Friday 28 April 2017

Club scene: All-Ireland league uncovered

MATCH OF THE DAY: Lansdowne v Clontarf,Aviva Stadium, 2.30

Victory in this afternoon's Dublin derby will confirm Clontarf's return to Division 1A and put them within inches of a play-off spot.

Bernard Jackman (pictured) has been able to fully devote his time to the club in his second year as coach, having had to split his attention between playing for Leinster and managing the Castle Avenue side last year.

And now that they have had 100pc of his attention, 'Tarf are reaping the rewards and although they have new faces, the trauma of their final defeat, on a technicality, two years ago means they have unfinished business in the play-offs.

Lansdowne still have a remote mathematical chance of reaching the final four, but promotion is more realistic, with Buccaneers just two points ahead of them in second place.

With the quality of Eoghan Hickey's boot and the experienced backs outside the former Ireland 'A' out-half, the southsiders have been the highest scorers in the division, but they have failed to turn it into points in the table.

In contrast, Clontarf have been the epitome of consistency, winning nine of their 11 matches. Jackman added the trio of Cork Constitution's double- winning captain Evan Ryan and Dolphin duo Barry O'Mahony and Sam Cronin, and they have brought something different to their armoury.

This afternoon's clash should be entertaining and of high quality, with Clontarf repeating their win (by seven points) of earlier in the season.

Verdict: Clontarf.

DOWN MEMORY LANE

FEBRUARY 12, 2000

YOUNG MUNSTER 18

TERENURE 13

Mike Mullins rose head and shoulders above the crowd at Tom Clifford Park as he showed young Girvan Dempsey (pictured) the virtue of hitting the line with timing and pace.

Terenure's tyros matched the Cookies in almost every department and gave a strong account of themselves, but the classy New Zealander-born Ireland international's ability to come on to the ball at speed and pick the right pass was the difference.

One of four clean breaks in 14 minutes saw him draw Dempsey and put Mike Lynch away, before another burst allowed Lynch to feed Tom Cregan for a fine try. Damage done, in front of watching Ireland manager Donal Lenihan, the Kiwi's class was the toast of the men in yellow and black.

Young Munster -- M Mullins; J Carey, M Lynch, L Doyle, T Cregan; E Buckley, M Prendergast; D Clohessy, M Hayes, P Clohessy; M O'Halloran (B Buckley 57), P O'Connell; I Dillon, G Earls, M le Pau.

Terenure -- G Dempsey; M O'Kelly (C Muphy 64), S Cullen, M Smyth, D Lynagh; R Governey, D Hegarty; S Barretto, J Blaney, J Campbell; R Sherriff, D Quinn; C Potts (J Sharpe 62), P O'Mahony, E Miller.

AIL Duals

Players who have lined out for both clubs in today's games:

St Mary's v Blackrock: Victor Costello, Karl Gilligan, Noel Foxe, Tommy Moran, John Ryan, Paddy Dunne, Barry Browne.

Cork Constitution v Garryowen: Kenny Smith.

Lansdowne v Clontarf: Warren O'Kelly, Ian O'Kelly, Karl Hoffman.

Ballymena v UCD: Paddy Wallace.

FIXTURES (2.30)

Division 1A: Cork Constitution v Garryowen, Temple Hill; Old Belvedere v Dolphin, Anglesea Rd, St Mary's v Blackrock, Templeville Rd, Young Munster v Shannon, Tom Clifford Pk.

Division 1B: Dungannon v Bruff, Stevenson Pk; Galwegians v Buccaneers, Crowley Pk; Lansdowne v Clontarf, Aviva Stadium; UL Bohemian v UCC, Thomond Park.

Division 2: Belfast Harlequins v Clonakilty, Deramore Pk; Corinthians v Terenure, Corinthian Pk, Dublin Univ v Thomond, College Pk; Malone v DLSP, Gibson Pk; Midleton v Ballynahinch, Towns Pk; Old Crescent v Bective, Rosbrien; Old Wesley v QUB, Donnybrook; UCD v Ballymena, Belfield.

Division 3: Ards v Connemara, Hamilton Pk; Highfield v Greystones, Woodleigh Pk; Instonians v Banbridge, Shaws Bridge; Naas v Navan, Forenoughts; Nenagh Ormond v City of Derry, New Ormond Park; Rainey OB v NUIM Barnhall, Hatrick Park; Seapoint v Suttonians, Kilgobbet Park; Wanderers v Sunday's Well, Merrion Road.

Irish Independent

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