Tallaght 17 Clondalkin 10

TALLAGHT R.F.C. 17

Try: Stephen Heaney 2, Jack Russell
Con: Ciaran Stewart

CLONDALKIN R.F.C. 10

Try: Ciaran Murphy
Con: Colin Lyons
Pen: Colin Lyons

Metro League Division 7
09/11/13
Tymon Park

It was derby time as Tallaght welcomed local rivals Clondalkin to Tymon Park. After Tallaght were beaten by Old Belvedere last week, they were determined to hit back, but they knew Clondalkin would give them nothing easy. The game had barely started when Clondalkin’s Shane Young took a bad bang to the head while making a tackle. The game was delayed a half hour as an ambulance was called. Thankfully Shane was released from hospital later in the night and everyone at Tallaght RFC wishes him a speedy recovery.

When the game resumed, Tallaght started brightly and nearly had a try after five minutes. Vilius Kuklis, making his competitive debut in the centre for Tallaght, made an outstanding break and looked to have put wing Colin Malone away for the try, but the referee judged his final pass forward.

Unfortunately that was as good as it got for Tallaght in the first half. Despite having the breeze behind them, Tallaght refused to kick the ball and tried to run everything out of their own half. It made for extremely frustrating viewing as they constantly turned the ball over either through poor handling from the backs or the forwards taking the ball into one ruck too many.

Clondalkin were quite happy to take advantage, making better use of their possession and playing the referee a lot smarter. They took the lead when Colin Lyons kicked a penalty and that was the half-time score. In the second half, Tallaght continued to underperform and the game looked lost when Ciaran Murphy scored a fine try for Clondalkin. Lyons converted and Clondalkin led 10-0.

This finally provoked a response from Tallaght. Skipper Simon Sweeney came on and Jack Russell moved into the back row alongside him. Between the two of them, and substitute prop Simon Cumiskey, they finally generated some decent forward ball. Sweeney made a fantastic run swatting off several tacklers, and when the ball was recycled, Russell showed great strength to force his way over for the try. The conversion was missed but at 10-5 Tallaght were in the game. Vilius Kuklis, who was outstanding on his debut, made another outstanding break but was stopped by a high tackle when he looked certain to score.

Then came the try of the game and possibly the try of the season. Good passing from Gary Doyle and Emil Wyrebiak put full back Stephen Heaney into space near the halfway line. Heaney took off on an arching run but then threw a sumptuous dummy pass which fooled the Clondalkin defence so much that he was able to go through himself for the try under the posts. Ciaran Stewart converted and Tallaght led 12-10.

Tallaght smelt blood now and after an intelligent kick from substitute centre James Maher Tallaght chased up hard and won the ball back. Wing Colin Malone spotted that the Clondalkin defence had shot up and put through a deft grubber kick. With no Clondalkin defenders around, any one of four Tallaght players could have scored but Stephen Heaney took the honours for his sixth try of the season.

Tallaght had a 17-10 lead they wouldn’t relinquish and though there were a few nervous moments they held on for the win that reclaims second place in the table for them, a point behind Old Belvedere. It was a typically tough derby and Clondalkin deserved their losing bonus point. Tallaght have two weeks off before their next game against AIB but they know they will need to play a lot better to beat them.

Tallaght R.F.C.

15 Stephen Heaney
14 Gary Doyle
13 Vilius Kuklis
12 Jack Russell
11 Colin Malone

10 Ciaran Stewart
9 Aodhan Tinney

8 Sean Judd
7 Emil Wyrebiak
6 Paul Cunningham (captain)
5 Alan Moore
4 Joe Ivers
3 Declan Malone
2 Ollie Murphy
1 Tony McManus

Replacements

Alan Bernes
Stephen Kelly
Simon Cumiskey
James Maher
Darran Kearney
Simon Sweeney

Jim O’Connor ©

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