Ciaran Rudd

Ciaran Rudd

Tallaght R.F.C. 15

Tries: Gavin McKeon, Jack Russell
Con: Willie Lambe
Pen: Morgan Farrell

Coolmine R.F.C. 17

John Madden Cup Final
Estuary Road, Malahide RFC

Tallaght took on Coolmine in the final of the John Madden Cup out in Malahide RFC. Coolmine are in the division ahead of Tallaght in Metro League 6, so they started as favourites. However Tallaght started much the brighter with strong carries fom Jack Russell and Adam Nolan winning a penalty in front of the posts. Nolan, captain for the day, took a chance on a quick tap and it paid off when Gavin McKeon scored in the corner. The winger did very well to ride a high tackle from the Coolmine out-half and still get the ball down. Willie Lambe kicked the conversion and Tallaght led 7-0.

Coolmine got back into the Tallaght half and won a penalty to make it 7-3. Coolmine had some phases of possession but Tallaght were defending very strongly and one attack ended with a poor attempt at a drop goal by Coolmine. However a poorly judged quick drop-out gifted possession back to Coolmine in Tallaght’s twenty two. Coolmine took full advantage and scored a try which they converted to lead 10-7. Tallaght’s response wasn’t long in coming though. Strong running from David Clarke and Ciaran Rudd won a penalty which was kicked to the corner. The pack then took over and the ball was superbly mauled up to the Coolmine line before Jack Russell broke off to get the ball down for a try. The conversion was missed but Tallaght led 12-10 at halftime.

Tallaght dominated the first twenty minutes of the second half. Coolmine could barely get out of their half as intelligent kicking from the likes of Willie Lambe and Adam Nolan kept them pinned down. Tallaght didn’t make the spell of dominance count on the scoreboard though and only increased their lead by three points with a Morgan Farrell penalty to make it 15-10. This would come back to haunt them as Coolmine came into the game in the final quarter, greatly aided by some substitutions in their pack.

Tallaght also weren’t helped when their scrum-half Andrew Rudd was shown a red card. Rudd’s leg was being held off the ball by a Coolmine player. In a bid to free his leg, Rudd kicked out and accidentally caught the player on the head. The touch judge reported the incident and the referee showed Rudd a red and the Coolmine player a yellow for his part in the incident. Coolmine won a penalty in the Tallaght 22 and from a quick tap, their replacement prop powered his way over for a try which was converted to make it 17-15 to Coolmine. Coolmine could have sown the game up after that but for the fantastic defense of full back Ciaran Rudd, who stopped three certain tries with last ditch tackles, including one on a player twice his size.

With time running out Jack Russell produced a fantastic kick up the line to get Tallaght into the Coolmine half. They then won a penalty with the last play of the game, but it was from a very tough angle, well out to the left of the posts. Morgan Farrell missed the first attempt but the referee ordered a re-take after a Coolmine player had charged the kick, which is only allowed on conversions. Farrell’s second effort was much better struck but it too went wide and Coolmine were the champions.

Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh was devastated to lose but was immensely proud of his players’ efforts. “While we’re gutted to lose by a single score, I’m delighted with the way we played today. Every player showed up and worked their socks off for the team and I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. We’ll learn from today and that experience will stand to us as the league resumes next week. Both the coaches and the players want to thank all the friends and family who took the time to travel over to support the team. The noise they made kept us going and we all really appreciate it and we’re sorry we couldn’t give them a trophy to bring home.”


Man of the match: Ciaran Rudd

Adam Nolan

Adam Nolan

Tallaght RFC

15. Ciaran Rudd
14. Gavin McKeon
13. David Clarke
12. Stephen Heaney
11. Gary Doyle
10. Willie Lambe
9. Andew Rudd

8. Adam Nolan (Captain)
7. Jack Russell
6. Aaron Morgan
5. Sean Judd
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Stephen Kelly
1. Declan Malone


16. Alan Sower
17. Morgan Farrell
18. Ken McGovern
19. Owen Tyrrell
20. Karl Seagrave
21. Nigel Foster
22. Kevin Quinn

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Stephen Heaney

Stephen Heaney


Joe Ivers

Ciaran Rudd makes another tackle

Ciaran Rudd makes another tackle