Leo Cullen’s side in the closing weeks of the 2017/18 campaign.

Given that defeat occurred on their home turf of the RDS, Cullen would have recognised this round seven encounter as a potential banana skin. Nevertheless, with Ireland’s autumn internationals on the horizon, it was a much-changed Leinster side on the day.

Following successive cameos in Europe against Wasps and Toulouse, Tracy was restored to the Leinster front-row alongside Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong. Byrne had found himself on the fringes of the first-team squad in recent months – his sole appearance in the present campaign was  the opening round victory over Cardiff Blues.

He subsequently re-discovered his attacking mojo for the ‘A’ squad in their successful Celtic Cup odyssey – contributing five tries in six games over the course of the inaugural competition.

His last five-pointer at senior level was in last November’s league defeat to Glasgow, but he finally ended this scoring drought with a fourth-minute touchdown in Treviso. Following Antonio Rizzi’s 24th-minute penalty, Tracy also grabbed a try for an impressive Leinster.

This was the hooker’s second of the term, and with Ross Byrne on hand to supply the bonuses, the Blues brought a 12-3 lead into the interval. The return to fitness of Sean O’Brien comes as a significant boost for Leinster coaches Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster.

On the day that he captained the side in the absence of Jonathan Sexton and Rhys Ruddock, his namesake – Conor O’Brien – added Leinster’s third try on 49 minutes.

This was the Westmeath man’s fourth cap for the Blues and he was later joined on the scoresheet by replacement tighthead Andrew Porter.

Though they were already assured of maximum points, summer recruit Joe Tomane completed a dominant performance with a concluding effort in the 75th-minute.

The aforementioned Byrne and Tracy featured for Ireland in the Guinness Series last November, when Joe Schmidt’s Green Army recorded wins over South Africa, Fiji and Argentina. They have missed out on selection for the upcoming quartet of games, but Joey Carbery (Athy) and Tadhg Beirne (Eadestown) were named in the 42-man selection last Wednesday.

They have already established themselves as key figures for Munster under the stewardship of Johann van Graan and will hope to make a similar impact when they transfer back to the international set-up.

Posted in Rugby Column | Comments Off on Rugby Column Number 129: The Kildare Nationalist – October 30 2018

FAI Women’s Cup Final Build-Up Interview: Doireann Fahey (Wexford Youths) – The Kildare Nationalist – October 30 2018



By Daire Walsh

With a significant milestone already passed in her fledgling soccer career, Monasterevin’s Doireann Fahey is hoping to add another string to her bow in Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated FAI Women’s Cup decider at the Aviva Stadium.

The 17-year-old Ardscoil Rath Iomghain student played a starring role for Wexford Youths last Saturday week, when the Slaneysiders successfully retained their Women’s National League title with an accomplished 3-0 victory over Cork City.

She joined Wexford from Peamount United in July and will now face the Dublin-based outfit in this weekend’s showpiece affair. Having sampled the wide expanses of the Lansdowne Road surface in the past, Fahey is thrilled to be making an unexpected return with her current club.

“I remember I had a chance to play there when I was younger for a competition and I thought it was unbelievable. Back then I never would have thought I’d be going there again. Especially to play with Wexford. It’s mad where things take you,” Fahey said.

“Now that I’ve the opportunity and all my family and friends are going, I’m really, really excited for it. Just even to have the opportunity to be on the telly, it’s amazing. You really do get to have that little moment of fame, that little moment of professional fame, that you might not always get.”

Upon signing terms at Ferrycarrig Park, Fahey was doubtless aware that she was joining a special group of players. Senior international Rianna Jarrett is perhaps the most recognisable face among their ranks, while skipper Kylie Murphy has been an inspirational figure throughout the current season.

Despite only being in the set-up for a relatively short period of time, she has developed a strong bond with her Youths compatriots.

“I knew when I was signing into the club what could have come. I was playing with a team that weren’t cocky. They knew what they wanted and in the end they got it. It was great to be around a bunch of players that early on who could do it,” she explained.

“It’s a great group of players and I’ve learnt a lot from them. Just being with them for a half-season, they do genuinely deserve it a lot.”

While the move to Wexford has helped Fahey to become a first-team regular in a team that is accustomed to success, the 18 months spent at Peamount has aided her extraordinarily rapid development.

Facing the Newcastle side remains a peculiar experience for the blossoming teenager, albeit one she is slowly getting a handle on.

“I must say it is still kind of strange. I trained with those girls for basically a year-and-a-half. At the same time, the girls in the Wexford team settled me right in very quickly,” she said. “It’s quite weird playing Peamount the odd time, but I think I’ve gotten used to it now.”

Wexford will be aiming to round off 2018 with a treble triumph on Sunday. In addition to the Women’s National League trophy, they also edged out Cork in the National Development Shield final in early October.

Fahey missed out on the latter because of her commitments with the Ireland U19s in the UEFA Championship qualifying round, which saw Dave Connell’s charges record three consecutive wins.

“The [international] qualifiers are always a great experience. Literally from the start, I think every girl wanted to prove who they were there and they wanted to get on the pitch. When players got that chance to get on the pitch and make the impact, they genuinely did,” Fahey said.

“Hopefully we just pick up as much as we possibly can for the next round, which we should hopefully find out about soon.”

Posted in League Of Ireland, Women's Soccer | Comments Off on FAI Women’s Cup Final Build-Up Interview: Doireann Fahey (Wexford Youths) – The Kildare Nationalist – October 30 2018

All-Ireland League Division 1A Follow-Up Piece: Cork Constitution Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – October 30 2018

Concession of soft tries hurts Hickey


Daire Walsh

CORK CONSTITUTION coach Brian Hickey admitted the concession of soft scores played a major part in his side’s 35-27 defeat to Lansdowne in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League last Saturday.

Despite registering four tries on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch in a fast-paced affair, Con suffered their opening reversal of the 2018/19 domestic campaign.

“I think we were never close enough to be closing scores on them. We got back into the game at 8-5 and we just kept leaving them get too far ahead,” Hickey explained after the game.

“Then I thought when we came back into it, I was kind of thinking ‘could we get back into bonus point territory’. Losing bonus point territory.

“Then we conceded another try to let them get clear ahead, to give them a comfortable enough finish. That was disappointing.”

While the eight-point gap between the teams meant they missed out on a losing bonus, skipper Niall Kenneally touched down in stoppage-time to ensure Con achieved something tangible in their latest trip to the Ballsbridge venue.

Even allowing for the fact that Lansdowne were the superior team on the day, Con passed up additional try-scoring opportunities in either half.

A more expansive approach has produced 98 points for the Leesiders in their four league games to date, giving Hickey plenty of cause for optimism.

“We’re trying to maybe change a little bit in how we’re playing and I think it has worked fairly well for us in the games leading up to this.

“This was always going to be a step up in terms of intensity, defence, physicality.

“I’ve seen enough to suggest we keep working on it, but it did certainly pointed out where we’re maybe not as clinical as we got away with in previous matches.”

Next up for Con is a crunch home encounter against Garryowen next Saturday, which will be followed by a three-week break from all league action.

Sparks normally fly when the two Munster giants come face-to-face and Hickey believes their latest clash will be along similar lines.

“That will be a huge one and then there’ll be a little bit of a breather after that.

“Con and Garryowen will have a life of its own. We just need to get the injuries sorted out and get back into it.”

Alongside the list of absentees in advance of last weekend’s tie, the Con management will also have to deal with the standard bumps and bruises associated with life at this level.

However, given they were playing on Lansdowne’s re-surfaced all-weather pitch, Hickey was hopeful that his squad would be largely unscathed for the Garryowen game.

“We picked up a few knocks going into today. I think every team will and we probably had a few there today, but in fairness it was great to play on the pitch. It has been long overdue having the new pitch here.

“The games have been tight and fast, and open. Certainly there won’t be as many cuts and scrapes as there would have been in the past,” Hickey added.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Division 1A Follow-Up Piece: Cork Constitution Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – October 30 2018

All-Ireland League Division 1A: Lansdowne V Cork Constitution – The Evening Echo – October 29 2018

Con’s league run comes to an end




Daire Walsh

CORK CONSTITUTION slipped to second place in the All-Ireland League Division 1A table on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of an eight-point defeat to defending champions Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

Despite forging a spirited second-half display – which garnered a try bonus for the Leesiders – Con’s winning start to the new campaign was halted by the Harry Byrne-inspired Dubliners. In addition to building on triumphs over Shannon, UCC and Dublin University, Brian Hickey’s men were also aiming to avenge last season’s final reversal against Lansdowne.

However, after he broke the deadlock with a routine penalty, Byrne raced through a gap on the right flank for a ninth-minute try. As expected, the Con pack started to exert its influence on the game as the half progressed. When Aidan Moynihan opted for touch off a resulting attack, a powerful line-out maul was finished over the line by lock Brian Hayes.

This unconverted effort looked set to be a catalyst for the visitors, but Lansdowne asserted their authority. After a short pass from his half-back partner Tim Murphy, Byrne jinked his way over the whitewash for a second try.

He added the bonuses in comfortable fashion, before trading penalties with Moynihan to keep Lansdowne firmly in the driving seat. Their territorial dominance continued in the lead-up to the interval and winger Daniel McEvoy was released for another five-pointer to the left of the posts.

Lansdowne’s 25-8 cushion was subsequently enhanced on the resumption, as Adam Leavy (younger sibling of Ireland flanker Dan) punished Con for a turnover inside the opposition ’22’. His stunning solo try appeared to place the outcome beyond any doubt – only for their Temple Hill counterparts to dramatically reduce their deficit during a pulsating closing-quarter.

Another impressive set-piece on the hour mark ended with number eight Luke Cahill grounding beyond the Lansdowne line, edging them a step closer to the Ballsbridge club. Indeed, after Jack Costigan touched down 13 minutes from time, Con suddenly found themselves within touching distance of a losing bonus point.

A fifth Lansdowne try through Joe O’Brien put paid to their chances but skipper Niall Kenneally crashed over deep into stoppage time to ensure that Con didn’t come away empty-handed.

Scorers for Lansdowne: Harry Byrne 2 tries, 2 cons, 2 pens, Daniel McEvoy, Adam Leavy, Joe O’Brien try each.

Scorers for Cork Constitution: Brian Hayes, Luke Cahill, Jack Costigan, Niall Kenneally try each, Aidan Moynihan 2 cons, pen.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Mark O’Keeffe, Adam Leavy; Harry Byrne, Tim Murphy; Denis Coulson, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville; Oisin Dowling, Jack Dwan; David O’Connor, Aaron Conneely, Willie Earle.

Replacements: James Rael, Greg McGrath, Joe O’Brien, Gareth Molloy, Tom Roche.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; Jack Costigan, Alex McHenry, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan, Jason Higgins; Gavin Duffy, Vincent O’Brien, Brian Scott; Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan; Joe McSwiney, Ross O’Neill, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Patrick Casey, Dylan Murphy, Cathal O’Flaherty, Richard Cassidy, Billy Crowley.

Referee: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU).

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on All-Ireland League Division 1A: Lansdowne V Cork Constitution – The Evening Echo – October 29 2018