Clogher Valley’s Hetherington Wins Volunteer In Sport Award

Rugby volunteer, Stephen Hetherington, from Clogher Valley RFC, will receive nationwide recognition next week for his dedication to sport, as he has been awarded the Fermanagh award for the 2021 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport Awards, proudly supported by EBS.

The awards will take place virtually on December 7th, 8th and 9th and will see Stephen, along with volunteers from across the country, honoured for their amazing dedication to volunteering across a variety of different sports.

For over 20 years, Stephen has acted as photographer, public relations contact and, more recently, social media manager for Clogher Valley Rugby Football Club. In this time, Stephen has substantially raised the profile of the club throughout the Clogher Valley area and further afield.

Every week, he can be found taking photographs at the club’s matches, regardless of level or age grade, and regularly travels substantial distances, giving freely of his time, to ensure all local papers have match reports and pictures. He set up, and is solely responsible for, the club’s website and social media platforms and, through his hard work and dedication, the club has enhanced their community relations enormously.

IRFU President Des Kavanagh said, “I’d like to congratulate Stephen on his award and thank him for all the time he has dedicated to his club and to rugby in general. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our clubs and the sport. Every hour that someone gives to their club is invaluable and makes the club and the community a better place for their involvement.

This award is a wonderful recognition of Stephen’s commitment to Clogher Valley and I thank him and all our volunteers for their time, passion and love of the game.”

The Volunteers in Sport Awards celebrate the contributions of the band of volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity every year. This equates to approximately 37.3 million hours of volunteering across Ireland’s 13,000 registered sports clubs and associations and, according to Sport Ireland’s 2021 ‘Researching the Value of Sport in Ireland’ report, is worth an estimated €1.5bn to the exchequer.

Throughout September and October members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contribution to sport and physical activity in Ireland has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 12 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, and included former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna.

Commenting on the awards, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, TD, said: “It is an honour for me to support this year’s Volunteers in Sport Awards and help recognise so many fantastic volunteers in our community.

These awards have a special place in the sporting calendar as they recognise those who have given an incredible amount of time throughout the year who have ensured that sport can takes place in our communities, and they do so without the expectation of gratitude or reward.

The amount of hard work and dedication that these volunteers give to sport in Ireland is quite truly astonishing and I am privileged to support both the volunteers and these awards. I would also like to thank the Federation of Irish Sport and EBS, and all who will help make these virtual ceremonies a memorable occasion for all.”

Speaking about the awards, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, Mary O’Connor said: “Despite another very challenging year for sport, we have once again seen how important volunteering has been to communities across Ireland.

We have an enormous amount of gratitude for the army of volunteers who have ensured that sport could take place in a safe and controlled manner. Whether it be on pitches, courts, tracks, pools or even community halls across the country, the volunteers are always there to make sure sport and physical activity continues to take place around Ireland.

It gives me immense pride to be able to recognise so many of these volunteers at next week’s virtual Volunteers in Sport Awards and I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of this year’s recipients. I would like to also thank EBS for their continued support in bringing wider recognition of volunteers in sport in Ireland to life. I would also like to express my gratitude to Minister Jack Chambers who will be taking the time out of his schedule to attend our virtual ceremonies next week and helping us to champion and celebrate the recipients.”

Managing Director of EBS, Paul Butler, commented: “EBS is delighted to partner with the Federation of Irish Sport once more to honour and recognise the everyday heroes around Ireland who make sure sport happens every day. EBS has been involved in local communities around Ireland for over 80 years and we are delighted to showcase the tremendous work these volunteers do for sport throughout their communities. These volunteers truly are the backbone of Irish sport, and we are proud to support them. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the recipients of the 2021 Volunteers in Sports Awards and thank them for all of the tireless work they do to ensure sport in Ireland continues to flourish.”

The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/federationofirishsport/ with the awards schedule listed below:

• Tuesday, December 7th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award
• Wednesday, December 8th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award
• Thursday, December 9th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award

For more information on the awards, visit http://www.volunteersinsport.ie/

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Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 2B Round 7 Review

Sligo and Blackrock College came out on top in two thrilling Division 2B contests, while leaders Greystones put 59 unanswered points on bottom side Galwegians.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – DIVISION 2B:

ROUND 7: Saturday, November 27

Dungannon v Ballina, Stevenson Park (Covid-19-affected match cancelled – 0-0. Both teams are awarded two points)
Galwegians 0 Greystones 59, Crowley Park
Malahide v Galway Corinthians, Estuary Road (Covid-19-affected match cancelled. An allocation of points and the scoreline applied will be determined at a later stage)
Sligo 20 Belfast Harlequins 16, Hamilton Park
Wanderers 29 Blackrock College 31, Merrion Road

With their two closest rivals both losing, Greystones took full advantage to thump Galwegians 59-0 at Crowley Park and move 12 points clear at the top of the table.

Ferdia Kenny helped himself to four of Greystones’ nine tries, with fellow winger Andrew Lynch landing a hat-trick, and full-back Mark Myler and replacement Matt O’Brien also touching down.

Captain Killian Marmion fired over seven conversions in difficult conditions, taking his outstanding season’s haul to 101 points so far. Kevin Lewis’ men are averaging over 40 points per game.

Galwegians were game throughout but struggled to keep the visitors’ back-line quiet. Kenny got over in the corner for a third-minute opener, adding to his five tries from previous rounds.

An overlap set up Kenny’s second in the ninth minute, with out-half Marmion converting again from the touchline. Full-back Myler then got in on the act, scoring down Kenny’s wing.

Some crisp handling saw Lynch go over on the opposite flank in the 24th minute, and he bagged a quick-fire brace with Marmion sending over his fifth successful conversion. It was 35-0 at the break.

Galwegians improved their play in the third quarter until Marmion intercepted and released the lightning-quick Kenny to run in a 56th-minute breakaway score for his hat-trick.

He completed his quartet just three minutes later, taking a neat pass from Andrew Kealy. O’Brien then went against the grain off a scrum and found some soft shoulders to claim a fine solo try.

Lynch had the last word, finishing off his hat-trick when he won the race to Marmion’s chip through. Notably, for the second week running, ‘Stones held their opponents try-less.

Meanwhile, Sligo swapped places with Belfast Harlequins, taking over third spot after edging out Neil Doak’s charges 20-16 in a hard-fought encounter in Strandhill.

Paul Kerr was back in talismanic form for Harlequins, landing an early penalty and scoring a converted try from a chip-and-chase in the 13th minute.

There was no panicking from Sligo, who had won four of their previous six league matches, and a 30-metre penalty from player-coach Josh Reeves got the hosts off the mark.

Reeves added his second three-pointer – a much tougher kick from wide on the left – and as Sligo lifted the tempo, their offloading game was starting to cause trouble for ‘Quins.

They hit the front in the 27th minute, second row Rob Holian barging over from close range after a well-worked lineout maul and some quick recycling through two phases. Reeves converted.

‘Quins went close to replying out wide before half-time, but Sligo stood firm to hold onto their 13-10 lead. It took just five minutes of the second half for them to add to it.

A quick-witted attack off a lineout had Donnacha Byrne carrying well before Philip Carter’s well-timed pass put hooker Matthew Earley storming up into the 22. He was hauled down but the hosts’ patience was rewarded.

Byrne, Ross Hickey and James O’Hehir all made carries, drawing Reeves’ side up to a few metres out before Holian powered his way over for a second try, converted by Reeves.

It should have been a more comfortable journey to the final whistle for Sligo, but they got on the wrong side of referee Peter McClure’s whistle at times.

Kerr knocked over two penalties in the 50th and 75th minutes, earning a dogged ‘Quins a losing bonus point. Yet, Sligo were deserving winners and now sit level on 22 points with second-placed Wanderers.

Centre Paddy Cowhey’s slick show-and-go saw him run in a 60-metre match-winning try in the final seconds of Blackrock College’s exciting derby clash with Wanderers at Merrion Road.

Blackrock had lost their last three games, including two by two-point margins, but they were not to be denied on this occasion as they prevailed 31-29 in dramatic circumstances.

Wanderers appeared to have victory in their sights, leading 22-10 at half-time and then 29-17 thanks to Mikey Russell’s bonus point try despite two overlapping yellow cards.

However, ‘Rock showed their battling qualities with a superb two-try finish, Cowhey’s effort seeing them back themselves to score from deep and their bravery led them to the full five points.

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Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 2C Round 7 Review

There were three sizeable wins and one narrow verdict in the latest round of action in Energia Men’s All-Ireland League Division 2C.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – DIVISION 2C:

ROUND 7: Saturday, November 27

Bangor 12 Enniscorthy 36, Upritchard Park
Bruff 13 Tullamore 16, Kilballyowen Park
Clonmel v Omagh Academicals, Ardgaoithe (Covid-19-affected match cancelled – 0-0. Both teams are awarded two points)
Midleton 31 City Of Derry 10, Towns Park
Skerries 33 Sunday’s Well 5, Holmpatrick

Unbeaten leaders Skerries are part of the seven-up club – along with Highfield and Greystones in the higher divisions – after extending their winning streak with a 33-5 dismissal of Sunday’s Well.

Flanker Andrew Mintern scored the ‘Well’s only try and Skerries ran in five of their own, two from winger Mark Oliver and one each for Shane Murphy, Chris Tonge and Ronan Mulcahy.

After a long injury stoppage for openside Conn Marrey early on, Skerries took a while to get going. The breakthrough came when scrum half Murphy’s quick tap put Oliver over in the corner.

Paul O’Loghlen converted and also added the extras to his half-back partner Murphy’s subsequent try, which saw him go over out wide following Oisin McKey’s quickly-taken lineout.

The Corkmen cut the gap to 14-5 for half-time, mauling their way over after kicking a penalty to touch. However, just five minutes into the second half, Skerries were over again.

Try scorer Oliver was the beneficiary of some terrific hands from Ronan Mulcahy and captain Kevin McGrath, and a cracking offload from Johnny Sherwin played in fellow replacement Tonge for the bonus point score.

Pacy full-back Mulcahy wrapped up the result with a superb run through the middle. Out-half O’Loghlen knocked over his fourth conversion, the final scoreline not a true reflection of how well the visitors played.

Sunday’s Well had strong performances from captain Conor O’Brien, who more often than not got over the gain line, and half-backs Eoin Geary and Fabian Loughrey, a Munster Under-18 Clubs representative two years ago.

Mid-table Midleton picked up their first try-scoring bonus point of the season in downing City of Derry 31-10. They bounced back from last week’s loss to Skerries with a five-try display.

Rory Horgan, Ger McIntyre, Will Casey, captain Bryan Moore and Ryan Lehane all crossed the whitewash for the Red Devils, who had three successful conversion from Stuart Lee.

Midleton now sit just three points outside of the top four, while Derry, who had a Ross McLaughlin try off a dominant scrum, have fallen one place to eighth in the table.

Tullamore completed an impressive November spell with a dramatic 16-13 win away to Bruff. Centre Conor Dunne’s penalty in the final play ensured the Offaly men took home four hard-earned points.

Centre Jack O’Grady crossed for an opening sixth-minute try for Bruff, following good work from the forwards off a lineout. Adam O’Dwyer converted and added a penalty for a 10-0 lead.

Nonetheless, the Tulliers, who were aiming for a third victory on the trot, hit back strongly with two unconverted tries from Liam Farrell and Brian Geraghty.

Dunne coolly drew in the defence before whipping the ball out for winger Farrell to glide in at the corner. Out-half Craig Strong then tidied up scrappy ball, evading two defenders and offloading out of a tackle for winger Geraghty to finish.

O’Dwyer restored Bruff’s lead with a penalty, making it 13-10 at the interval, and although Tullamore had the lion’s share of possession during a wind-backed second half, they left a number of chances behind them.

With the tension increasing around Kilballyowen Park, it was the visitors who ultimately held their nerve. Their scrum was a big weapon and Dunne hammered over a 77th-minute penalty from the 10-metre line.

He delivered again with a high-stakes kick soon after, rewarding Ciaran Ennis’ winning of the restart. Dunne’s crucial six-point contribution, coupled with a determined late defensive stand, moves Tullamore up to third.

They have swapped places with Bangor who fell to a 36-12 defeat to Enniscorthy at Upritchard Park. The Wexford outfit impressed despite missing out-half Ivan Poole, who was snowbound in the UK.

‘Scorthy’s tall centre Nick Doyle stood out again, having a key involvement – including two terrific breaks – in the lead up to tries for David O’Dwyer, returning full-back Richard Dunne and Arthur Dunne.

Bangor welcomed back Phil Whyte and David Bradford to their pack and played into the wind during the first half. By the end of it, they had a 19-5 deficit to make up.

Doyle provided the assist for winger O’Dwyer to go over in the third minute, but Bangor’s scrummaging strength earned them an encouraging response, number 8 Mike Weir picking up from the base and driving over in the 16th minute.

However, Bangor soon lost Jamie Clegg and David Bradford to head knocks, and a clever ‘Scorthy lineout paved the way for lock David Farrell to touch down on the half hour mark.

Doyle then showed a clean pair of heels to the home defence, breaking through from inside his own half and using a dummy and a sidestep to release supporting full-back Richard Dunne for a 20-metre run-in.

Bangor continued to have issues with their tackling on the resumption, as the visitors ran in two more tries to chalk up the bonus point. Dunne completed his brace in the corner.

Then Doyle was tackled just before the line but got his offload away for scrum half Dunne to get on the scoresheet. Conor Lusty burst over for a late Bangor try, set up Shay Storey’s initial break from deep.

The fleet-footed O’Dwyer doubled his contribution with with the final try of the game, out-half Ben Kidd tagging on this third successful conversion as Ben Manion’s charges won on the road for the third time this term.

‘Scorthy head coach Manion told the Enniscorthy Guardian: “I am very pleased with the way the boys played in very difficult conditions. Losing Ivan before the game was a blow.

“But the squad responded as I would have expected. Our ball retention was excellent, both with and against the wind.”

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Majority Of Munster Squad Fly Out Of Cape Town

In a hugely positive development, the wider Munster touring party departed Cape Town tonight after a group of 34 players and staff received negative results on completing a fourth round of PCR testing in six days.

Munster team management worked tirelessly on securing scheduled flights at short notice and the group are expected to land in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, the province confirmed: “Another four positive cases were identified in Tuesday’s round of PCR testing. A total group of 14 will see out their respective isolation periods at the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town.

“This is a difficult time for all players and staff involved and we are very mindful of their wellbeing and the understandable concern from family and friends at home.

“The group will be well looked after with team liaisons, Warren Morris and Kubaan Lorens, remaining on site with medical support provided daily.

“As outlined by the government earlier this week, on arrival from South Africa the returning players and staff will follow mandatory self-isolation at their own locations.

“Munster Rugby would like to say a huge thank you to the management and staff at Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel for all their help and efforts over the last few days, especially at a time when last-minute support and requirements were needed for a large group.

“The contribution Warren and Kubaan made during this time cannot be overstated and we are indebted to the duo for their professionalism and support.

“Again, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the Irish government, the IRFU, South Africa Rugby, URC, and the health authorities for their assistance in particular with regards to facilitating the safe return of our staff and players.”

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IRFU Welcomes World Rugby Law Variation Options For Community Game

The IRFU has welcomed World Rugby’s launch of Game On Global, a programme of optional community law variations for national member unions.

Game On Global provides national unions with the ability to implement modified laws at a domestic mass participation level, furthering game experience and safety for participants.

The IRFU piloted Game On with Ulster Rugby during the 2018/19 season with an initial focus on matching player numbers in teams and facilitating a match even without front row specialist players.

From January 2022, the Game On principles can be utilised by all World Rugby member Unions at their discretion. The programme here will be administered at a provincial level to ensure a suite of options for localised competitions.

“It’s simply about getting more games played more often,” said IRFU Competitions Manager Kevin Beggs.

“Since we first piloted Game On in Ulster, we’ve been liaising with other member unions who’ve rolled out this type of programme across the community game.

“It’s about being flexible where we can. If teams in a local game can only field 13-a-side, we’d rather 26 people represent those clubs on a rugby pitch than none at all.

“We are positive about the impact it can have on participation rugby across the four provinces and we look forward to working with them on it.”

Click Here To View World Rugby’s Full Release.

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Doris Voted Autumn Nations Player Of The Series

Ireland back rower Caelan Doris has been named 2021 Autumn Nations Player of the Series by fans after winning the public vote for the award following a sensational November campaign.

The 23-year-old was Ireland’s dynamo during the Autumn Nations Series, starting all three games as Andy Farrell’s men defeated Japan, New Zealand and Argentina.

Doris was one of six players up for the honour, along with France’s Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, England’s Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith, and Springbok Eben Etzebeth.

But his superb form across the Autumn Nations Series saw him take the top prize ahead of South African lock Etzebeth, with England full-back Steward completing the podium in third.

Doris started the campaign at blindside flanker in the comprehensive 60-5 win over Japan, making 11 carries for 39 metres and also contributing nine tackles – more than any of his team-mates.

His pièce de resistance was the performance in the historic 29-20 victory over the All Blacks as he popped up everywhere to complete 12 tackles, carry for 84 metres and beat two defenders.

He also scored Ireland’s all-important third try after the break, stepping inside and racing through a gap in the wall of black shirts to run the ball in from just outside the New Zealand 22.

In fact, so good was his display at the Aviva Stadium that evening, it earned him the Vodafone player-of-the-match award in what was only Ireland’s third ever triumph over New Zealand.

Even switching to number 8 in the absence of the injured Jack Conan for Ireland’s final Autumn Nations Series game did not slow him down, rising to the occasion again against Argentina.

Doris scored his second try in as many matches as Ireland prevailed 53-7, covering another 58 metres with ball in hand and finishing the game with 11 carries.

All in all, the Mayo native made 36 carries across the Autumn Nations Series – more than any other player – while he also hit a joint-high 99 rucks as his relentless engine drove Ireland forward.

AUTUMN NATIONS PLAYER OF THE SERIES VOTE:

Caelan Doris (Ireland) – 26%
Eben Etzebeth (South Africa) – 22%
Freddie Steward (England) – 20%
Antoine Dupont (France) – 14%
Marcus Smith (England) – 10%
Romain Ntamack (France) – 8%

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Energia 30 – Episode 2 The Power Of Community

To celebrate the anniversary of the All Ireland League, Energia are looking back at its 30 year contribution to Irish sport and culture.

With this documentary, we look at the origins of the league, its contribution to local communities, and what the future holds for Irish club rugby. Featuring Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy, Niamh Briggs and more.

Episode 2 – The Power of Community

 

Energia AIL – A 30 Year Legacy – click here for more.

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Van Graan: We’re Very Grateful To The People Helping Us

The Munster Rugby touring party returned to their hotel base in Cape Town last night to isolate following confirmation that one positive result was returned from Saturday’s PCR testing programme.

The players and staff will undergo another round of PCR testing today with the results from same expected tomorrow.

The province continues to work with the health authorities, the South African Rugby Union, URC and the IRFU in deciding the next course of action.

Head coach Johann van Graan commented: “This has been a whirlwind of a time and we are very grateful to the people in the background who are helping us during this challenging period, and for all the best wishes we are receiving.

“We have one player in a different hotel who is doing as well as possible after receiving a positive PCR result, while the remainder of the group are isolating individually at the team hotel.

“Work is ongoing with all relevant authorities in securing our return to Ireland at a time when safe and appropriate, but for now our priority is to look after our players and staff.

“While this is a time of uncertainty for all involved, we are doing everything possible to support our people.”

Meanwhile, at Munster’s High Performance Centre in UL, Greencore Academy Manager Ian Costello and staff are overseeing the training schedule for the Academy group and returning internationals as preparations continue for Munster’s opening Champions Cup game against Wasps on Sunday week (December 12).

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Trinity Dominate Second Half Against 14-Man Young Munster

Young Munster replacement Conor Moloney saw red for a dangerous tackle on Gavin Jones just before half-time in Dublin University’s 38-3 bonus point triumph over the Cookies.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, November 27

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 38 YOUNG MUNSTER 3, College Park
Scorers: Dublin University: Tries: Giuseppe Coyne, Harry Sheridan, Diarmuid McCormack, Aran Egan, Marcus Kiely, Ronan Murphy; Cons: Aran Egan 4
Young Munster: Pen: Evan Cusack
HT: Dublin University 7 Young Munster 3

Trinity were leading 7-3 at that stage, prop Giuseppe Coyne showing his dynamism again with a high-quality 33rd-minute try that came from an initial Louis O’Reilly kick.

That score cancelled out a 40-metre penalty from out-half Evan Cusack, who was looking to get Young Munster back on track after losing at home to Clontarf.

Nonetheless, the sending-off had a huge impact and Ulster Academy forward Harry Sheridan crashed over in the 49th minute to kick off a run of 31 unanswered second half points.

Trinity got off to the better start, gaining ground through penalties and threatening out wide. However, an overthrown lineout was gobbled up by Munsters hooker Mark O’Mara at the rear.

With captain Alan Kennedy and Harry Fleming going the direct route with their carries, the Cookies earned a long-range penalty which Cusack confidently dispatched through the posts.

However, Young Munster were unable to build on their 10th-minute lead with Cusack missing touch from a subsequent penalty and winger Luke Fitzgerald then kicking the ball dead.

A nicely-worked move from a lineout had Trinity centre Jones charging into the visitors’ 22, Sheridan and Coyne drawing them closer to the whitewash until the ball went loose and O’Mara pounced on it.

The students were a pass away from scoring when Aran Egan sent full-back Matthew Jungmann racing up into the 22, while Munsters responded with a threatening kick chase from Conor Hayes.

Craig O’Hanlon was squeezed out near the left corner as the visitors pressed again, and it on his wing that the students took advantage of a favourable bounce to score the game’s opening try.

O’Reilly lobbed through from a ruck, the ball bounced away from O’Hanlon and into the arms of the onrushing Mark Nicholson who flicked a fantastic offload out to O’Reilly who, with two defenders closing in, threw the ball back inside for Coyne to go over unopposed from 15 metres out.

Out-half Egan converted to make it 7-3 and that is how it stayed up to the break, Moloney’s dismissal leaving a sour taste in the mouth for the Cookies who felt it did not warrant such a sanction.

Trinity quickly made their numerical advantage count on the restart, Kennedy knocking on and Joe McCarthy, the Leinster Academy lock, swatting away four tacklers on a barnstorming run.

Openside Alan Francis was next to blaze through Munsters’ defence, Jones bringing them back into the 22 before they moved quickly from ruck to ruck and Sheridan arrowed in between two defenders to cross to the left of the posts.

Egan converted and after the Limerick men suffered a further blow with centre Jack Harrington hobbling off, they were unable to convert a promising maul into points.

Instead, McCarthy got in to steal the ball at the breakdown, launching a lightning-quick counter attack that had Ronan Quinn breaking up the right touchline from a Marcus Kiely kick.

Quinn could not connect with his support on this occasion, but a McCarthy lineout steal allowed Trinity to go through the phases again – Thomas Connolly and Sheridan both carried well – and number 8 Diarmuid McCormack dived over to score from a ruck.

19-3 became 24-3 with a quarter of an hour remaining, crisp hands across the back-line putting Egan, last week’s goal-kicking hero at Lansdowne, over in the left corner for the bonus point score.

The extra man continued to hurt Munsters, as two more converted efforts from Kiely and lively replacement Ronan Murphy, who crossed from a dominant scrum, turned it into a six-try drubbing.

Kiely crossed wide on the right after back rower Murphy had taken the ball into contact and got his hands free to give the tall centre a simple finish. Egan converted with aplomb.

Munsters winger O’Hanlon went close to an interception, but Trinity were still full of running and signed off with another seven-pointer. From a close-in scrum, a big shove had Murphy finishing from the rear.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Matthew Jungmann; Hugh Twomey, Marcus Kiely, Gavin Jones, Ronan Quinn; Aran Egan, Louis O’Reilly (capt); Giuseppe Coyne, Mark Nicholson, Thomas Connolly, Joe McCarthy, Harry Sheridan, Anthony Ryan, Alan Francis, Diarmuid McCormack.

Replacements: Lee Barron, Bart Vermeulen, Ronan Murphy, Aaron Coleman, Cormac King, Mick O’Kennedy.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Conor Hayes; Craig O’Hanlon, Jack Harrington, Harry Fleming, Luke Fitzgerald; Evan Cusack, Adam Maher; David Begley, Mark O’Mara, Conor Bartley, Tom Goggin, Sean Rigney, Alan Kennedy (capt), John Foley, Dan Walsh.

Replacements: Mikey Doran, Paul Allen, Eoin O’Connor, Conor Moloney, Jack Lyons, Jason Kiely.

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Five-Try Clontarf Overcome Tricky Challenge From UCC

Division 1A table toppers Clontarf overcame a tricky challenge posed by UCC, pulling clear in the second half at the Mardyke to win out 36-17.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, November 27

UCC 17 CLONTARF 36, the Mardyke
Scorers: UCC: Tries: Penalty try, John Willis; Cons: Pen try con, Rob Hedderman; Pen: Rob Hedderman
Clontarf: Tries: Cormac Daly, Cian O’Donoghue 2, Cathal O’Flynn, Tadhg Bird; Cons: Conor Kearns 4; Pen: Conor Kearns
HT: UCC 10 Clontarf 17

Clontarf’s pack power was again a vital ingredient and UCC were left to rue their failure to profit from ‘Tarf lock Cormac Daly’s sin-binning on the hour mark.

The visitors’ well-organised defence got them out of some difficult positions, and they were able to kick on with tries from Cathal O’Flynn and Cian O’Donoghue settling the issue.

Even though replacement John Willis replied with UCC’s second try of the game, ‘Tarf made sure to have the final say with an excellent 77th-minute effort from Tadhg Bird, one of their own bench men.

Andy Wood’s charges were quickest to settle, Daly driving over from a ruck in the third minute after the north Dubliners’ lineout maul had done the initial damage.

Conor Kearns, who had struck a fine touchfinder in the build-up, added the conversion from the left. UCC showed well in response, building pressure off successive penalties and lineouts.

However, Cian Whooley overcooked his attempted chip kick towards the try-line. A lovely tip-on pass from Daly then kept a Clontarf move going, back at the halfway line.

Angus Lloyd kicked cleverly for touch and a crooked UCC throw allowed ‘Tarf to bash away in the 22, until Ivan Soroka knocked on and Louis Bruce led a breakout for the Cork students.

An important turnover from George Coomber broke up a threatening ‘Tarf attack, but the same penalty-lineout formula paved the way for the visitors’ second try, midway through the first half.

The forwards drive was well defended by UCC, yet defenders were gradually sucked in and Lloyd went back to the short side were Michael Courtney’s deft pass sent O’Donoghue scurrying over from 15 metres out.

Kearns converted again from the left, making it 14-0, and a forward pass foiled a Courtney-led break down the left wing as Wood’s men sought to put further distance between the two teams.

Nice hands released winger Bruce from the UCC 22 and he looked destined for a try until Courtney’s superb tackle managed to dislodge the ball and earn ‘Tarf a relieving scrum.

As Neil Lucey’s youngsters built another attack off a lineout, centre Darragh French had a try ruled out for a forward pass before captain Rob Hedderman got them off the mark with a central penalty.

UCC continued to make inroads, Mark Bissessar earning a penalty at the breakdown. The home pack, which included Munster Academy hooker Scott Buckley, duly forced a penalty try following a collapsed maul.

A Jack Kelleher lineout steal lifted UCC’s spirits further, only for Max Kearney’s turnover penalty to tee up three more points from Kearns’ boot. Hedderman missed a late opportunity at the other end.

Trailing 17-10 at the turnaround but with the wind now behind them, UCC won an early bout of kick tennis with French finding open space for a 50:22.

Further pressure through mauls followed, but Daly won a penalty close to the ‘Tarf line to keep UCC out. A well-struck 50:22 kick from Daniel Squires ensured the hosts remained on the front foot.

Number 8 Jack O’Sullivan also weighed in with a turnover penalty, but despite Daly seeing yellow for infringing at a maul, UCC crucially failed to put points on the board.

Paul Deeny led a big breakout from ‘Tarf, carrying again a few phases later. A penalty took ‘Tarf back to the UCC 22 and hooker O’Flynn broke off a maul to touch down, with Soroka driving in behind him.

Kearns’ missed conversion left it 22-10 and with a quarter of an hour remaining, a free-flowing back-line move saw the freshly-introduced Bird glide into space and release O’Donoghue to bag the bonus point.

The extras were added in crisp fashion by Kearns, before UCC’s persistence eventually paid off. A sustained bout of pressure ended with Willis burrowing over for Hedderman to convert.

‘Tarf saved the best for last, their maul marching into the 22 before Michael Brown slickly avoided a tackle and offloaded out the back door for Daniel Hawkshaw to send Bird diving over in the right corner.

There was still time for UCC to seek out a consolation score right at the death. They had the field position but a couple of turnovers let them down, one of them at a maul as Daly wrestled the ball back.

UCC: Rob Hedderman (capt); Louis Bruce, Darragh French, Daniel Squires, George Coomber; Cian Whooley, Louis Kahn; Alessandro Heaney, Scott Buckley, Corey Hanlon, Sam O’Sullivan, Mark Bissessar, Aidan Brien, Jack Kelleher, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: Daniel O’Connor, Tom Ormond, John Willis, Patrick McBarron, Luke Kerr, Timothy Duggan.

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Michael Brown, Michael Courtney, Daniel Hawkshaw, Cian O’Donoghue; Conor Kearns, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Cathal O’Flynn, Ben Griffin, Cormac Daly, Ed Kelly, Paul Deeny, Vincent Gavin, Max Kearney.

Replacements: Barry Gray, Darragh Bolger, John Carroll, Zach Ryan, Tadhg Bird, James Horgan.

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Sullivan Bags Brace On Successful Lansdowne Return

Connacht winger Peter Sullivan chipped in with two tries as Lansdowne bounced back with an impressive 29-5 victory over Garryowen at Dooradoyle.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, November 27

GARRYOWEN 5 LANSDOWNE 29, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Colm Quilligan
Lansdowne: Tries: Sean Galvin, Luke Thompson, Peter Sullivan 2; Pens: Charlie Tector 3
HT: Garryowen 5 Lansdowne 13

Mark McHugh’s men remain second in Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A, two points behind leaders Clontarf and five ahead of a resurgent Cork Constitution side.

Colm Quilligan’s fourth try of the campaign was all Garryowen could muster as they disappointingly fell to their third straight defeat in the top flight.

Despite facing into a strong wind, Lansdowne dominated possession and territory in the first half to open up a 13-point lead.

Garryowen created the first opportunity, spinning the ball wide to in-form winger Quilligan but he was bundled into touch by a combination of Eamonn Mills and Sullivan.

The Light Blues also pressed with a maul on the opposite wing, before Mark Boyle cleared the danger for Lansdowne with a well-won penalty at the breakdown.

A James Kenny break that ended with a fumble brought the visitors up to the Garryowen 22, and it was a scrum penalty apiece before Tim Ferguson and Roy Whelan stole two Lansdowne lineouts.

Tony Butler threatened from a kick over the top before his opposite number, Charlie Tector, sent a penalty to the left and wide, 18 minutes in.

The Lansdowne out-half was given another opportunity moments later from inside the Garryowen 22 after a dangerous tackle by Bryan Fitzgerald. This time he nailed the kick for a 3-0 lead.

Things got better for Lansdowne on 26 minutes thanks to Sullivan’s first try. Scrum half Kenny’s smart kick over the top saw Sean Galvin force Garryowen flanker Tim Ferguson into touch, inside the hosts’ 22.

Clive Ross won the lineout and when the ball went wide it went to ground, but a kick on the fly by centre Corey Reid was seized upon by Sullivan to score in the left corner.

Try number two followed for Lansdowne just a minute later, Sullivan collecting Butler’s restart and brilliantly jinking away from a couple of would-be tacklers before passing inside to Jack Dwan.

The big second row then found Thompson on his left shoulder and the hooker sped clear from Garryowen’s 10-metre line to score Lansdowne’s second unconverted score in quick succession.

After Tector’s conversion attempt went narrowly wide, Garryowen’s response was a strong one. Qulligan got on the scoresheet after some patient attacking from the home side.

The young winger showed great feet to initially beat Sullivan on the 22 and then power through two more tackles to dot down in the right corner, cutting Lansdowne’s advantage to 13-5 for half-time.

Although a Sean Rennison turnover penalty had Garryowen pressing late on before the break, they misfired at two lineouts with Dwan pinching the second one.

Neither team managed to get a hold of the game during a tight third quarter, yet Garryowen continued to pressurise the Lansdowne lineout into errors and the sides exchanged scrum penalties.

It was tit-for-tat in the scrums, Mike Sherry’s charges winning one against the head and then centre Jack Delaney burst through from halfway only for a costly penalty to allow Lansdowne to clear.

An excellent touchfinder from Mills, coupled with a successful Lansdowne lineout, paved the way for Tector to break the deadlock with a 42-metre penalty after Garryowen had failed to roll away.

Any hope of a Garryowen win disappeared on 63 minutes. Fitzgerald’s powerful run had the hosts prowling on the Lansdowne 10-metre line, only for lock Whelan to have the ball pinched from under his nose.

Galvin did really well to swoop in and gather it, sprinting clear from 55 metres out for an opportunist try in the right corner. It went unconverted at 21-5, Tector’s kick falling just short.

There were missed opportunities at both ends, Garryowen being forced into touch from a promising lineout drive, while Tector was off target with a penalty following good work at the breakdown by replacement Daniel Murphy.

The Lansdowne pack followed up by winning a huge scrum against the head, the resulting penalty pinning Garryowen back. Yet, the well-organised home defence forced a knock-on shortly afterwards.

Just when Garryowen were building a threatening attack thanks to an Evan Maher break, possession went to ground again and Sullivan scooted clear to seal a 75th-minute bonus point.

Lansdowne kept the Limerick men try-less with some robust maul defence and after Fitzgerald agonisingly failed to hold onto a scoring pass, Lansdowne were able to put more points on the board.

It came from another charge downfield from a kick chase, Garryowen infringed at ruck time and Tector supplied the closing penalty goal from straight in front.

GARRYOWEN: Jamie Heuston; Colm Quilligan, Bryan Fitzgerald, Jack Delaney, Jamie Shanahan; Tony Butler, Ed Barry; Mark Donnelly, Dylan Murphy, Darragh McCarthy, Roy Whelan, Kevin Seymour (capt), Tim Ferguson, Dan Feasey, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Larry Kelly, Niall Horan, Alan fitzgerald, Evan Maher, Tommy O’Hora, Jack Madden.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Sean Galvin, Andy Marks, Corey Reid, Peter Sullivan; Charlie Tector, James Kenny; Frank Kavanagh, Luke Thompson, JJ Hession, Joey Szpara, Jack Dwan, Clive Ross, Jack O’Sullivan (capt), Mark Boyle.

Replacements: Jamie Kavanagh, Ben Popplewell, Daniel Murphy, Ruairi Clarke, Jack Matthews, Peter Hastie.

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Terenure Lift Eddie Thornton Trophy After Belfield Triumph

Terenure College drew closer to the top four with a well-judged 20-12 success at UCD. Number 8 Jordan Coghlan touched down twice as ‘Nure registered their third win in a row.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Friday, November 26

UCD 12 TERENURE COLLEGE 20, Belfield Bowl (played on Friday)
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Chris Cosgrave, Ronan Foley; Con: Chris Cosgrave
Terenure College: Tries: Jordan Coghlan 2, Adam La Grue; Con: Caolan Dooley; Pen: Jake Swaine
HT: UCD 12 Terenure College 12

This Friday Night Lights clash at Belfield was played at an electric pace, Chris Cosgrave and Ronan Foley claiming tries during the first half an hour for an eager UCD side.

Two muscular finishes from number 8 Jordan Coghlan saw Terenure make it two tries apiece, with Caolan Dooley’s well-struck conversion drawing them level at 12-all for half-time.

Full-back Adam La Grue finished superbly in very little room to move Terenure ahead for the first time, with defences remaining on top for the most part.

Handling errors prevented UCD from responding, leaving Jake Swaine’s 76th-minute penalty to give ‘Nure a crucial cushion and they held on to lift the Eddie Thornton Memorial Trophy.

Terenure appeared to settle the quickest, winning a scrum penalty and getting their big forwards on the ball. Captain Harrison Brewer took them up towards the UCD 22.

With a tricky wind at their backs, ‘Nure scrum half Alan Bennie kicked out on the full and La Grue did likewise just a couple of minutes later.

UCD struck gold from their first serious opportunity, Foley setting up a lineout maul on the right before quick passing out to the left released Cosgrave to nip in between Swaine and La Grue and crash over.

The full-back could not convert his 10th-minute try, and Terenure were back level inside five minutes. A knock-on denied them initially but a strong counter-ruck, led by Brewer, saw them rewarded in the right corner.

Coghlan was able to pick up and drive over for his opening try, with crucial support from Conall Boomer. The conversion was missed by centre Dooley, leaving the teams level at five points each.

The visitors then threatened from kicks and a maul near the right corner, the match officials adjudging that prop Andy Keating had been held up by UCD’s scramble defence.

Foley’s breakdown smarts helped him to win a relieving penalty for the students, who marched further forward after Terenure lock Matthew Caffrey was caught not rolling away.

UCD again went to the corner from the penalty, building pressure through their forwards until Leinster Academy flanker Sean O’Brien was just held up from a close-range surge.

However, after Dooley overcooked a goal-line drop out, the resulting five-metre scrum saw Foley steal a march on the defending Boomer. He thundered over beside the posts, ahead of the flanker and Cathal Marsh.

Cosgrave’s conversion made it 12-5 to Kevin Croke’s charges, but within two minutes later, ‘Nure were back level having got back into maul territory thanks to a penalty at the breakdown won by centre Colm de Buitléar.

The subsequent lineout drive got a second surge, seeing Coghlan plunge over in the same right corner. Dooley levelled with a cracking conversion and that is how it stayed up to the break.

‘Nure continued to slightly edge the breakdown battle, with openside Boomer winning a penalty in front of his own posts. The visitors also got a late scrum decision, Dooley trying his luck with the kick from halfway but it fell wide.

The increasingly-influential de Buitléar shrugged off two defenders to gain good yardage, early in the second period, as UCD were forced back on the defensive.

O’Brien stole an important lineout in his own 22 as ‘Nure looked set to build for a score, the visitors storming back with a great run from La Grue – only for Brewer’s subsequent offload to be intercepted by Alex O’Grady.

The near misses continued with Terenure’s maul earning a penalty before Michael Melia fumbled at a second lineout opportunity. Yet, they were clinical with their next chance.

Coghlan and de Buitléar both made ground in the UCD 22, the latter getting every inch out out of a carry up towards the posts. Bennie passed long from the ruck, setting up La Grue to jink past two defenders and reach over the line.

Swaine curled the conversion wide from the right, and as the students sought to quickly close the gap, Gerard Hill and Ben Brownlee carried well before Brewer picked up a turnover penalty.

The fight at the breakdown intensified heading into the final 15 minutes, with the tireless Foley replying with a well-won penalty of his own.

The resulting maul was UCD’s best of the night but replacement James Tarrant knocked on when the ball was moved out the back-line.

They were frustrated again when Rory McGuire was penalised for not releasing, less than five metres out from the Terenure line.

Indeed, Sean Skehan’s men worked their way back to halfway via a maul and a Bennie snipe, before lively replacement Peter Sylvester was caught with a high tackle.

The game remained right in the melting pot as UCD brilliantly kept the ball infield, clearing back to Terenure’s half. They also won turnover ball from a maul, with big prop McGuire to the fore.

Nonetheless, Sylvester and La Grue proved elusive as they brought ‘Nure back downfield, and a powerful scrum earned the decisive penalty for winger Swaine, with four minutes remaining.

UCD: Chris Cosgrave; Alex O’Grady, David Ryan, Ben Brownlee, Jack Ringrose (capt); Tim Corkey, Rob Gilsenan; Chris Hennessy, Bobby Sheehan, Evin Coyle, Jonathan Fish, Tom Coghlan, Alec Byrne, Sean O’Brien, Ronan Foley.

Replacements: Richie Bergin, Rory McGuire, Gerard Hill, Richard Fahy, James Tarrant, Dylan O’Grady.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Jake Swaine, Colm de Buitléar, Caolan Dooley, Craig Adams; Cathal Marsh, Alan Bennie; Campbell Classon, Levi Vaughan, Andy Keating, Matthew Caffrey, Michael Melia, Harrison Brewer (capt), Conall Boomer, Jordan Coghlan.

Replacements: Conor McCormack, Adam Tuite, Rob Lalor, James Connolly, Mark O’Neill, Peter Sylvester.

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Dixon Double Drives Galwegians To Barnstorming Win

Galwegians outgunned Old Belvedere at home on Saturday evening to claim the scalp of one of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League’s ‘big four’.

ENERGIA WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Saturday, November 27

GALWEGIANS 38 OLD BELVEDERE 26, Crowley Park
Scorers: Galwegians: Tries: Megan Walsh, Orla Dixon 2, Jessica Loftus, Mairead Coyne; Cons: Emma Keane 5; Pen: Emma Keane
Old Belvedere: Tries: Clare Gorman 2, Katie Layde, Lesley Ring; Cons: Jemma Farrell 3
HT: Galwegians 21 Old Belvedere 5

Jarrad Butler’s Blue Belles made it three wins in four rounds with a brilliant 38-26 bonus point triumph over Belvedere. Centre Orla Dixon crossed twice to take her season’s haul to five tries.

These sides produced a hugely entertaining nine-try thriller in Glenina, ‘Wegians, who are now up to fifth in the table, laying down a marker with a 21-5 half-time scoreline.

‘Belvo’s returning winger Clare Gorman ran in her eighth and ninth tries of the campaign, but ‘Wegians showed great composure after their lead was cut to just two points, responding with a late 10-point spurt.

There were signs it was not going to be Old Belvedere’s day when their Ireland scrum half Kathryn Dane went off with an early injury – on the back of some late changes – and Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony was held up from a try-scoring opportunity.

Galwegians had a couple of important turnovers from Grace Browne Moran and Dearbhla Canty, and a Fiona Scally-inspired attack had them exactly where they wanted to be, pressing for the opening try.

It arrived just before the end of the first quarter, all-action flanker Scally again involved as her short pass released Megan Walsh for the line from 10 metres out. Emma Keane added a crisp conversion.

Belvedere were quick to respond, Jemma Farrell’s switch to scrum half ensuring a quality supply of possession. Good footwork and a nice pass from Aine Donnelly unleashed their attack.

Strong-running prop Alice O’Dowd bounced off one tackle and absorbed another, charging up into the hosts’ 22. Farrell and Elise O’Byrne-White whipped passes out for Gorman to round in from the right corner.

The winger’s try went unconverted, Farrell’s kick going narrowly wide, and ‘Wegians managed to force a scrum from the restart, using the possession to expertly put away their second seven-pointer.

Ireland-capped full-back Mairead Coyne darted through a gap just past halfway, linking with Saskia Morrissey who made it into the 22 before offloading out of a tackle for Dixon to finish off close to the posts.

Prop Loftus soon hurtled onto a pass to crash over from close range, after another pacy Coyne break had opened up the ‘Belvo defence. Keane converted both tries for a 16-point lead at the turnaround.

As the Dubliners lifted the intensity on the resumption, Coyne rescued her side with a try-saving interception and a kick downfield.

Nonetheless, ‘Belvo scrambled back and Farrell cleverly used the ruck ball to chip into open territory. Speedster Gorman was first to the ball, kicking through to score beside the posts.

After Farrell’s conversion, the end-to-end action continued. The in-form Dixon romped home from halfway, breaking between two defenders and showing a clean pair of heels to bag the bonus point try.

Keane comfortably converted, briefly giving ‘Wegians breathing space at 28-12. It was soon Belvedere’s turn to hammer away, and from a tap penalty, replacement Katie Layde crashed over for Farrell to convert.

Indeed, Farrell and her team-mates appeared to be playing with renewed energy. Lesley Ring was up on Layde’s shoulder to score, with Farrell’s straightforward extras closing the gap to 28-26.

Crucially, Belvedere began to cough up penalties, paying the price when lock Elaine Anthony was sin-binned. The resulting penalty kick was sent through the uprights by ever-reliable out-half Keane.

‘Wegians were not finished yet and they took the losing bonus point away from the visitors when Coyne crossed in the final play, Walsh providing the assist after a sustained period of pressure in the 22.

Keane’s simple conversion completed her own handsome haul of 13 points. It was a real squad effort from the Blue Belles, made all the more impressive by the fact that they were missing injured captain Mary Healy.

GALWEGIANS: Mairead Coyne; Casie O’Connell, Megan Walsh, Orla Dixon, Saskia Morrissey; Emma Keane, Darwyn O’Halloran; Elizabeth McNicholas, Ruby Lynch, Jessica Loftus, Niamh O’Grady, Grace Browne Moran, Fiona Scally, Lisa-Marie Murphy, Dearbhla Canty.

Replacements: Nolwenn Dubois, Hannah Coen, Sabina Egan, Celia Killilea, Ursula Sammon, Maria Gorham, Ines Delgado.

OLD BELVEDERE: Aine Donnelly; Clare Gorman, Elise O’Byrne-White, Ailbhe Dowling, Alannah O’Carroll; Jemma Farrell (capt), Kathryn Dane; Alice O’Dowd, Rachel Murphy, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Elaine Anthony, Jan Carroll, Clodagh Dunne, Lesley Ring, Oonagh Hynes.

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Ciara O’Dwyer, Ivanna Dempsey, Niamh O’Dowd, Katie Layde, Hannah Heskin.

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