Adam Nolan

Ratoath 22

Tallaght 1sts 23

Tries: Dave Clarke, Gavin McKeon, Adam Nolan
Con: Adam Nolan
Pen: Adam Nolan 2

Leinster League Division 3 Cup
Jamestown College


The Tallaght men’s first team took on Ratoath in the Leinster League Division 3 cup in their first competitive match in eleven months due to Covid restrictions.

Tallaght began slowly and were fortunate that several missed tackles didn’t lead to a Ratoath try. Tallaght suffered an injury blow when they lost second row Colin Morrison after ten minutes with a shoulder injury. Their luck ran out on the twenty minute mark though when Ratoath forced their way over for a converted try to lead 7-0. Skipper Adam Nolan kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3 but then Ratoath kicked a penalty of their own to make it 10-3.

In the last ten minutes of the first half, Tallaght finally got going and started to dominate possession. Al Sower and Mark Keogh made big carries and finally Dave Clarke broke through a gap to score a try under the posts. Nolan converted to make the half-time score 10-10.

Tallaght started the second half strongly but then suffered a blow when losing centre Rob Browner who took a knock to the head making a fine tackle that helped save a try. But then from a scrum that disintegrated Ratoath were able to force their way over for a try to lead 15-10. However the Tallaght scrum were about to get their revenge, winning a penalty at the next set-piece. Nolan kicked the penalty for Tallaght to reduce the deficit to 15-13.

Tallaght were now in the ascendancy off the back of some great tactical kicking from out-half Daryl Keogh. Flanker Josh O’Brien, making his first Tallaght appearance, was immense in defence leading the tackle count. Tallaght won a penalty that was within kicking range but Nolan decided to kick for touch instead for the lineout. The lineout was lost initially but Tallaght managed to retrieve the ball and set up an attack. Darryl Keogh and Clarke both went close but then replacement flanker Kevin Quinn put winger Gavin McKeon over for a try in the corner with a smart pass. Tallaght now led for the first time in the match 18-15. Rathoath were running from deep and nearly broke away for a try but Ciaran Rudd got back to execute a superb cover tackle to save the day.

With ten minutes left Tallaght got into good territory again. From a lineout Nolan got the ball and showed his strength to get the ball over the line for a try to give Tallaght a 23-15 lead. Ratoath didn’t give up and scored a converted try to make it 23-22 with a couple of minutes left. It made for a nervous finish for Tallaght but they kicked deep again and defended well. The game was finished when Nolan stripped the ball in the tackle and Tony McManus kicked the ball out.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was satisfied with the win. “We were missing twenty odd players due to injury and unavailability so we had to ask a lot of lads to step up from the seconds. To a man, they were excellent. There is a lot to work on and we were far from perfect. But when it was put up to us, we responded with guts and smart rugby. Al Sower and Darryl Keogh had fine games today but my man of the match was Josh O’Brien who tackled himself to a standstill. We’ve got Ardee at home next week in the semi-final and we’re looking forward to that already.”

Man of the match: Josh O’Brien

Tallaght RFC

1. Alan Sower
2. Tony McManus
3. Andy Caswell
4. Patrick Toth
5. Colin Morrison
6. Josh O’Brien
7. Mark Keogh
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)
9. Andrew Rudd
10. Darryl Keogh
11. Mick Corrigan
12. David Clarke
13. Rob Browner
14. Gavin McKeon
15. Ciaran Rudd
16. Kevin Quinn
17. Wayne Stewart
18. Graham O’Brien

Report: Jim O’Connor