AIL semi-finals: D'Arcy hero as 'Tarf reach final
TERENURE COLLEGE 0 CLONTARF 9
Three penalties from Matt D'Arcy were the difference in Lakelands Park yesterday, as defending champions Clontarf booked their place in the All-Ireland League final at the expense of Terenure College. Adverse weather conditions made it difficult for both sets of players, and in the absence of the reliable David Joyce through injury, inside centre D'Arcy assumed place-kicking duties.
He was marginally off target from a distance of 35 metres just two minutes into the contest, but was also wide of mark with his second attempt from the kicking tee. 'Nure outhalf James Thornton misdirected a three-point opportunity of his own, and in spite of the best endeavours from both teams, the deadlock remained unbroken at the midway point.
Thornton was agonisingly close in his efforts to open Terenure's account after the restart, before D'Arcy finally created some daylight with a well-directed 51st minute penalty. In a game of such fine margins, it looked like this score might be prove to be pivotal. Fergal Walsh almost crossed over for the hosts on the hour mark, but even though they lost Dermot O'Meara to the sin-bin, 'Tarf subsequently extended their lead with a second successful D'Arcy score.
This threw down the gauntlet to Terenure, who had defeated 'Tarf in the same venue last November. Scrumhalf Kevin O'Neill was held up just shy of the opposition line seven minutes from the end of normal time, but thanks to D'Arcy's routine three-pointer deep into second-half stoppage-time, Clontarf's back-to-back title ambitions remain alive.
Scorers - Clontarf: M D'Arcy 3 pens.
Moran to the rescue for Lansdowne
LANSDOWNE 23 YOUNG MUNSTER 19
Tyrone Moran came to the rescue of Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium yesterday, when his dramatic late try helped them to secure a nail-biting extra-time triumph over Young Munster in the Ulster Bank League Division 1A semi-final. The Ballsbridge outfit were hot favourites and they opened the scoring courtesy of a Scott Deasy penalty.
However, Gearoid Lyons subsequently levelled matters for a determined Young Munster, and despite conceding a second place-kick to Deasy, a superb Willie Staunton drop-goal boosted the confidence of the visitors. The Limerick side received a massive setback prior to the interval when Tom Daly crossed over for an outstanding converted try, but Munsters restored parity for a third time after the interval.
Staunton's grubber kick was finished off by right-wing Diarmuid McCarthy, and after adding the bonuses to this score, Lyons edged his side into the ascendancy for the very first time. But Conor McKeon's penalty tied the game at 16-16.
This meant that an additional 20 minutes of action was required, and with Lyons increasing his personal tally to 11 points, a surprise success was on the cards for Young Munster. Yet, just when the 2013 champions were facing into a morale-sapping defeat, the powerful Moran crashed over to set up a compelling showdown with Clontarf in a fortnight's time.
Scorers -Lansdowne: T Daly, T Moran try each, S Deasy 2 pens, con, C McKeon pen, con; Young Munster: D McCarthy try, G Lyons 3 pens, con, W Staunton dp gl.
Sunday Indo Sport