Clontarf showed their attacking class as they racked up a half century of points against an understrength and youthful Dungannon side at Castle Avenue on Saturday.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 18
CLONTARF 50 DUNGANNON 0, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Michael Keating 2, Niall Carson, Conor Keegan, Niall O’Brien, Daragh O’Shea, Philip Howard; Cons: Daragh O’Shea 6; Pen: Daragh O’Shea
Clontarf did as their coach Andy Wood asked and claimed the bonus point win needed to gain them a place in the semi-finals.
But with Cork Constitution, Shannon and Garryowen all powering to bonus point successes, ‘Tarf had to settle for fourth place in the final table and a semi-final trip to defending champions Con next weekend.
Indeed, ‘Tarf only made the play-offs on scoring difference after fifth-placed St. Mary’s College also ran amok to beat Terenure College 59-11.
But the north Dubliners’ semi-final qualification is well-merited given their recent form which has been more consistent than Mary’s.
Tries from Michael Keating, Niall Carson and Conor Keegan saw the home side canter into a 19-0 half-time lead.
Keating, a big talent and surely destined for a role with Leinster at some stage, scampered through for the opener which team captain Daragh O’Shea converted.
Good work from the pack freed up flanker Carson for a powerful run to the line and O’Shea also converted that score, before centre Keegan claimed the third.
Niall O’Brien, Clontarf’s form player at the moment, raced through for his 11th try of the season shortly after the break and O’Shea continued his fine kicking performance.
The ‘Tarf centre booted the conversion and a penalty before he added the extras to a scintillating second try from Keating, who took the ball on inside his 22 and beat five players on the way to the Tyrone side’s whitewash.
O’Shea, who finished with a 20-point personal haul, then got in on the try-scoring act before full-back Phil Howard claimed the seventh try of a one-sided but entertaining and attack-dominated game.