Jump to main content



Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A: Round 12 Review

Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A: Round 12 Review

Ballynahinch full-back Harry Hitchens collects a high ball during their Division 1A clash with Cork Constitution ©Voicu Duma/Perfectlight

Clontarf have closed the gap on Terenure College to just three points after beating the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A leaders 29-24 at Castle Avenue.

Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Divisions: Round 12 Results Round-Up

A three-try first half salvo set the tone for one of Clontarf’s best performances of the season, which was topped off by captain Matt D’Arcy’s 66th-minute bonus point score.

A late Tadhg Bird penalty had ‘Tarf out of reach, but Terenure mounted an impressive finish, a razor sharp last-minute attack ending with Craig Adams’ try out wide to give them a losing bonus point.

Angus Lloyd cancelled out an early Callum Smith penalty with a seventh-minute try, trailing a powerful break from JJ O’Dea who offloaded invitingly for the Clontarf scrum half to scamper in behind the posts.

A clever move off a Mick Kearney-won lineout saw the visitors lead 14-3 just past the quarter hour mark. Tony Ryan carried up close before Ivan Soroka picked quickly from the ruck to crash over with support from Dylan Donnellan.

Two long passes from D’Arcy and Ryan set up Bird to send Cian O’Donoghue for ‘Tarf’s third try, Conor Kelly missing the conversion this time with Terenure out-half Smith replying with his second penalty.

Trailing 19-6 at half-time, ‘Nure hit back strongly on the resumption when Jordan Coghlan slipped through from a midfield ruck and fed scrum half Alan Bennie to reduce the arrears to six points.

Smith landed his third penalty, coupled with ‘Tarf losing lock Kearney to the sin bin, but a concerted spell of pressure – on the back of a Donnellan hack through – ended with D’Arcy charging over to make it 26-16.

Full-back Bird traded penalties with Smith, before Mick Melia plucked down ‘Nure’s restart and skipper Harrison Brewer was the link man in midfield as the ball was flashed wide for Adams to have the final say.

Clontarf are now second in the table, level on points with Cork Constitution who overcame Ballynahinch 14-3 at Temple Hill thanks to a try each from hookers Billy Scannell and Max Abbott.

Niall Kenneally was a makeshift out-half for Cork Con, who were without injured captain Aidan Moynihan (leg), and they were made to work hard by a Ballynahinch team that had won their last four games.

Following an early penalty miss from Greg Hutley, Con hit the front in the 12th minute when Scannell was mauled over the line and George Coomber converted.

Munster prop Liam O’Connor fell foul of referee Jonny Erskine’s whistle at scrum time, and although Hutley opened ‘Hinch’s account from the tee, their late attacking onslaught before half-time went unrewarded.

The visitors showed their battling qualities when losing Ulster lock Cormac Izuchukwu (49 minutes) and Zack McCall (72) to yellow cards, yet Con struggled to convert their pressure into points.

Their only score arrived with a quarter of an hour remaining, and it came from another well-executed lineout drive with replacement Abbott at the end of it. Coomber’s conversion extended the lead to 11 points.

‘Hinch, whose own lineout misfired when presented with a late try-scoring opportunity, have dropped back down to sixth place. Young Munster are the main beneficiaries, moving back into the top four after a 17-10 victory over Dublin University.

A James Dillon try had Trinity leading by a slim margin at Tom Clifford Park, but Stephen Lyons squeezed over in the left corner – Evan Cusack landed a terrific conversion – and Conor Hayes kicked the Cookies’ clinching penalty.

Bottom side Garryowen opened their win account at the twelfth attempt, as two Henry Buttimer tries saw them get the better of Lansdowne on a 21-17 scoreline at Dooradoyle.

Despite Temi Lasisi and Peter Sullivan both crossing to establish a 12-6 half-time lead for Lansdowne, they were second best during the second half with Munster Academy out-half Tony Butler in talismanic form.

The 20-year-old Butler finished with 11 points from the tee and provided the assists for Buttimer’s two scores. Firstly, the Light Blues turned scrum possession into a seven-pointer for the winger in the right corner.

When a Lansdowne lineout went loose soon after and was gobbled up by Darragh McCarthy at the rear, Sean Rennison battered his way up into the opposition 22. Two phases later, Butler’s cross-field kick was collected by Buttimer to make it 21-12.

Full-back Cillian Redmond completed his brace in the dying seconds, making sure Lansdowne took home a losing bonus point. Their bench made an impact, with Luke Thompson carrying well in the build-up and Jack Connolly supplying the final pass.

Scrum half Michael Moloney’s 69th-minute penalty proved decisive as UCD edged out Shannon 22-19 in a Belfield thriller. The Limerick men, who beat the students 36-24 back in November, had led on three occasions as they looked to get back to winning ways.

UCD fell behind in the 14th minute, conceding a penalty try for illegally collapsing a Shannon maul with flanker Joe Cronin also yellow carded. A flurry of tries followed before half-time as the hosts got back on level terms.

Niall Carroll’s diving 32nd-minute finish from a long Tim Corkery pass got them on the board, with Moloney converting with the aid of the far post. A powerful Shannon drive delivered a score for hooker Jordan Prenderville, which Michael Cooke converted.

However, UCD made it 14-all at the break when Leinster Academy prop Jack Boyle – back from a lengthy injury lay-off – burrowed over successfully after his captain Bobby Sheehan had had a couple of bites at the cherry. Moloney added the extras again.

Cooke and Ross Deegan exchanged tries inside 10 minutes of the restart, the Shannon out-half neatly nipping away from attempted tackles from Deegan and Harry Donnelly to score out wide on the left.

Winger Deegan hit back just a few minutes later, reaching over by the right corner flag after slick hands from James Tarrant and Carroll had set him free. Moloney missed the conversion, leaving it 19 points apiece.

Shannon, who had the stronger scrum, survived Jack O’Donnell’s sin-binning relatively unscathed, with a sidestepping Dylan O’Grady stopped just short. Moloney was bang on target with his all-important penalty, though.

Shannon threw the kitchen sink at UCD in response, however they had a maul held up and two of their lineouts were stolen by Gerry Hill and Sheehan. UCD stood firm to see out an important result which lifts them out of the bottom two.