Old Wesley 31 Tallaght 1st 7

Adam Nolan

Old Wesley R.F.C. 31

Tallaght 1st R.F.C. 7

Try: Aaron Shanahan
Con: Adam Nolan

Metro League Division 7
Donnybrook
07/04/2018

Tallaght took on Old Wesley in the Metro League Divison 7 final. Having lost in the final last season Tallaght travelled to Donnybrook looking to go one better. However Tallaght were strangely flat in the first half and Wesley dominated possession. They had Tallaght under constant pressure and eventually scored from a maul to lead 5-0.

Wesley targeted the Tallaght lineout successfully and without this platform Tallaght simply couldn’t find a way into the game. What little possession Tallaght had was either knocked on or turned over. Tallaght then suffered a blow when prop Andy Grace was shown a yellow card for not rolling away at a ruck, which was quite harsh considering the referee had ignored Wesley doing the same thing on several occasions. With a man down Tallaght struggled to contain Wesley and they out-flanked Tallaght twice down their left hand side for two unconverted tries. They tacked on a penalty to lead 18-0 at half-time.

In the second half Tallaght needed a strong start but Wesley were full of confidence now and their excellent offloading game combined with some poor Tallaght defence earned them two more unconverted tries and they led 28-0 after fifty minutes. Finally Tallaght came to life led by Adam Nolan who put full back Simon Collie away and he looked certain to score a try until he was stopped close to the line by a high tackle which earned the Wesley winger a yellow card. Tallaght couldn’t score from that penalty but did finally score after sixty minutes when Ciaran Rudd put Aaron Shanahan away down the line and the winger showed great pace to round his man and score under the posts. Adam Nolan converted to make it 28-7.

Now Tallaght were in the game and they were playing with a lot more aggression and ambition. Wesley were under pressure and they were forced into conceding a series of penalties which eventually saw a second Wesley player yellow carded. However when Tallaght got into the Wesley twenty two, the ball was either turned over at the ruck or knocked on and any chance of a comeback ebbed away. Wesley were awarded a penalty which they kicked in the final act of the game to make the final score 31-7. Wesley were deserved winners and are fine champions but Tallaght will be frustrated that they didn’t play to their true ability until it was too late.

Head coach Tom Leigh was disappointed for his team. “First off congratulations to Old Wesley who were the better team on the day. I’m gutted for the lads because they have worked so hard, but if we’re honest with ourselves we just didn’t play to our usual standard for the first fifty minutes. When we did get going we put them under real pressure and if we started like that, it would have been a very different game. I want to thank the huge number of supporters who came out and shouted the lads on to the end. A number of Old Wesley members approached me after the game to say how impressed they were with the passion shown by our supporters. We’re disappointed but our season is far from over as we have a cup match next Saturday against Trinity College. We ask the supporters to stick with us and come up to Tymon Park next Saturday. Despite the result it was still great for the club to get to the final and bring so many supporters to Donnybrook. We also got great support from the local community in the build-up to the final with local businesses and social media pages wishing us well. We’d love to reward our great supporters with some silverware and we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen.”

 

Man of the match: Adam Nolan

 

Tallaght 1sts

15. Simon Collie
14. Aaron Shanahan
13. Ciaran Rudd
12. Padhraig Jones
11. Rob Hudson
10. David Clarke
9. Andy Rudd

1. Alan Sower
2. Ken McGovern
3. Andrew Grace
4. Joe Ivers
5. Mark Keogh
6. Aaron Morgan
7. Jack Russell (Captain)
8. Adam Nolan

Replacements:

16. Karl Segrave
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Paul Cunningham
19. Andy Caswell
20. Daniel Pomares
21. Sean Judd

 

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh & Mark Luttrell

Aaron Shanahan
Andy Caswell
Rob Hudson

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