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Lansdowne land second title with thrilling UBL final win over Clontarf

Scott Deasy played a central role in an absorbing final at the Aviva Stadium.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Clontarf 17

Lansdowne 18

LANSDOWNE PLAYMAKER SCOTT Deasy quickly went from villain to hero as he guided his club to their second Ulster Bank League  crown after a tumultuous second half in the Division 1A final against Clontarf.

The former Munster man kicked eight points and played a huge part in one of his side’s tries, but was also guilty of handing ‘Tarf a big helping hand in the second half.

With his side down to 14 men in the second half, Deasy’s speculative pass was picked off by Matt D’Arcy who won the foot race to give ‘Tarf a six-point lead that looked likely to prove crucial.

However, Lansdowne refused to lie down and allow Clontarf claim back-to-back titles and the home favourite pack laid the platform for Deasy to reclaim the lost five points with two superb kicks from the tee that made Lansdowne champions for the second time in three seasons.

Clontarf fullback Rob Keogh proved an able deputy for Clontarf’s injured regular place-kicker David Joyce, firing over four penalties including the opening score from 40 metres after the northsiders’ early scrum dominance.

Rob Keogh kicks a penalty Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

However, by the half-time break ‘Tarf were down to their third choice out-half when Evan Ryan succumbed to injury with Matthew D’Arcy shifted to number 10 for the second period.

At that point Lansdowne had edged in front for the first time. Deasy’s excellent cross-field kick on 22 minutes found Tom Farrell. The centre’s forward offload was marked as sleight of hand and Mark Roche didn’t need a second invitation to collect and dive into the corner.

That try was Lansdowne’s reward for some excellent inventive attacking play with Tom Daly, Ian Fitzpatrick and Cian Kelleher showing terrific handling skills to mount phases and pressure on ‘Tarf after the reigning champs had threatened to dominate through their pack.

The try for the hosts on Lansdowne road proved to be the final score of the half. Referee Sean Gallagher provided relief for both sets of defenders with scrum penalties and on Clontarf failed to put the passes together on their two breaks into the Lansdowne 22.

First, immediately after conceding Thomas Byrne and Colm O’Shea failed to combine to execute a three-on-two and, before the break, D’Arcy’s excellent line break ended in a defensive scrum as Conor O’Brien spilled the ball in the tackle to leave Lansdowne with an 8 – 6 advantage at the break.

Adam Griggs and Ian Fitpatrick tackle Conor O'Brien Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The opening 10 minutes of the second half threatened to turn Lansdowne hopes on their head. Adam Boland’s yellow card ensured they would be on the back foot and although Keogh missed the resulting penalty, he nailed his second opportunity soon after to make the score 9 – 8.

After the restart from that go-ahead penalty, Deasy’s pass in the right hand channel was telegraphed by D’Arcy and he romped in to make it 8 – 14. Keogh missed the conversion, but pushed the reigning champs to a nine-point lead in the 54th minute.

Lansdowne’s pack would not be counted out. A clinical maul on 58 minutes brought a try for man of the match Joseph McSwiney. Within 10 minutes Deasy had made amends for his intercept pass with a brilliant conversion from the left and monster penalty from the right flank to claw an 18 -17 lead going in to the final 10 minutes.

And that’s the way it remained. Ariel Robles earned a yellow card for bringing down Kelleher as he chased a kick and Deasy was able to keep Lansdowne in opposition territory until their defence forced the ball over the touchline to signal the full-time celebrations.

Scorers

Clontarf:

Try: M D’Arcy

Penalties: R Keogh (4)

Lansdowne

Try: M Roche, J McSwiney

Conversion S Deasy (1)

Penalties: S Deasy (2)

Peter Dooley tackles Karl Moran Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Clontarf

15. Rob Keogh

14 Conor O’Brien

13. Colm O’Shea

12 Matt D’Arcy

11 Max McFarland

10. Evan Ryan

9. Sam Cronin CAPT.

1. Ivan Soroka

2.  Bryan Byrne

3 Royce Burke Flynn

4 Tom Byrne

5 Ben Reilly

6 Karl Moran

7 Adrian D’Arcy

8 Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Rory Litchfield, Liam Og Murphy, Ian Hirst, Dermot O’Meara, Ariel Robles, Timmy McCoy, Conor O’Keeffe.

Lansdowne

15. Cian Kelleher

14. Mark Roche

13 Tom Farrell

12 Tom Daly

11 Ian Fitzpatrick

10 Scott Deasy

9 Adam Griggs;

1. Peter Dooley

2. Tyrone Moran

3. Ian Prendiville

4 Brian Moylett

5. Stephen Gardiner

6. Joe McSwiney

7. Aaron Conneely

8. Ron Boucher CAPT.

Replacements: Paddy Flood, Adam Boland, Tadhg Beirne, Paddy O’Driscoll, Tom Kiersey, Cian Aherne, Joe O’Brien.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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