Jump to main content

Menu

D’Arcy Double Sees Clontarf Edge Out ‘Belvo

D’Arcy Double Sees Clontarf Edge Out ‘Belvo

A late surge saw defending Ulster Bank League champions Clontarf get back to winning ways with a 24-21 victory over hosts Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road.

A try from Leinster winger Mick McGrath, coupled with a Matt D'Arcy effort five minutes from time, made the difference for the north Dubliners who had lost four of their previous five league games.

Old Belvedere were made rue two missed kicks from Leinster youngster Steve Crosbie in the opening half and a decision to go down the line in the second half which they left the 'Tarf 22 empty handed.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Clontarf looked closer to their 2013/14 vintage with the returning McGrath and Max McFarland featuring in the back-three alongside McGrath's brother Rob. McFarland made a slashing 50-metre break, which included two hand-offs, to set up centre D'Arcy for a terrific opening try inside five minutes.

David Joyce converted before Old Belvedere had a couple of near misses, including two off-target penalties from Crosbie, and an Aaron Sheehan-inspired attack came to a disappointing conclusion when the supporting Michael Oyuga was penalised for holding on.

'Tarf failed to capitalise on a D'Arcy-led attack, which was ruined by an intercepted Joyce pass, but the out-half made amends when nailing a 30-metre penalty on the half hour to make it 10-0.

It could have been more had D'Arcy had the support when he made another break inside 22. They were once again guilty of turning the ball over at the breakdown, while a late 'Belvo onslaught that amounted to 11 phases was spoiled by a knock-on.

'Belvo exerted plenty of pressure on the resumption, with Daniel Riordan twice kicking penalties to touch, and both Kieran O'Gorman and Riordan went close to scoring tries from close range.

Finally, Old Belvedere's efforts paid off when their excellent scrum drove 'Tarf backwards to their try-line and captain Jonathan Slattery pounced off the base for a 51st minute try which Crosbie converted.

Paul Cunningham's side hit the front just ten minutes later when the ball was spread wide on the left and a kick through was gathered by Ireland Under-20 centre Peter Robb for a second converted try.

Clontarf roared back with a strong run from centre Michael Brown. Then, from an attacking scrum, they moved the ball at pace to both wings and on the right, Mick McGrath swerved inside the 'Belvo cover for a well-taken seven-pointer and a 17-14 lead.

This exciting, fast-paced encounter took another twist when 'Belvo used their lineout platform to press for try number three and it arrived when replacement scrum half Charlie Rock moved the ball wide and full-back Riordan, faced with a two-on-one opportunity, scored with a neat step inside. Crosbie split the posts again for a 21-17 scoreline.

However, that good work was undone when the 'Belvo defence opened up for the impressive D'Arcy to charge in by the posts for his fifth try of the league campaign. Joyce added the extras to give the visitors a three-point advantage.

There was yet more drama when 'Tarf flanker Adrian D'Arcy was sin-binned for infringing close to his own posts. 'Belvo bravely went for broke in search of a bonus point match-winning try, opting for a five-metre scrum. But their front row was penalised and 'Tarf prevailed by a narrow margin.

Referee: Mark Patton (IRFU)