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Clontarf FC v Lansdowne FC  

Energia AIL Division 1A

Saturday 20th January 2024

Castle Avenue

Clontarf 26  – 29 Lansdowne


Lansdowne came out worthy winners in an eight try thriller at Castle Avenue against the league leaders Clontarf. There is never much between these teams when they meet. Clontarf had just four points to spare when they won on their last two visits to Lansdowne whilst Clontarf were eight-point winners at home last season.

Clontarf were out of the traps early when their scrum half Louis O’Reilly tapped a penalty and made his way into the Lansdowne 22. Another penalty was swiftly awarded to Tarf and hooker Dylan Donnellan caught the Lansdowne defence napping when he tapped and ran over for Clontarf’s first try. Lansdowne responded well and Stephen Madigan who had a fine game slotted over a penalty to make it 3-7. Lansdowne kept the pressure on and a great pass from Tom Roche (his first appearance in the AIL for a long time following a stint in Scotland and a season with the Irish sevens) put Peter Sullivan in space. With only the Clontarf 10 Conor Kelly between him and the line, Sullivan went for the Maori side step and bundled over Kelly to score Lansdowne first try to make it 8-7.

It was Clontarf’s turn to apply the pressure and they camped themselves in the Lansdowne half and used their famous lineout maul to great effect. Lansdowne defended several Clontarf mauls well however hooker Tom Barry was sin binned and following a few more carries around the fringe the space opened up for Clontarf veteran Tony Ryan who gleefully dived over under the posts to score. Once again Lansdowne responded from the kick off and Jack Matthews probed the blindside 5 metres out from the try line and hit Andy Marks who spun out of the would be tackle and scored. Madigan’s conversion was good making it 15-14 with only 14 men! It didn’t take Clontarf long to respond and just on the cusp of halftime some fine handling from their backline put Mark O’Sullivan over in the right hand corner. Kelly’s conversion was spot on and the home team went into half-time 19-15 ahead.

Clontarf started the second the better of the two teams, and were first to score, with Dylan Donnellan scoring his 2nd of the afternoon and incredibly his 15th try (yes 15 !!) in the AIL this season to stretch Clontarf’s lead to 26-15. Lansdowne regathered themselves and played a more territorial game. An inside pass from Madigan on the Clontarf 10m line saw Andy Marks puncture the Clontarf defence who drew the last man in defence and put Jack Matthews in for a fine try just left of the posts. 22-26 but the best was yet to come! Lansdowne took a ball off the top from a lineout on the halfway line, and Madigan chipped a lovely ball over the Clontarf rush defence which incredibly Andy Marks regathered, linked up with Jack Matthews who deftly put Rory Parata in under the posts to score the bonus point try and give Lansdowne a 29-26 lead with 10 minutes left to play.
Clontarf threw the kitchen sink at Lansdowne for the remainder of the game and looked to have breached the Lansdowne defence but the pass to their winger Mark O’Sullivan was deemed to be forward and Lansdowne supporters breathed a sigh of relief. Two more nervous minutes later the referee blew up for full-time to give Lansdowne a fantastic and deserved away victory over their league rivals.

Next up is a home game against a resurgent Trinity team so please come and support your team.

CLONTARF 26 LANSDOWNE 29, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Dylan Donnellan 2, Tony Ryan, Mark O’Sullivan; Cons: Conor Kelly 3
Lansdowne: Tries: Peter Sullivan, Andy Marks, Jack Matthews, Rory Parata; Cons: Stephen Madigan 3; Pen: Stephen Madigan
HT: Clontarf 19 Lansdowne 15

CLONTARF: Noah Sheridan; Mark O’Sullivan, Tadhg Bird, Matt D’Arcy, Seni Reilly Ashiru; Conor Kelly, Louis O’Reilly; Ivan Soroka, Dylan Donnellan (capt), Ben Griffin, Fionn Gilbert, Jim Peters, Richie Whelan, Declan Adamson, Tony Ryan.
Replacements: Barry Gray, Darragh Bolger, Kevin Farrington, Sam Owens, Steve Crosbie, Paul Deeny.

LANSDOWNE: Cathal Eddy; Peter Sullivan, Andy Marks, Rory Parata, Tom Roche; Stephen Madigan, Jack Matthews; George Morris, Tom Barry, Greg McGrath, Steven Walshe, Ruairi Clarke, Jack Cooke (capt), Liam Forster, Donough Lawlor.
Replacements: Luke Thompson, Adam Boland, Hardus van Eeden, Barry Fitzpatrick, Steve McMahon, Tom Monaghan.

Lansdowne 1st XV v Clontarf Saturday 20th January 2024

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