Ken McGovern

Tallaght 1sts: 14

Try: Aaron Shanahan, Ken McGovern
Con: Rob Hudson 2

Coolmine 7

Metro League Division 6
Tymon Park

It was first versus second as the Tallaght men’s first team took on Coolmine in Metro League Division 6. Tallaght started the game playing into the wind but it didn’t hamper them as they took the game to Coolmine. They should have scored the first try of the game from a blindside move off a scrum. Adam Nolan put Andy Rudd clear with a two on one but Rudd’s pass was a little high and Rob Hudson couldn’t take it so the chance went begging.

It was only a temporary setback though as Tallaght scored the first try of the game after seven minutes. A fine pass from Denny McCarthy put full back Daryl Keogh in space and he drew the last defender and then put winger Aaron Shanahan away for a fine try. Rob Hudson converted to make it 7-0 to Tallaght. Having shown how dangerous they were when they kept the ball in hand, frustratingly the Tallaght backs then spent the rest of the half kicking it away even when they had players in support. Coolmine’s gameplan was basic but effective and they were very good at keeping the ball for long phases as their big ball carriers made gains. Tallaght got trapped in their own half and eventually the pressure told and Coolmine forced their way over for a try which they converted to make it 7-7 at half-time.

In the second half Tallaght made good use of the wind at their backs with Denny McCarthy and Adam Nolan making several fine territorial kicks for good territory. However Tallaght’s discipline was poor and twice they were marched back ten metres for backchat to the referee. Coolmine has a chance to go ahead with a penalty kick but it drifted wide. Coolmine kept coming at Tallaght for long phases but the Tallaght defence held out with the likes of Ken McGovern, Joe Ivers and Jack Russell making huge numbers of tackles. Adam Nolan kicked deep into the Coolmine half and Aaron Shanahan chased up to force the Coolmine winger into touch five metres out from the Coolmine line. The Tallaght pack mauled the ball over the line from the resulting lineout and hooker Ken McGovern got the touchdown for the try. Hudson kicked an excellent conversion to make it 14-7 to Tallaght.

Tallaght went looking for another score to kill the game off. Aaron Shanahan was put through with a clear run for the line but the referee called it back for a forward pass from David Clarke. Rob Hudson had a penalty kick at goal but it just drifted wide. There was some tense moments for Tallaght to negotiate but their defence held out for a 14-7 win. They know just need to win two of their last three games for a home final.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh said it was hard-fought win. “Coolmine always play tough, direct rugby and we had to work really hard in defence. We left a few tries behind us that would have made our lives easier and at times we made some poor decisions in attack. But we showed great character once again to grind out the win while not playing at our best. We were missing a lot of players today for various reasons but guys like Joe Ivers and Mark Keogh came in and made a big impact. We have had a tough January but we’ve won all our three game and are now in great shape for a home final for the first time in club history. We had a massive crowd watching us again today and the coaches and players want to thank everyone who came out to support us.”

Man of the match: Ken McGovern

Tallaght RFC

1. Tony McManus  
2. Ken McGovern
3. Andy Grace
4. Alan Sower
5. Joe Ivers
6. Scott Hyland
7. Jack Russell
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)
9. Andrew Rudd
10. David Clarke
11. Aaron Shanahan
12. Denny McCarthy
13. Padraig Jones
14. Rob Hudson
15. Daryl Keogh
16. Andy Caswell
17. James Carr
18. Mark Keogh
19. Colin Morrison
20. Simon Gaskell
21. Simon Collie
22. Wayne Stewart

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh