Ciaran Rudd, Al Moore, Tony McManus, Andy Caswell, Joe Ivers and Kevin Quinn show their medals for the Metro Division 6 league win from 2019/2020

Tallaght 1sts 31

Tries: Andy Rudd, Ken McGovern, Aaron Hickey 2, Rob Browner
Conversions: Aaron Shanahan 3

Ardee 8

Leinster League Division 3
Tymon Park


The Tallaght men’s first team hosted Ardee looking to get their second league win of the season in Leinster League Division 3. Tallaght kicked off but the ball didn’t go ten metres and Ardee were awarded a scrum on the halfway line. However the Tallaght scrum led by tighthead prop Al Sower drove Ardee off the ball and number eight Aaron Hickey kicked the loose ball on and set off to chase it. Hickey caught up with the ball ten metres from the line but missed his kick when trying to hack it on again. However scrum-half Andy Rudd was following up to pick up the ball and smartly evaded two tackles to score a fine try. Timed at 70 seconds from the kick-off it may well be the fastest try in Tallaght RFC’s history. Aaron Shanahan converted to give the home team a 7-0 lead.

Ardee hit back with a penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3. But Tallaght were soon back on the scoresheet. A smart counter attack started by full back Rob Browner put Aaron Shanahan clear down the left wing. He was stopped by a high tackle and Tallaght were awarded a penalty. Skipper Ken McGovern opted against the kick at the posts to take another scrum but the set move didn’t work and the chance appeared lost. However from a lineout close to the Ardee line McGovern made an excellent long throw to flanker Niall Mahon and ran around to take the ball back off Mahon at the tail, With his momentum McGovern was unstoppable and he powered over the line to make it 12-3 to Tallaght.

Straight from the kick-off Tallaght were on the attack again. From the restart Niall Mahon made a break from his own twenty two and offloaded to wing Ciaran Rudd. More good passing from Nic McGuinness and Kevin Quinn helped put number eight Aaron Hickey through a gap and he shook off two tacklers to sprint away for a superb team try. Shanahan converted to give Tallaght a 19-3 lead. After such a high tempo start, things calmed down after that and there was no more scores before half-time.

In the second half things began slowly but then another dominant Tallaght scrum drove Ardee off their own ball. Niall Mahon made a break down the wing and popped a pass to Ciaran Rudd who offloaded to full back Rob Browner who raced in to score his first try for the club and take the score to 24-3.

To be fair to Ardee, they never stopped competing and after a number of phases they got through for a try to make the score 24-8. However Tallaght hit back straight away when good work from Dave Clarke and Simon Collie helped put Aaron Hickey clear for a second try in an unstoppable man of the match performance. Shanahan converted to leave the final score at 31-8 to Tallaght.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted to see his team win for the second time in the league this season. “Quite simply it was our best performance of the season. Our set-piece was excellent, our discipline was exemplary and we attacked them in several different ways and caused them constant problems. Our half-backs managed the game very intelligently and our man of the match Aaron Hickey made a number of explosive plays. But as good was it was, we believe we can still be better and we’ll need to be better to beat the Dogos away next week.”

“Our fitness also stood to us today and I want to thank our strength and conditioning coach and physio Daragh Mulligan. He’s come on board this season and has made a huge impact on our overall fitness as well as looking after the lads from the sideline on match days. The game was refereed very well today by Hayley White and the players were very appreciative of the clear and concise decisions. And on a cold winter’s afternoon the sideline was still full of friends and family coming out to support the team including several members of the women’s team. Again thanks to everyone who came out, it’s means so much to us all.”

“Finally I just want to say to the team, we’re at the halfway point in the league after six games now everyone has played each other once. Fair play to Portarlington, they look like finishing first but second place is well in play with all the other teams capable of beating each other on their day. So let’s make a big push to get up to training in the next two weeks because a couple of positive results could make the games in the new year very interesting indeed.”

The Tallaght men’s second team were in action on Saturday in Metro Division 9 at home to Trinity. An extremely strong Trinity team won comfortably with the final score 72-5 to the students. Leön Tanfin scored Tallaght’s only try, showing great soccer skills to kick the ball on twice and touch down.

After the game some of the players who missed the presentation on Friday night were awarded the Metro 6 medals that were won in the 2019/2020 season but couldn’t be presented because of Covid-19.

Man of the match: Aaron Hickey

Tallaght RFC

1. Andy Caswell
2. Ken McGovern (Captain)
3. Alan Sower
4. Al Moore
5. Patrik Toth
6. Niall Mahon
7. Kevin Quinn
8. Aaron Hickey
9. Andy Rudd
10. David Clarke
11. Ciaran Rudd
12. Simon Collie
13. Nic McGuinness
14. Aaron Shanahan
15. Rob Browner
16. Tony McManus
17. Gary Kinsella
18. Joe Ivers
19. Josh O’Brien
20. Graham O’Brien
21. Mick Corrigan
22. Leön Tanfin

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photo: Jim O’Connor