Tallaght 1st 25 UCD 6

Ken “The Kick” McGovern

Tallaght 1st R.F.C. 25

Tries: Padhraig Jones 2, Mark Keogh
Con: Adam Nolan 2
Pen: Aaron Shanahan 2

U.C.D. 6

Metro League Division 7
Tymon Park
02/12/2017

The Tallaght men’s 1st team were looking to bounce back from defeat last week when they took on UCD at Tymon Park. The College men took an early lead with a penalty to go 3-0 up. Tallaght were struggling to get their game going in the cold and damp conditions. There were multiple handling errors and the backline couldn’t get their depth right. To their credit UCD’s defence was well organised and they were also good at the breakdown.

They won another penalty which they converted to go 6-0 up. However a moment of class from out-half Dave Clarke changed the game. As the UCD defence was successfully shooting up to cut off their dangerous Tallaght runners like Simon Collie and Ciaran Rudd, Clarke went himself and broke through the gap. He made it to ten metres out before being tackled but centre Padhraig Jones had picked an excellent supporting line and he took Clarke’s offload to score his first try for Tallaght. Adam Nolan got the conversion and Tallaght, somewhat fortuitously, led 7-6 at half-time.

Tallaght improved a lot in the second half. Adam Nolan’s influence grew in the game, especially with his tactical kicking which was chased up superbly by Aaron Shanahan to gain great territory for Tallaght. The Tallaght replacements also had a big influence with Ken McGovern, Andy Grace and Kevin Quinn all carrying the ball powerfully at close quarters. This earned Tallaght two long range penalties which Aaron Shanahan converted superbly to make it 13-6 to Tallaght. Shanahan also played a big role in the score which sealed the game for Tallaght.

Dave Clarke, Ciaran Rudd and Simon Collie put Shanahan away on the left touchline and the winger sped away before offloading to Padhraig Jones who cruised over for his second try of the match. Nolan converted again and Tallaght led 20-6. They still weren’t finished scoring though as flanker Mark Keogh broke through and stretched to score a try which was thoroughly deserved for his fine all round performance. That made the final score 25-6 to Tallaght and coach Tom Leigh was delighted for his team. “I was very happy with the win especially with the second half performance.  The contribution from the bench was excellent with Ken, Andy and Kev making serious impacts. I must give huge credit to UCD who put us under pressure but it was very satisfying that we didn’t concede a try. There is still lots to work on this week and we’re gearing up for important match next Saturday at home to Bective. We’ve lost to them on our last two meetings in the cup last season and in the league earlier in the year so we owe them one. It’s our last match before the Christmas break and it’s a must-win game to keep us in contention to win the league”.

There was one final incident late in the game with will live in infamy. Tallaght had another chance to score a final try to cap the performance and send everyone home with a pep in their step. Replacement hooker Ken McGovern broke clear and had a three on one overlap with Dave Clarke and Karl “Moonbeam” Segrave completely unopposed outside him. A pass would have led to a certain try for the speedster Moonbeam and such was his confidence, he was already working out his dance moves to celebrate, opting to go with a Salsa number with a flavour of Dark ambient just to mix things up. However then McGovern was suddenly struck by the memories of his childhood hero Keith Wood who was known for his kicking, not something front rows are normally associated with. So McGovern eschewed the option of the pass and instead opted for a grubber kick. The kick was executed so unsuccessfully that it went straight into the arms of the lone UCD defender who more shocked than anything else. Clarke looked on disapprovingly (a massive slight in Clarkey-world) and Moonbeam dropped to his knees and beat the ground in frustration at the try (and epic try celebration) that was cruelly snatched for him by McGovern’s hubris. The final whistle was blown and Segrave left the field in floods of tears while McGovern made a swift exit, pulling his hoodie over his head to hide his shame.

 

Man of the match: Padhraig Jones

 

Tallaght 1sts

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

1. Sean Judd
2. Stephen Kelly
3. Alan Sower
4. Joe Ivers
5. Paul Cunningham
6. Daniel Pomares
7. Mark Keogh
8. Adam Nolan

Replacements:

16. Kevin Quinn
17. Andy Caswell
18. Ken McGovern
19. Andrew Grace
20. Karl Segrave
21. Rob Hudson

 

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Jessica Walsh Fulham

Ciaran Rudd
Simon Collie

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