St. Mary’s College set up a mouth-watering AIB Cup quarter-final at home to Shannon after overcoming Clonakilty in Sunday’s re-fixed third round clash at Templeville Road.
2007/08 AIB CUP THIRD ROUND: Sunday, February 3
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 37 CLONAKILTY 3, Templeville Road
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Ronan Doherty, Kevin Sheahan, Frank Lynch, Gareth Logan, Robin Copeland; Cons: Frank Lynch 3; Pens: Frank Lynch 2
Clonakilty: Pen: David Lombard
Clon travelled to Dublin with a weakened team due to injuries and the unavailability of some players but they put in a brave effort and remained competitive until the final quarter when Mary’s ran in four tries.
The hosts’ only try of the first half arrived when out-half Frank Lynch dinked a kick through for winger Ronan Doherty to collect and score.
8-0 behind at the break, Clonakilty had a successful penalty from David Lombard before Mary’s wore them down and ran in further tries through Kevin Sheahan, Lynch, Gareth Logan and Robin Copeland.
Division Two side Clonakilty fielded an under-strength side, with injuries and the unavailability of some players hitting them at a key time in the season.
Clon’s tough and durable pack and their competent half-backs made sure that Mary’s had to work hard for their lead.
Mary’s were without their first choice scrum half Matt D’Arcy, who is out injured, but had a very able deputy in the experienced John ‘Killer’ Kilbride who was making his first appearance for the club since retiring last season due to injury and business commitments.
Mary’s AIB Club international squad members, Hugh Hogan, Matt Crockett and Rob Sweeney, were benched having trained this morning.
The hosts’ out-half Lynch opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty and after some lively exchanges, including two very good runs by young winger Conor Hogan, Mary’s broke through for their first try.
After a Fergus O’Sullivan break, the ball was recycled and Lynch threaded through a neat kick which ran perfectly for Doherty to charge through and score.
A second penalty from Lynch followed, four minutes into the second half, before Lombard kicked the Cork side’s only points in the 49th-minute.
Territorially, Mary’s were getting on top and a scrum just after the hour mark gave number 8 Sheahan, the former Ireland Under-20 international, the chance to pick off the base and dot down.
Lynch converted for 16-3 and the Dubliners strengthened their lead when Lynch himself dummied and went over under the posts for a seven-pointer.
A well-controlled maul which saw the heavier Mary’s pack push their opponents back 20-plus metres led to second row and captain Logan touching down.
Lynch converted again and he was also added to extras to Mary’s fifth and final try which was scored by replacement back rower Copeland, who was making his senior debut.