Tallaght 1sts v Terenure
Metro League Division 6 final
Saturday 14th March 2020
The Tallaght men’s firsts team have made their Divisional final for the fourth year running. They take on Terenure in the Divsion 6 final on Saturday the 14th of March in Tymon park at 3PM.
Last season Tallaght finally broke their duck to win Division 7 after losing the in the final in the previous two seasons. This earned them promotion to Division 6, the highest level Tallaght have ever played at. But they were boosted by some new signings with former players Denny McCarthy and Ciaran Rudd rejoining after spells away. The likes of Niall Mahon, James Carr, Scott Hyland, Ben Flynn and Nick McGuinness also joined to add real depth to the squad.
Tallaght began the season well with wins over Guinness and Seapoint as they began their defence of John Madden Cup, which they also won last year. They then beat Seapoint again in the league opener. In the next game they faced fellow finalists Terenure for the first time away in Lakelands. They scored two late tries after trailing for most of the game to edge the contest by two points. They followed that up with a fine win in terrible conditions away to Coolmine.
The next week though they suffered the first and only defeat of the season at home to Trinity College when they lost an entertaining game by a point. Tallaght bounced back superbly though, thrashing Barnhall away from home 40-17 in their last game before Christmas. In their first game back after Christmas, Tallaght stuttered to an unconvincing win over Seapoint away.
Then they took on Terenure for the second time. This time Tallaght led for most of the game before falling behind in added-on time at the end of the match. However they found a way to get back up the pitch and kick a penalty to win, again by just the two points like the game earlier in the season. The week after Tallaght beat Coolmine at home in another tight match. They then comfortably won their last three games against Trinity, Barnhall and Guinness conceding only one try along the way. The Tallaght seconds team have also earned their place in the Division 11 final against Clondalkin, which will take place in Gordon Park on Saturday the 21st of March.
Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh is looking forward to the final this weekend. “After getting promoted last season we initially thought it might take us a season or two to adjust to the higher level. But we quickly became aware that we were more than able for the standard. We’ve scored the most points and conceded the fewest in the division and only lost the one game. We know it will be a very tough final against Terenure though. Both of our previous meetings this season were only won by two points so we’ve got the utmost respect for them. But I believe that we can win if we bring our A game on the day.”
“The best thing about this final is that it’s the first one ever to be hosted in Tallaght. Our support has been amazing for the previous three finals which were all away so we’re delighted our fans don’t have to travel far this time. People are working behind the scenes to make the final a great day for all the family so we’re hoping as many members of the Tallaght community as possible come out to support us. It’s been a great reward for the hard work the whole squad put in to have both the firsts and seconds in their divisional finals. We’re going to do our best to give both teams the best chance of success.”
The whole Tallaght squad was given a great boost on Monday when former Ireland international Donncha O’Callaghan met with them in the Old Mill bar to hold a Q&A and also present the jerseys to both teams ahead of their finals.
They also had a great training session last week with guest coaches Colin McEntee and Ultan O’Callaghan, brother of Donncha. There was a further boost for the whole club when Murray Kinsella wrote an excellent article about the rise of the club for the journal.ie.
The excitement is building so hopefully the weather behaves itself and there is a great turnout to support the lads on Saturday afternoon.