Ken McGovern

Bective Rangers 8

Tallaght 1sts 37

Tries: Adam Nolan, Andy Rudd, Rob Hudson, Jack Russell, Padraig Jones, Aaron Shanahan
Con: Rob Hudson 2
Pen: Rob Hudson

Metro League Division 7
Donnybrook Stadium

Tallaght took on Bective away in their final regular league game of the season knowing that a win would guarantee them a place in the Metro Division 7 final for the third year running. After two minutes, Tallaght winger Rob Hudson took off on an electric run beating several defenders and was only denied a try by a fine cover tackle. However Tallaght recycled the ball and after several phases of constant pressure skipper Adam Nolan took a tap penalty near the line and went over for the try. Bective responded with a penalty to make it 5-3 but it wasn’t long before Tallaght were back on the score-sheet again.

It was that man Hudson again who was put away down his wing by a fine pass from Kevin Quinn. With the cover defence coming across he smartly chipped the ball ahead and when the ball took a wicked bounce that flummoxed the Bective full back, scrum-half Andy Rudd was there to take advantage and cross for the try. Hudson converted the try and added a penalty soon after to make it 15-3 to Tallaght. Bective hit back with some strong running from their centres and looked certain to score a try after they broke through the midfield but centre Padraig Jones got across to make a superb cover tackle in the corner and then Tallaght turned the ball over to end the threat. At the other end Hudson went agonisingly close to scoring again when he kicked a loose ball ahead but he couldn’t gather the ball with the line at his mercy and the half-time score was 15-3.

Tallaght were determined to keep the pressure on Bective to finish them off in the second half. Their pack was carrying strongly with Alan Moore, Ken McGovern and Al Sower making several powerful carries between them. Adam Nolan took a late hit off the ball that he wasn’t happy with but he responded in the best possible way. First he won a turnover on the ground and then he took off and showed great speed to break away and offload to Hudson who went over for the try his performance so richly deserved. This settled Tallaght down and five minutes later the game was ended as a contest when flanker Jack Russell powered his way through three tackles to get over the line for Tallaght’s fourth try which Hudson converted to make it 27-3.

To their credit Bective kept plugging away and they broke through off a scrum for a try to make it 27-8. But Tallaght hit back to confirm their dominance of the fixture with two more tries. First centre Padraig Jones put the seal on a fine all round performance by taking a great line and breaking away to score in the corner. Then full back Aaron Shanahan scored with the final play of the game after a fine pass from Daryl Keogh put him away. It made the final score 37-8 to Tallaght and guaranteed their place in the final. They now await the winners of the Seapoint v Clontarf match today to see who they’ll play in the final.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted for his team. “This is the third year in a row we’ve made this final but this one means a little bit more because we came through a crisis when we suffered a heavy home defeat to Seapoint. Because of the way the fixtures fell, we had four weeks to stew on that setback but we used the time to really have a long hard look at where we were going wrong. We’ve put the hard work in to improve and got the reward with three consecutive wins under pressure. I’m delighted for the squad and everyone who came out to support us on a cold night. But this year we want to repay our magnificent support and take home the silverware and gain promotion to Division 6. It was a really good performance tonight but we can still get better. If we can keep our focus we’ve a great chance in the final.”

Man of the match: Rob Hudson

Tallaght RFC

15. Aaron Shanahan
14. Rob Hudson
13. Padraig Jones
12. David Clarke
11. Ciaran Keane
10. Daryl Keogh
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
3. Andy Grace
4. Alan Sower
5. Alan Moore
6. Kevin Quinn
7. Jack Russell
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)


16. Joe Ivers
17. Andy Caswell
18. Colin Morrison
19. Sean Hanlon
20. Simon Collie

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Adam Nolan

Ciaran Keane

Daryl Keogh

Jack Russell

Alan Moore directs the maul

Rob Hudson