Tallaght R.F.C. 07

Try: Alan Bernes
Con: Ciaran Stewart

A.I.B. R.F.C. 05

Metro League Division 7
23/11/13 Tymon Park

Tallaght cemented second place in the Metro League Division 7 table with a hard-fought win over AIB at Tymon Park. The bankers took an early lead with a try after only two minutes when their big pack drove through some poor tackling from Tallaght to touch down. The conversion was missed but Tallaght responded well.

Through the superb tactical of out-half Ciaran Stewart, Tallaght pinned AIB back in their own half. Led by the great ball carrying of skipper Simon Sweeney, the Tallaght pack constantly made ground and it led to a number of penalties. However, as good as Stewart was kicking from hand, he struggled off the tee, and missed with three kicks at goal in the first half. It could have been worse for Tallaght though as AIB looked certain to score from a breakaway but were saved by a superb cover tackle from wing Colin Malone. The half-time score was 5-0 to AIB.

Tallaght began the second half as they played in the first, dominating possession and territory but not taking advantage through poor handling. They weren’t helped by a yellow card shown to flanker Emil Wyrebiak, who was somewhat binned for showing poor discipline. In fairness to Tallaght though, they didn’t panic and Stewart’s pinpoint tactical kicking kept them playing in the right area of the pitch. From one superb touch-finder Tallaght won the ball back through Paul Cunningham who terrorised the AIB lineout all day. Simon Sweeney and Jack Russell made some big carries to draw in defenders and then the ball went wide.

Scrum-half Gary Doyle fed Stewart who put centre Vilus Kuklis into space. Kuklis threw a superb pass to Malone on the wing and he offloaded with great skill to Alan Bernes who ran under the posts for an excellent team try. Stewart converted and finally Tallaght led 7-5. Then with the game nearly over, AIB player Liam Quinn suffered what looked like an ankle dislocation. The game was immediately paused as an ambulance was called. Everyone at Tallaght RFC wishes Liam a speedy recovery.

After half an hour the game resumed in fading light with only 80 seconds left to play. But it was quite a dramatic 80 seconds. Tallaght had a lineout but lost the ball to AIB. AIB attacked but Tallaght managed to turn the ball over and Stewart kicked to touch, thinking time was up. However, the ref ruled there was still time for an AIB lineout. The bankers won the ball and attacked but Simon Sweeney managed to turn the ball over to Tallaght again.

Standing near the touchline, scrum-half Gary Doyle just needed to kick the ball the two feet into touch. However instead he attempted to chip the AIB number eight who caught the ball and made a beeline for the try-line. To Doyle’s credit he managed to get back and make a tackle along with Jack Russell that got the man into touch. Doyle and the rest of the Tallaght team were most relived to hear the referee blow the final whistle.

Tallaght showed real character in keeping going when things weren’t going their way for so much of the match. The win leaves them five points clear of third-placed Old Wesley and only a point behind leaders Old Belvedere.

Tallaght R.F.C.

15 Alan Bernes
14 Gary Doyle
13 Vilius Kuklis
12 James Maher
11 Colin Malone
10 Ciaran Stewart
9 Aodhan Tinney

8 Simon Sweeney (captain)
7 Emil Wyrebiak
6 Paul Cunningham
5 Alan Moore
4 Joe Ivers
3 Declan Malone
2 Tony McManus
1 Simon Cumiskey

Jack Russell
Sean Judd
Sam O’Reilly
Stephen Kelly
Stephen Abbey

Jim O’Connor ©

Photos by topfoto.ie

Tallaght men 4 Tallaght men 3 Tallaght men 2 Tallaght men 1