DLSP 16 Tallaght 8

Owen Tyrrell

De La Salle Palmerston R.F.C. 16

Tallaght R.F.C. 8

Tries: Andy Grace
Pen: Morgan Farrell

Metro League Division 7 Final
Kirwan Park
29/4/2017

Tallaght took on DLSP to decide the winners of the Metro League Division Seven title. Tallaght were boosted by a visit from Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during the week and they started well using the strong wind at this backs well to gain good territory. They were dominating possession and took the lead when Morgan Farrell kicked a penalty. However DLSP hit back quickly after a series of phases earned them a penalty, which they kicked to make it 3-3. DLSP were running a lot of ball but Tallaght’s aggressive defending forced them into multiple knock-ons.

Farrell had a chance to increase Tallaght’s lead but his kick clipped the post and bounced away. Tallaght almost had a try just before half-time when a brilliant backline move put Ciaran Rudd away on the wing but Simon Collie couldn’t hold the final pass. Then DLSP had a lineout near the Tallaght line but David Clarke put in a cracking tackle to relieve the pressure and it remained 3-3 at half-time.

Tallaght started the second half very brightly with the pack picking and driving with strong carries from the likes of Adam Nolan, Ken McGovern and Jack Russell. This earned them another penalty but once again, Farrell’s kick came off the post. They fought their way back to the DLSP line and eventually Andy Grace showed his power to get over the line to give Tallaght a 8-3 lead. DLSP hit back quickly with a penalty of their own to make it 8-6 but Tallaght were further boosted when DLSP had a man binned for a high tackle on Simon Collie. The watching Marion Davoren, mother of Collie’s girlfriend Aoife, was distinctly unimpressed with the high tackle on the Australian. However Collie himself was soon in trouble when the touch judge ruled that he had made a late tackle on DLSP full back Trevor Byrne. He was shown a yellow card and once DLSP returned to their full compliment of players, Tallaght were under major pressure.

Tallaght were trapped in their own twenty two and were defending for their lives. Their try-line was living a charmed life as three times DLSP looked certain to score but knocked the ball on with the line at their mercy. Tallaght couldn’t hold on forever though and eventually Trevor Byrne, a former Tallaght player, broke through to score a try to make it 11-8 to DLSP ten minutes from the end. Collie returned to the pitch but Tallaght were soon back down to fourteen men when Tony McManus was sent to the bin for a high tackle. Shortly afterwards DLSP went over for a second try to make it 16-8. Tallaght kept fighting but there was to be no more scoring and DLSP were deserved champions.

Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh was proud of the effort his team put in. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the lads, they left everything out on the pitch. DLSP are a fine team but we really put it up to them for most of the game before they got on top in the last quarter. The players are gutted now but we’ve had the most successful season in the club’s history and there’s a huge amount to be positive about. I want to thank all the players, coaches and everyone who’s involved with the club for all their hard work this season. I also want to say a massive thanks to all the supporters who turned out in huge numbers today. All the lads really appreciated it. Finally, I want to say this is not an ending, this is only the beginning and we’re going to go on to bigger and better things next season.”
 
Man of the match: David Clarke

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Ciaran Rudd
13. Owen Tyrrell
12. David Clarke
11. Aaron Shanahan
10. Morgan Farrell
9. Andew Rudd

8. Adam Nolan
7. Jack Russell
6. Alan Sower
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Sean Judd

Replacements

16. Andy Grace
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Kevin Quinn
19. Frank Doyle
20. Karl Segrave
21. Gary Doyle
22. Gavin McKeon

 

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh and Jessica Walsh Fulham

Ken McGovern
Ciaran Rudd
Andy Grace scores Tallaght’s try
Adam Nolan
Andy Rudd

Simon Collie

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