Sean O'Brien in action for Naas. Bryan Keane/INPHO

Sean O'Brien picks up injury as AIL debut for Naas ends in defeat

The former Leinster flanker returned to club rugby action today.

SEAN O’BRIEN WENT off injured on his Naas debut as Johne Murphy’s men suffered a dramatic late 25-22 defeat at the hands of Division 1B rivals Old Belvedere.

The crowd numbers swelled at Ollie Campbell Park in anticipation of the Tullow Tank’s return to domestic club rugby. O’Brien was sprung from the bench in the 49th minute.

Naas were trailing 13-12 at that stage, Joe White’s try sandwiched by penalties from Mick O’Kennedy and Justin Leonard to give Belvedere a narrow lead.

The Kildare men had struck first with a third try in two games from scrum half Oscar Cawley, who was up in support of Mark McDermott’s slashing break.

However, both Charlie Sheridan and McDermott were sin-binned in quick succession for Naas. Winger White’s 28th-minute score edged ‘Belvo in front before Donal Conroy slid over before half-time following a jinking run and pass from McDermott.

Centre Leonard rewarded a strong scrum to kick ‘Belvo back in front at 13-12, but a yellow for their captain James Bollard for an apparent foot trip had them under pressure.

jayden-beckett-tackles-mark-mcdermott Old Belvedere's Jayden Beckett tackles Mark McDermott of Naas. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

The home supporters were incensed when they felt O’Brien had blocked a defender in midfield during a Naas raid forward. Play continued and Andrew Osborne expertly cut in between White and David Wilkinson to touch down and give the Cobras a 19-13 advantage.

Full-back McDermott fizzed with intent and O’Brien increased his influence. The former Ireland international won a turnover penalty and then carried to draw a high tackle, which Bryan Croke turned into three points.

With his new side leading 22-13, O’Brien had to depart after a 25-minute cameo. He picked up an apparent hamstring injury when tackled into touch by Belvedere winger Ariel Robles.

Incredibly, ‘Belvo went on to snatch victory from the jaws of defeats. Kiwi centre Jayden Beckett brilliantly shrugged off a couple of tackles and sidestepped past Osborne to make it a two-point game.

Then, with 83 minutes on the clock, the home side took advantage of space on the right wing, scrum half Conall Bird throwing a looping offload back inside for White to complete his brace and become the match winner.

briain-leonard-an-will-mcdonald-celebrate-at-the-final-whistle Old Belvedere's Briain Leonard an Will McDonald celebrate at the final whistle. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Defending Division 1A champions Clontarf seemed a long way away from a bonus point during a cagey opening hour, but a late flourish saw them defeat Ballynahinch 28-3 at a wind-beaten Ballymacarn Park.

Ballynahinch had first use of a very strong wind and led 3-0 at half-time thanks to a well-struck 38th-minute penalty from Greg Hutley.

Clontarf’s superior scrum forced a penalty try in the 59th minute, and the defending AIL champions squeezed in three more tries during the closing quarter.

A previously unbeaten ‘Hinch leaked an opportunist score to Cormac Daly, Cian O’Donoghue picked off an intercept effort and a last-minute turnover saw Conor Kearns sprint over for the bonus point from halfway.

A Fionn Gilbert lineout steal robbed Ballynahinch of a brilliant early platform, the hosts having most of the initial territory with Zack McCall forcing a turnover penalty.

fionn-gilbert Fionn Gilbert (file photo) Ben Brady / INPHO Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

Turnovers thwarted both sides in the windy conditions, Ballynahinch edging the breakdown battle but Clontarf having the better of the scrum and the midfield exchanges.

‘Hinch captain Thomas Donnan pinched a lineout throw to the front, while ‘Tarf also emerged scoreless after a promising initial break by Tony Ryan.

Both defences were giving very little away, and it took a long-range Hutley kick to break the deadlock following good work at the breakdown from Mark Best.

Daly and Ryan combined to hold up ‘Hinch hooker Claytan Milligan for a turnover just before the interval. ‘Tarf got on the front foot on the restart, propelled forward by a clever break from halfway by Angus Lloyd.

Andy Wood’s men piled the pressure on at scrum time, five metres out from the ‘Hinch line. They kept the home side pinned back and too many team penalties landed ‘Hinch lock James Simpson in the sin bin.

The visitors’ pack marched forward at the next two scrums, securing the penalty try that gave them a hard-earned lead. Good carrying from Mick Kearney, Ivan Soroka and replacement Ben Griffin further chipped away at the ‘Hinch defence.

Flanker Daly then sprung clean through from a ruck in the hosts’ 22, Conor Kelly’s conversion making it 14-3 with nine minutes remaining.

The County Down outfit went close to responding, full-back Rory Butler and Best leading the charge, but once they were repelled, ‘Tarf showed how clinical they can be on the counter attack.

O’Donoghue rushed up to collect a Hutley pass and go in under the posts from 35 metres out, before Griffin gobbled up turnover ball, threw a dummy and released centre Kearns who had the legs to make it a maximum haul.

Young Munster turned things around in the second half to win 23-10 at UCD and make it back-to-back victories in the AIL’s top flight.

Munster hooker Chris Moore crossed from a 44th-minute lineout maul, replying to an earlier penalty try which was sparked by a terrific Harry Donnelly break.

A late Chris Cosgrave penalty had the students leading 10-3 at half-time, although they had failed to fully profit from two Munsters sin-binnings.

The Cookies hit back in familiar fashion, through Moore in the corner, with Conor Hayes, who took on the kicking duties, firing over a superb levelling conversion.

Winger Hayes went on to have a key role in the result, edging the visitors ahead with a 61st-minute penalty as part of his 13-point haul.

Some more forward pressure yielded a try for returning captain Alan Kennedy, who picked from a ruck and scrambled in beside the posts with three minutes remaining. Hayes converted and tagged on a penalty, two minutes later, as the insurance score.

Elsewhere in Division 1A, Cork Constitution went up through the gears in the second half, scoring three unanswered tries to claim a 36-21 bonus point win over Shannon.

Munster Academy scrum half Ethan Coughlan sparked the best out of Shannon, snapping up two tries for a 21-12 interval lead on Thomond Park’s pitch.

However, Cork Con scored two tries inside five minutes of the restart to seize control. Greg Higgins, Ian Leonard and Louis Kahn all touched down to add to earlier efforts from Sean Duffy and Alessandro Heaney.

ian-leonard-comes-up-against-jamie-mcgarry Cork Con’s Ian Leonard comes up against Jamie McGarry of Shannon. Ben Brady / INPHO Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

Terenure College remain top of the pile, sitting on a perfect 15 points after winning 38-25 at Garryowen.

The Light Blues gave as good as they got at times, trailing 17-12 at the break with tries from Johnny Keane and Munster Academy lock Cian Hurley.

Terenure dominated the start of the second half, putting together a Colm de Buitléar effort and a penalty try. Tony Butler split the posts twice in response, but an Adam La Grue score had six-try ‘Nure too far in front.

Emerging Ireland prop Thomas Clarkson returned to club action as a replacement during Dublin University’s impressive 27-17 comeback victory at Lansdowne.

Hooker Tadgh McElroy, a short-term signing for Leinster, finished a series of pick-and-goes for Lansdowne’s opening try in the 12th minute.

Some slick interplay between centres Andy Marks and Conall Doherty was rewarded with a late try under the posts from scrum half Mike Walsh. That gave the hosts a 17-13 advantage at the turnaround.

Trinity’s only try of the first half saw lock Max Dunne, younger brother of Jack, gallop over on the quarter hour mark. But the division’s second-placed side turned the screw in the second half, helped by Clarkson’s introduction.

Full-back Colm Hogan continued his fine early season form and the visitors’ pack struck at crucial stages, Dunne breaking through for his second try near the hour mark.

Leinster tighthead Clarkson barged over with five minutes left to give the students a decisive 10-point cushion. They remain just a point behind Terenure.


SHANNON 21 CORK CONSTITUTION 36, Thomond Park back pitch
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: Ethan Coughlan 2, Eoin McCormack; Cons: Mike Cooke 3
Cork Constitution: Tries: Sean Duffy, Alessandro Heaney, Greg Higgins, Ian Leonard, Louis Kahn; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 4; Pen: Aidan Moynihan
HT: Shannon 21 Cork Constitution 12

SHANNON: John O’Sullivan; Jamie McGarry, Killian Dineen, Alan Flannery, Dan Hurley; Mike Cooke, Ethan Coughlan; Cathal Hynes, Alex Long, Luke Rigney, Jade Kriel, David Maher, Sean McCarthy (capt), Eoin McCormack, Lee Nicholas.
Replacements: Jordan Prenderville, Kieran Ryan, Conor Glynn, Kelvin Brown, Jack O’Donnell, Cian O’Halloran.

CORK CONSTITUTION: George Coomber; Bruce Matthews, Greg Higgins, Harry O’Riordan, Billy Crowley; Aidan Moynihan (capt), Louis Kahn; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Alessandro Heaney, Sean Duffy, Cathal O’Flaherty, Jack Kelleher, John Beamish, David Hyland.
Replacements: Tadgh McCarthy, Luke Masters, James Murphy, Matisse Lamarque d’Arrouzat, Ian Leonard, Michael Hand.

BALLYNAHINCH 3 CLONTARF 28, Ballymacarn Park
Scorers: Ballynahinch: Pen: Greg Hutley
Clontarf: Tries: Penalty try, Cormac Daly, Cian O’Donoghue, Conor Kearns; Cons: Pen try con, Conor Kelly 3
HT: Ballynahinch 3 Clontarf 0

BALLYNAHINCH: Rory Butler; Aaron Cairns, George Pringle, Mark Best, Ben Moxham; Greg Hutley, Conor McKee; George Saunderson, Claytan Milligan, Kyle McCall, James Simpson, Thomas Donnan (capt), Zack McCall, Bradley Luney, Jamie McCartney.
Replacements: John Dickson, Conor Piper, Kyle Gill, Matthew Connolly, Conor McAuley, Ben McMullan.

CLONTARF: Noah Sheridan; Seni Reilly Ashiru, Michael Courtney, Conor Kearns, Cian O’Donoghue; Conor Kelly, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Dylan Donnellan (capt), JP Phelan, Fionn Gilbert, Mick Kearney, Cormac Daly, JJ O’Dea, Tony Ryan.
Replacements: Aidan O’Kane, Darragh Bolger, Ed Kelly, Sam Owens, Ben Griffin.

Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Johnny Keane, Cian Hurley, JJ O’Neill; Cons: Tony Butler 2; Pens: Tony Butler 2
Terenure College: Tries: Matthew Bowen, Harrison Brewer, Craig Adams, Colm de Buitléar, Adam La Grue, Penalty try; Cons: Adam La Grue 3, Pen try con
HT: Garryowen 12 Terenure College 17

GARRYOWEN: Jamie Shanahan; JJ O’Neill, Matt Sheehan, Jack Delaney, Henry Buttimer; Tony Butler, Neil Cronin; Ben O’Sullivan, Max Clein, Darragh McCarthy, Oisin Cooke, Cian Hurley, Sean Rennison (capt), Johnny Keane, Brian Gleeson.
Replacements: Dean Fanning, Michael Veale, Des Fitzgerald, Jack Oliver, Tommy O’Hora, Mikey Sheahan.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Matthew Bowen, Colm de Buitléar, Peter Sylvester, Craig Adams; Callum Smith, Alan Bennie; Marcus Hanan, Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Michael Melia, Conall Boomer, Luke Clohessy, Jordan Coghlan.
Replacements: Sean McNulty, Campbell Classon, Craig Trenier, Matthew Caffrey, Cathal Marsh, Henry McErlean.

LANSDOWNE 17 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 27, Aviva Stadium back pitch
Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Tadgh McElroy, Mike Walsh; Cons: Peter Hastie 2; Pen: Peter Hastie
Dublin University: Tries: Max Dunne 2, Thomas Clarkson; Cons: Aran Egan 3; Pens: Aran Egan 2
HT: Lansdowne 17 Dublin University 13

LANSDOWNE: Michael Silvester; Peter Sullivan, Andy Marks, Conall Doherty, Cillian Redmond; Peter Hastie, Mike Walsh; Ben Popplewell, Tadgh McElroy, Temi Lasisi, Dan Murphy, Conor McMenamin, Joey Szpara, Clive Ross (capt), Donough Lawlor.
Replacements: Luke Thompson, Frank Kavanagh, Liam Forster, Jack Connolly, Charlie Tector, Sam Burns.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Colm Hogan; James Dillon, Louis McDonough, Gavin Jones, Liam McMahon; Aran Egan, Louis O’Reilly (capt); Paddy McCarthy, Lee Barron, Thomas Connolly, Max Dunne, Harry Sheridan, Diarmuid McCormack, Ruadhan Byron, Aaron Coleman.
Replacements: Mark Nicholson, Thomas Clarkson, Stephen Woods, Sean McCrohan, Cormac King, Hugh O’Kennedy.

Scorers: UCD: Try: Penalty try; Con: Pen try con; Pen: Chris Cosgrave
Young Munster: Tries: Chris Moore, Alan Kennedy; Cons: Conor Hayes 2; Pens: Conor Hayes 3
HT: UCD 10 Young Munster 3

UCD: Harry Donnelly; Alex O’Grady, Ben Brownlee, James Tarrant, Chris Cosgrave; Tim Corkery, Michael Moloney; Hugo O’Malley, Gus McCarthy, Ryan McMahon, Gerry Hill, Martin Fallon, Bobby Sheehan (capt), Bill Burns, Mark Fleming.
Replacements: Chris Hennessy, Evin Coyle, Jack Gardiner, Simon Burke, Rob Gilsenan, Joe Cronin.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Stephen Lyons; Conor Hayes, Fionn Gibbons, Evan O’Gorman, Shay McCarthy; Evan Cusack, Donnchadh O’Callaghan; Mike Tracey, Chris Moore, Conor Bartley, Tom Goggin, Eoin O’Connor, Alan Kennedy (capt), Ronan O’Sullivan, Bailey Faloon.
Replacements: George Jacobs, Paulo Leleisiuao, Sean Rigney, Conor Nesbitt, Jack Lyons, Harry Fleming.


CITY OF ARMAGH 24 OLD WESLEY 21, Palace Grounds
Scorers: City of Armagh: Tries: Shea O’Brien, James McCormick, Jack Hughes, Andrew Willis; Cons: Shea O’Brien, Kyle Faloon
Old Wesley: Tries: Harry Noonan, Eoin Deegan, Sam Pim; Cons: Ian Cassidy 3
HT: City of Armagh 19 Old Wesley 7

CITY OF ARMAGH: Kyle Faloon; Shea O’Brien, Matthew Hooks, Tim McNiece (capt), Dylan Nelson; Romain Morrow, Jack Hughes; Jonny Morton, James McCormick, Paul Mullen, Frank Bradshaw-Ryan, Josh McKinley, John Glasgow, Nigel Simpson, Ryan O’Neill.
Replacements: Jack Treanor, Marcel Nel, Neil Faloon, James Crummie, Evin Crummie, Andrew Willis.

OLD WESLEY: Alex Molloy; Tommy O’Callaghan, James O’Donovan, Eoin Deegan, David Poff; Ian Cassidy, Keith Kavanagh; Harry Noonan, Howard Noonan, Sam Kenny, Will Fay, Iain McGann (capt), Sam Pim, Josh O’Hare, Reuben Pim.
Replacements: Finn Tierney, Michael Kearney, Brian Short, Dom Maclean, Josh Miller, Ben Daly.

HIGHFIELD 14 BUCCANEERS 17, Woodleigh Park
Scorers: Highfield: Tries: James French, Penalty try; Cons: James Taylor, Pen try con
Buccaneers: Tries: Josh O’Connor, Will Reilly; Cons: Stephen Mannion 2; Pen: Stephen Mannion
HT: Highfield 7 Buccaneers 7

HIGHFIELD: Mark McLoughlin; Ben Murphy, Cian Bohane, David O’Sullivan, Gavin O’Leary; James Taylor, Richard Cassidy; Cillian Buckley, Travis Coomey, James French, Sean Garrett, Dave O’Connell (capt), Eddie Earle, Amhlaoibh Porter, Miah Cronin.
Replacements: Robert Murphy, Daragh Fitzgerald, Aidan Keane, Mark Fitzgibbon, Chris Banon, Shane Buckley.

BUCCANEERS: Shane Jennings; Josh O’Connor, Shane Layden, Stephen Mannion, Saul O’Carroll; Ruaidhri Fallon, Frankie Hopkins; Matthew Burke, Steveni Lombard, Martin Staunton (capt), Ruairi Byrne, Fergus Galvin, Sean O’Connell, Darragh Murray, Oisin McCormack.
Replacements: Darren Browne, Sam Illo, Cian McCann, Will Reilly, Tom Shine, Orrin Burgess.

MALONE 27 BANBRIDGE 24, Gibson Park
Scorers: Malone: Tries: Declan Moore, Aaron Sexton, Ben Gibson, Peter Caves; Cons: Rory Campbell 2; Pen: Rory Campbell
Banbridge: Tries: Ben Carson 2, Josh Cromie; Cons: James Humphreys 3; Pen: James Humphreys
HT: Malone 8 Banbridge 21

MALONE: Aaron Sexton; Rory Campbell, Ben Gibson, Yasser Omar, Andy Bryans; Shane Kelly, Zach Shore; Ben Halliday, Declan Moore, Ricky Greenwood, Neill Alcorn, Adam McNamee, Daryl Maxwell, Dave Cave (capt), Stuart Dodington.
Replacements: Dan Kerr, Lawson Porter, James McAlister, Michael Crothers, Ryan Lindsay, Peter Caves.

BANBRIDGE: Adam Doherty; Josh Cromie, Andrew Morrison, Ben Carson, Cameron Millar; James Humphreys, Neil Kilpatrick; Michael Cromie, Arthur Allen, Ryan Emerson, Matthew Laird, Max Lyttle, Robin Sinton, Peter Cromie (capt), Greg Jones.
Replacements: John Wilson, Ross Haughey, Quentin Verhagen, Jake Smyth, Lewis Nelmes, Ross Cartmill.

OLD BELVEDERE 25 NAAS 22, Ollie Campbell Park
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Joe White 2, Jayden Beckett; Cons: Mick O’Kennedy, Justin Leonard; Pens: Mick O’Kennedy, Justin Leonard
Naas: Tries: Oscar Cawley, Donal Conroy, Andrew Osborne; Cons: Craig Ronaldson, Bryan Croke; Pen: Bryan Croke
HT: Old Belvedere 10 Naas 12

OLD BELVEDERE: David Wilkinson; Ariel Robles, Jayden Beckett, Justin Leonard, Joe White; Mick O’Kennedy, Conall Bird; Jamie Mulhern, Calum Dowling, James Bollard (capt), Paddy Dowling, Fionn McWey, Will McDonald, Tom Mulcair, Kale Thatcher.
Replacements: Cian Cunningham, Anthony O’Donnell, Darragh O’Callaghan, Oran O’Brien, Briain Leonard, David Lynch.

NAAS: Mark McDermott; Andrew Osborne, Henry Smith, Craig Ronaldson, Donal Conroy; Bryan Croke, Oscar Cawley; Adam Coyle, Conor Doyle, Peter King, Paul Monahan (capt), Patrick O’Flaherty, Eoin Walsh, Will O’Brien, Ryan Casey.
Replacements: Nato Kiripati, Jack Barry, Sean O’Brien, Muiris Cleary, Connor Halpenny, Charlie Sheridan.

UCC 25 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 20, the Mardyke
Scorers: UCC: Tries: Louis Bruce, Sean Condon, Killian Coghlan; Cons: Daniel Squires 2; Pens: Daniel Squires 2
St. Mary’s College: Tries: Adam McEvoy, Jack Reidy Walsh, Richie Halpin; Con: Mick O’Gara; Pen: Mick O’Gara
HT: UCC 7 St. Mary’s College 17

UCC: Louis Bruce (capt); Sean Condon, Killian Coghlan, Daniel Squires, Joe O’Leary; Cian Whooley, Andrew O’Mahony; Corey Hanlon, Billy Kingston, Daniel McCarthy, Sam O’Sullivan, Aidan Brien, Peter Hyland, Jacob Sheahan, Jack O’Sullivan.
Replacements: Danny Sheahan, Rory Duggan, Mark Bissessar, Patrick McBarron, Rian O’Donoghue, Johnny Murphy.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Conor Hickey; Hugo Conway, Mark Fogarty, Mick O’Gara, Steven Kilgallen; Conor Dean, Adam McEvoy; Adam Mulvihill, Richie Halpin, Jack Reidy Walsh, Peter Starrett, Liam Corcoran, Daniel Leane, Ronan Watters (capt), Ronan Foley.
Replacements: Daniel Lyons, Padraig Dundon, Harry MacDonald, Ethan Baxter, Andrew Walsh, Tim MacMahon, Billy Hamilton, Hugh Lane.


Nenagh Ormond 20 Cashel 36, New Ormond Park (played on Friday)
Blackrock College 31 Old Crescent 19, Stradbrook
MU Barnhall 18 Queen’s University 20, Parsonstown
Navan 29 Dolphin 12, Balreask Old
UL Bohemians 20 Ballymena 24, UL Arena


Belfast Harlequins 38 Galwegians 22, Deramore Park
Dungannon 28 Wanderers 17, Stevenson Park
Galway Corinthians 17 Greystones 45, Corinthian Park
Malahide 12 Enniscorthy 12, Estuary Road
Sligo 13 Rainey Old Boys 14, Hamilton Park


Bruff 7 Skerries 15, Kilballyowen Park
Clonmel 18 Tullamore 21, Spafield
Instonians 26 Bangor 20, Shaw’s Bridge
Midleton 28 Omagh Academicals 26, Towns Park
Sunday’s Well 27 Ballina 9, Musgrave Park

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel