Clontarf’s winning run came to an end in glorious Temple Hill on Saturday when they were unable to haul back a young Con side who came out of the blocks fizzing. It was always going to be a tough match especially since ‘Tarf were fielding three ex Con stalwarts in Richie Lane and ex Con captains, Evan Ryan and Frank Cogan.That was motivation enough for the home side but it also helps if the three officials add to the confusion with some extremely wayward officiating from the off.
Clontarf suffered from a lack of accuracy in the early exchanges and seemed to run foul of the ref every time they tried to build phases. This gave the home side some heart and when Darragh Lyons was put into space by Simon Zebo he was able to create the two on one and put flanker Brian O’Hara over for the opening try. This saw Con jump out to a 10 point lead and gave the visitors a mountain to climb. Two penalties were exchanged and at half time the score was 13 3 to Con.
The second half continued where the first left off with Con frustrating and harrying at every turn and Clontarf struggling to build any kind of momentum with the ball. With 10 minutes to go and Con maintaining their 10 point lead Adrian Darcy was adjudged to have spear tackled his opponent and was sent off. This was followed by a yellow card for Kenny Dorrian after he slipped at a scrum. So down to 13 men wasn’t ideal and we conceded two tries to the superior numbers. However, despite the points deficit, Clontarf upped their game defiantly and started to eat into the Con lead when, firstly, Noel Reid skipped in under the posts to pull one back and, at the death, Barry O’Mahony sprinted for the corner to add another try which Richie Lane narrowly failed to convert for a bonus.
So the winning run ends and now all teams in Division 1A have at least one loss. There is an awful long way to go in this League and the home and away format means that all teams will be familiar with each other as the competition reaches a conclusion.
Don’t be surprised if it’s a nail biting finish this year!