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Dublin Clubs To Battle It Out For Fraser McMullen Cup

Dublin Clubs To Battle It Out For Fraser McMullen Cup

Four Dublin clubs, including last year’s beaten finalists Lansdowne, have advanced to the semi-finals of the Fraser McMullen Cup which take place this coming Saturday on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch and at Castle Avenue. The final is scheduled for Sunday, April 22.

This season’s All-Ireland Under-20 Cup champions will come from the capital after Lansdowne, Dublin University, UCD and Clontarf claimed quarter-final victories last weekend. Lansdowne and the two student clubs made the last-four in 2016/17, but Navan prevailed in the decider with a 22-9 win over Lansdowne.

The headquarters club, who recently celebrated back-to-back JP Fanagan Premier 1 titles, proved too strong for Dolphin last Saturday as they ran out 55-8 winners of their quarter-final tie. The Dolphin U-20s’ running game went unrewarded until a consolation try from Tim Marron, adding to Cameron O’Shaughnessy’s first half penalty.

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Lansdowne’s attack was relentless at times, Michael Heaney’s brace of tries setting them on their way to a 31-3 half-time lead. Michael Roche also touched down twice for the runaway victors, with Alex Deegan, brother of Leinster back rower Max Deegan, David Lynch, Tom Monaghan, Jack Moore and Mike Joyce sharing out the other scores.

Dublin University will be Lansdowne’s semi-final opponents after winning 29-19 away to Shannon at rain-hit Coonagh. Out-half Michael O’Kennedy’s converted try before half-time, following a rampaging run by hooker Dan Sheehan, settled the students down after a tricky start had seen them go behind.

Number 8 Patrick Nulty’s brilliant 60-metre break on the restart teed up Trinity for an improved second half performance, with American winger Liam Smith also getting on the scoresheet with two well-taken tries. The 10-point win on the road will boost confidence levels as Trinity look to avenge their two league defeats to Lansdowne this season – 28-13 at home and 25-18 away.

Clontarf will have home advantage in the second Dublin derby this weekend. A late try from multi-talented Wexford man Mikey Dwyer saw them edge out Garryowen 37-30 in a gripping quarter-final encounter at Dooradoyle. The sides shared out eight tries but Dwyer proved to be the match winner for ‘Tarf, who also had a key scoring contribution from precise place-kicker Conor Kelly.

In their first Fraser McMullen Cup semi-final appearance since 2011, Clontarf will entertain UCD, the 2011 and 2012 champions and beaten finalists in 2016. Ian Wyse’s side got the the better of UCC, coming from behind to win 17-12 in rain-soaked conditions at Belfield.

A superb length-of-the-field team try had UCC leading 12-7 after a first half which was played under a heavy rain shower. However, scrum half Tom Foley’s 57th-minute penalty cut the gap for UCD to two points, and the hosts were the better team for the remainder, with a scrum-inspired penalty try in the 71st minute – adding to Jay Mion’s first half effort – sealing their semi-final place.

UCD U-20 coach Wyse said: “We had two very tight matches against Clontarf (in the league) this year and were lucky to win on both occasions (including 20-19 at Castle Avenue). So we’re under no illusions as to how tough this Saturday’s match will be, but that is only to be expected as this is an All-Ireland semi-final.”

– Photos supplied by Lansdowne FC and Shawn Pogatchnik


QUARTER-FINALS: Saturday, April 7

Lansdowne 55 Dolphin 8, Aviva Stadium back pitch
Shannon 19 Dublin University 29, Coonagh
UCD 17 UCC 12, Belfield Bowl
Garryowen 30 Clontarf 37, Dooradoyle

SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, April 14

Lansdowne v Dublin University, Aviva Stadium back pitch, 4.30pm
Clontarf v UCD, Castle Avenue, 5pm


2016/17 – Navan
2015/16 – Cork Constitution
2014/15 – Lansdowne
2013/14 – Cork Constitution
2012/13 – Lansdowne
2011/12 – UCD
2010/11 – UCD