10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 26 CLONTARF 13, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Andrew Conway, Kyle Tonetti; Cons: Ian Madigan, Darragh Fitzpatrick; Pens: Ian Madigan 2, Darragh Fitzpatrick; Drop: Ian Madigan
Clontarf: Try: Michael Keating; Con: Martin Dufficy; Pens: Martin Dufficy 2
Having lost their last five league matches, this victory comes as a huge boost to Blackock, however it did not come easy to them and it was not until the 67th minute that they took the lead through an Ian Madigan penalty.
Clontarf, who have been steadily improving this season, made an impressive impact on the match early on with some nice back-line running but overall they did not capitalise on their scoring oppurtunities.
Just as Blackrock were starting to get their trademark quick flowing rugby going, Clontarf winger Michael Keating made his mark with a well-taken interception just outside his own 22 and he used his pace to make it all the way to the try-line.
The try seemed to upset the hosts' momentum and their backline never really got back into the match. Nonetheless, they were well in contention through a 40-metre Ian Madigan drop goal and a penalty on the stroke of half-time which put the scores at 7-6.
Things continued in this vein at the start of the second half with Clontarf controlling the pace of the game. Indeed, 'Tarf were extremely unlucky not to run in another try after some excellent work by full-back Daragh O'Shea and out-half Martin Dufficy.
O'Shea cleverly opened up the defence with a half breack and offloaded to Dufficy who made a scintillating run but was held up just inches from the 'Rock whitewash.
Coming into the final quarter, the home side started pushing for the win and after a sustained period of pressure in the 'Tarf 22, they were awarded a deserved try when centre Kyle Tonetti broke through the line of defence to get the touchdown.
Four minutes later, Madigan's penalty, which hit the upright and crept over, gave 'Rock a three-point lead coming into the final ten minutes.
After the restart, 'Rock drove play right back into 'Tarf's 22 and winger Andrew Conway was on hand to finish off a slick back-line move, diving over in the left corner.
The visitors were defeated by that stage and replacement Darragh Fitzpatrick put the icing on the cake, knocking over a penalty with the last kick of an entertaining game.