phil 7

The late, great Philip Preston

Guinness R.F.C. 17

Tallaght R.F.C. 25

Tries: Jonathan Allison, Simon Collie, Willie Lambe
Conversion: Willie Lambe 2
Penalty: Willie Lambe 2

Philip Preston Trophy
Iveagh Grounds

Two local rivals came together on a beautiful August evening to honour one of their shared sons in rugby. Philip Preston was a long-serving player for Guinness RFC before making a huge impact at Tallaght Rugby Club as both player and coach. His sudden passing shook all who knew him, but the two clubs he knew and loved best came together to play a game in his honour, which will now become an annual fixture. In truth, they couldn’t have played a game which was a more perfect tribute to Philip’s love of both the two clubs and the game itself.

After a predictably slow start from two teams in pre-season, Tallaght looked a little more rusty and a lot of ball went to ground. Guinness were a bit quicker to settle and they scored the game’s first try after 15 minutes when they got over the line after persistent pressure. The conversion was missed and Tallaght hit back quickly. When sub Jonathan Allison was introduced to the fray he quickly made an impact, first intercepting a lineout and going on a forceful run. That didn’t yield a score but from a Tallaght lineout near the Guinness five- metre line Allison got the ball again and showed great strength to force his way over the line with the aid of several team-mates. Willie Lambe kicked an excellent conversion to make it 7-5 to Tallaght. The score seemed to settle Tallaght who got their game going and played some great rugby. Ciaran Rudd and newcomer Mitchell McGrath were making a big impact in defence while the returning Jack Russell and skipper Adam Nolan were combining superbly in the back row. Out-half Lambe was running the game superbly and he added on two more penalties either side of half-time to take Tallaght to 13-5 up.

But Guinness were far from done and they came roaring back into the game. They had a fearsome maul that Tallaght struggled to deal with and Philip’s brother Sean Preston was mauled over for a try, which was converted to make the score only 13-12 to Tallaght. Tallaght hit back though when Lambe put Simon Collie into space, the Australian full-back stepped inside three tacklers for a superb try. Lambe missed the conversion, but Tallaght led 18-12.

Still Guinness weren’t done, they came at Tallaght again with relentless pressure from their big pack. They mauled the ball over the line again in the corner and their out-half had a touchline conversion to take the lead. He struck it superbly and Tallaght’s hearts were in their mouths, but it just grazed the outside left post and went wide. Tallaght needed to get back down the pitch and they toughed it out for several minutes before Andrew Rudd spotted a gap and made a superb break. He fixed his man with great composure and passed to Lambe who scored the winning try under the posts, which he converted for a personal haul of 15 points. It was the finishing touch on a classy man of the match display.

With the thrilling game over, Guinness RFC legend Eddie Tyrrell spoke eloquently of Philip’s impact on the Guinness club. Then Philip’s father Philip Senior expressed his and his family’s immense gratitude for the tribute both clubs had made to Philip.

Phliip senior then presented the trophy to Philip’s good friend Alan Bernes, who had played a superb game before suffering a nasty looking knee injury. Yet he still hobbled up to accept the trophy for Tallaght alongside Philip’s two brothers Sean who played for Guinness and Cody, who played for Tallaght on the evening.

There was a massive crowd on the sideline, between Philip’s family, players and members from both clubs and all the youth players Philip had coached and mentored. They all enjoyed a great match and a wonderful and moving occasion that summed up everything that’s good about club rugby.

As several of his family and friends were moved to say… Philly would have loved it!


Man of the match: Willie Lambe


Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Gavin McKeon
13. Ciaran Rudd
12. Stephen Heaney
11. Karl Seagrave
10. Willie Lambe
9. Alan Bernes

8. Adam Nolan (Captain)
7. Jack Russell
6. Aaron Morgan
5. Joe Ivers
4. Mitchell McGrath
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Declan Malone


16. Morgan Farrell
17. Sean Judd
18. Liam Kenny
19. Simon Gaskell
20. Kevin Quinn
21. Andew Rudd
22. Jonathan Allison
23. Stephen Kelly
24. Cody Preston
25. John Cowan
26. Rob Hudson


Joe Ivers soars for a lineout

rudd tackle

Ciaran Rudd makes another textbook tackle


Willie Lambe kicks another penalty


Adam Nolan makes an excellent catch from a high ball


Aaron Morgan takes a lineout


Simon Collie makes an offload

two teams

Both the teams together in honour of Phil