Tallaght 20 NUIM Barnhall 27

Tallaght R.F.C. 20

Tries: Tony McManus, Simon Collie, Adam Nolan
Con: Adam Nolan
Pen: Adam Nolan

NUIM Barnhall R.F.C. 27

Metro League Division 7
Lakelands Park
12/12/15

Barnhall returned to the top of the Division 7 table with a hard fought win over Tallaght in what was a very entertaining contest. With Tymon Park unavailable due to the heavy rain, the match was played on Terenure’s excellent 4G all-weather pitch, which they very generously allowed Tallaght to use. Tallaght got off to a bright start but suffered a blow early in the match where their experienced out-half Willie Lambe was forced off the pitch with an ankle injury.

From a lineout Tallaght took the ball up to the line and Aodhan Tinney fed prop Tony McManus for Tallaght’s first try. With Lambe gone number eight Adam Nolan took over the goal-kicking duties and he converted for Tallaght to lead 7-0. Barnhall almost hit back straight away when their out-half darted through a gap to go over the line. But Gavin McKeon, making his first start on the wing, showed great persistence to force a knock-on before the ball was grounded. Tallaght got back up the pitch through good carrying from Sean Judd and Paul Cunningham and Barnhall were pressured into conceding multiple penalties close to their line.

Eventually the ball went wide and good hands from Stephen Heaney and Dave Clarke put prolific full back Simon Collie in for the try in the corner. The conversion was missed but Tallaght were in good shape with a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes. From this point Barnhall woke up and they dominated the rest of the half. Their hard-running backs were getting through the Tallaght defence and they were also targeting the wings with some smart tactical kicking. Eventually they got their reward with two tries, one of which they converted to leave the scores level at 12-all at half-time.

Tallaght got back into the game in the second half with Collie making some great counter-attacking runs from full back and Nolan making hard yards with some strong carries. Eventually the pressure led to a penalty which Nolan converted for Tallaght to retake the lead at 15-12. Barnhall came back well again though and after consistent pressure they levelled the scores again with a penalty converted in front of the posts. With ten minutes to go Barnhall got over for an unconverted try to go 20-15 ahead. Tallaght nearly hit back when Nolan went on an amazing run from deep in his own half, breaking several tackles along the way, but he was finally tackled close to the line and the chance was gone. Barnhall took advantage when they scored a converted try which effectively sealed their win. Tallaght kept fighting though and Nolan finally got the try his display deserved to make the final score 27-20 which at least earned Tallaght a losing bonus point.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was disappointed with the result but proud of his teams performance. “That was one that got away. They’re a good side who are top of the league but we really put it up to them and got a great start. However, we were already missing a number of players and losing Willie so early in the game left the squad even more stretched and Barnhall made that count as the game went on. There’s no doubt we left a few good chances behind us, but I was proud of how the lads kept coming back at them right to the end. We’ve a break now until after Christmas but we really have a lot to look forward to with this team in the new year.”

 

Man of the match: Adam Nolan

 

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Karl Seagrave
13. Stephen Heaney
12. Dave Clarke
11. Gavin McKeon
10. Willie Lambe
9. Aodhan Tinney

8. Adam Nolan
7. Sean Judd
6. Kevin Quinn
5. Paul Cunningham
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Stephen Kelly
1. Dave Kelly

Replacements

16. John Cowan
17. Ken McGovern
18. Chris Curtis
19. Arran O’Loughlin

Jim O’Connor ©

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