UCC 20 CLONTARF 27, the Mardyke, Saturday 2nd Novermber 2019

Match Report by Peter Walsh

Scorers: UCC: Tries: John Hodnett, Ryan Murphy; Cons: Eoin Monahan 2; Pens: Eoin Monahan 2
Clontarf: Tries: Angus Lloyd, Matt D’Arcy 2; Cons: Sean Kearns 3; Pens: Sean Kearns 2
HT: UCC 7 Clontarf 6

Clontarf prevailed over UCC on Saturday in a game that took on the qualities of a classic Mano a mano slugging match reminiscent of the film “Raging Bull”. Like two middleweights from the thirties, the two teams stood toe to toe in the second half and swapped tries like punches; each landing a score in turn.

Clontarf prevailed on the day through sheer muscularity in the forwards, which negated the home side’s guile and athleticism.

The students, having jumped into the lead early through a try from Number 8 and former Ireland U20 star John Hodnett, eventually cracked under the strain of the Clontarf attack and conceded crucial points in the second half; Angus Lloyd opened the scoring for the visitors and as the try flurry increased, Matt D’arcy added another couple for good measure.

Sean Kearns kept the points flowing with a strong display with the boot and once Clontarf established a two score lead, the way back for the home side was steeply uphill.

UCC battled hard and finished well, with a late penalty earning them a losing bonus point.

Clontarf will be delighted to leave Cork with a well-earned win.

I’m sure they will be looking at some defensive issues which emerged, not surprisingly , given the restructured back line that started the game.

The university theme continues this Saturday when we welcome UCD to Castle Avenue, with kick off at 2.30pm.

UCC: Rob Hedderman; Murray Linn, Louis Bruce, Peter Sylvester, Matt Bowen; Eoin Monahan, John Poland; Shane O’Hanlon, Fergus Hennessy, Bryan O’Connor, Cian Barry, Richard Thompson, Ryan Murphy (capt), Rory Suttor, John Hodnett.

Replacements: Tadgh McCarthy, James French, Aiden Brien, Brian Slater, Michael Clune.

CLONTARF: Sean Kearns; Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Gearoid Lyons, Cian O’Donoghue; Conor Kelly, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Tadgh McElroy, JP Phelan, Cormac Daly, Ben Reilly, Cian Walsh, Ruadhan Byron, Michael Noone (capt).

Replacements: Dylan Donnellan, Charlie Ward, Valentine Tauamiti, Peter Hoy, Fiachra Smith.