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Ryan’s Highfield March On To Division 2A Title Decider

Ryan’s Highfield March On To Division 2A Title Decider

Highfield player-coach Tim Ryan is determined to secure Division 1B rugby for the table-topping Cork club ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Tim Ryan’s table-topping Highfield side teed up a potential Division 2A title decider against Cashel next Saturday afternoon with a 24-6 win over Cork rivals Dolphin in the only All-Ireland League game to take place this weekend.

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Friday, March 15

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DOLPHIN 6 HIGHFIELD 24, Irish Independent Park
Scorers: Dolphin: Pens: Daryl Foley 2
Highfield: Tries: Gavin O’Leary, Colm Gallagher, Dan Healy, Miah Cronin. Cons: Paul Downes 2
HT: Dolphin 3 Highfield 5

With 66 points from their 13 wins so far, Highfield hold a 10-point lead over second-placed Cashel with Tim Ryan’s former Munster team-mate Denis Leamy at the helm of the Tipperary side. A win for Highfield at Woodleigh Park next Saturday will guarantee them a place in Division 1B for next season.

The Corkmen are determined to move up in the All-Ireland League after losing a home promotion play-off last year for the second season in a row. Player-coach Ryan telling Irish Rugby TV: “Last year, we left it behind us. We’ve said to ourselves, this year let’s get first so we don’t have to be messing around in a play-off.”

Highfield trailed Dolphin 6-5 after 56 minutes of action on Friday night but scored three tries in the final quarter to secure the win and a bonus point – their 12th of the campaign to date. Ryan spoke about his squad’s attacking ethos in his post-match interview – they have amassed an incredible 586 points after 15 rounds.

The 34-year-old prop also says Cashel will be gunning for them in the next round. Leamy’s men are no strangers to promotion heartache themselves, having missed out on the 2017/18 play-offs on scoring difference. The ambition of both sides will be evident next Saturday.

Ryan added: “I’m from the club. I grew up playing for the club. I just want the club to be where it deserves to be. It’s going to be years before we catch up to the likes of (Cork) Con, but that’s got to be the goal – to emulate them. Where they’re at. We’re just on the opposite side of the city, so it would be east versus west!”