Jump to main content


Clontarf Retain Top Spot

Clontarf Retain Top Spot

Clontarf maintained their positioning at the top of All-Ireland League Division 1B on Saturday afternoon, although the margin of their 33-11 victory at Galwegians was somewhat flattering.

Lacklustre defending from the hosts allowed Bernard Jackman's men to dominate for long periods, and a late try from number 8 Ian Cullinane was meaningless in the end for 'Wegians.

The Galway side came into this game on the back of a one-point win over UL Bohemians, but 'Tarf's running game proved too much for them to handle. Losing a couple of influential players to Connacht this weekend also dented 'Wegians' hopes.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The north Dubliners fell behind to a fifth minute penalty from 'Wegians captain John Cleary, who has been kicking well in the opening weeks of the season.

Both sides had scoring chances in an open first quarter, and Clontarf settled after flanker Barry O'Mahony, arguably the best summer signing in the league, broke through for their first try.

The former Dolphin clubman got on the end of a lineout maul to break the try deadlock in the 25th minute.

'Wegians could not make use of the strong wind at their backs, and they also failed to score after an excellent break from scrum half Ronan Dillon.

'Tarf collected try number two shortly afterwards. The ball was hacked downfield from a 'Wegians scrum, and O'Mahony fed scrum half Sam Cronin for a well-taken try, converted by out-half Noel Reid.

12-3 ahead at half-time, Clontarf increased their advantage when lock Ben Gissing, who recently returned to the club, made a break from a lineout and set up loosehead prop Ciaran Kavanagh for a converted try.

Cleary kicked a 45th minute penalty to help the home side cling on, but two more tries from centre Killian Lett and winger Michael McGrath put the game beyond their reach and gave 'Tarf a bonus point for the journey back home.

Some well-placed kicks from Reid kept Galwegians pinned back in their own half and the pressure eventually told.

Lett exposed the Galwegians defence with a well-taken intercept score from close to the hosts' 22, and McGrath then ran in unopposed from the ten-metre line as 'Wegians' heads began to drop.

They rallied in the closing minutes, notching a consolation try through the hard-working Cullinane who profited from a quickly tapped penalty.

Cleary's missed conversion, which came back off the crossbar, summed up a disappointing afternoon for Galwegians.

Referee: Olly Hodges (IRFU)