O'Brien books final berth for Clontarf against Cork Con
Clontarf centre Sean O'Brien is determined to follow in his older brother Conor's footsteps and win an All-Ireland League title at the Aviva Stadium next Sunday (3pm).
Mullingar RFC product Conor played in three Division 1A finals for Clontarf, picking up a winner's medal in 2016, and he has now made 17 Leinster appearances. His sibling, an Ireland U-20 international last year, has emerged as a key player in 'Tarf's drive for a third league crown in six years.
"It was great to get the win. It's been boiling up for the last few weeks so we're delighted to get the result against a very strong Lansdowne side," said Sean, speaking after their impressive 23-15 semi-final victory over the defending champions at Castle Avenue.
David Joyce's half-break after nine minutes took play close to the 22 and Matt D'Arcy used the recycled ball to fend off the cover and touch down before O'Brien crossed.
Out-half Joyce converted and added two penalties as the hosts surged into a 18-0 half-time lead.
Lansdowne's Scott Deasy clawed back three points, but Michael Courtney quickly responded with a try. Mike Ruddock's men closed the gap thanks to a Daniel McEvoy score and a 77th-minute penalty try.
They will play Cork Constitution after their 23-3 win over Dublin University yesterday, with Ireland U-20 starlet Sean French's timely try on the stroke of half-time sending them on their way.
A breathless first quarter produced only one score, a well-struck 18th-minute penalty from the students' out-half Micheal O'Kennedy. Aidan Moynihan levelled and then added a second.
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Cork struck a big blow in the first-half's final play to go 13-3 in front thanks to a fine solo try from French, and Moynihan converted.
Moynihan hit another penalty, just two minutes after the restart, before Trinity No 8 Niall O'Riordan's sin-binning. The outcome was decided on the hour mark when Moynihan touched down. He converted to complete his 18-point haul.
Meanwhile, UCC will have home advantage in next Saturday's play-off final against Old Wesley, who saw off Naas 20-17. Clonmel will join round-robin winners Enniscorthy in Division 2C next season, while Navan secured their third promotion in as many years to Division 1B.
Rainey Old Boys will compete in Division 2A after a 35-21 win at Stradbrook, which demoted the Blackrock side, while Malahide beat Bruff 36-13 to enter Division 2B.