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Clontarf Come From Behind Against ‘Belvo

Clontarf Come From Behind Against ‘Belvo

Richie Lane gave his Clontarf team-mates an early Christmas present as he kicked them to a nail-biting Division 1A win over Old Belvedere.

Richie Lane coolly slotted his last-minute kick to edge ‘Tarf home after a dogged Dublin derby at Castle Avenue that had plenty of twists and sub-plots.

Old Belvedere, third in the table following three successive wins, shot out of the blocks thanks to a long range intercept try from their captain Daniel Riordan.

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The north Dubliners had the early pressure, but ‘Belvo struck first as full-back Riordan picked off Timmy McCoy's pass in the visitors' 22 to dart away for his sixth try of the campaign.

Winger Josh Glynn converted impressively from a tight angle on the left and then added a 12th minute penalty as Andy Dunne’s men maintained their free-scoring form – they put 44 points on Cork Constitution last time out.

But this was a much closer affair on the northside, both Lane and Glynn missing the target before Clontarf hit back with an unconverted try.

As half-time loomed in the crisp conditions, ‘Tarf managed to unlock the Belvedere defence. With Darragh Fitzpatrick creating an overlap, they built from a close-in scrum for left winger McCoy to nip over in the corner.

Lane closed the gap to 10-8 in the third quarter, after Old Belvedere flanker Jonathan Slattery saw yellow for a high tackle.

‘Tarf’s goal-kicking winger fired over a second successful penalty in the 68th minute, putting Andy Wood’s charges ahead on the scoreboard for the first time. The kick took his league tally this term to 60 points.

Despite the strong running of Leinster’s Leo Auva’a, ‘Belvo's bustling number 8, and some nimble breaks from his provincial colleague Noel Reid, who came off the bench for Clontarf, try-scoring chances were at a premium.

It was left to Glynn and Lane to battle it out in a straight shootout with the boot. Glynn nudged ‘Belvo back in front with another surefooted kick. Their fourth straight victory was now just 10 minutes away.

However, ‘Tarf fought on and eeked out a final penalty in added time when their forwards drove on in a maul which brought about an infringement by Old Belvedere replacement Colin Mallon.

Lane right-footed the resulting 30-metre kick through the posts for a gritty one-point triumph – much to the delight of the vocal home support.

The result, in this final round of matches before the Christmas break, has moved ‘Tarf temporarily up to third with 'Belvo going in the opposite direction.

Those on the pitch and off it paused for a minute's silence prior to kick-off, in remembrance of Leinster referee Paul Cusack who died suddenly last Wednesday. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Referee: Olly Hodges (IRFU)