Two games go ahead in Tom D’Arcy Cup second round
February 21, 2022 2:09 pm Site Editor
The stormy weather wiped out six of the eight second round matches in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Tom D’Arcy Cup on Saturday.
A decision has been taken to reschedule the remaining ties for next Saturday.
In the meantime, Tullamore and Tullow both overcame the disadvantage of travelling to Portlaoise and Skerries, respectively, to make it into the quarter-finals.
Portlaoise 29 Tullamore 31
Jimmy Hyland emerged as the hero when striking a conversion to take Tullamore into the quarter-final at Togher on Saturday.
It was even more heart-breaking than it appeared for Portlaoise as the home club got out to a perfect start, Matthew Coonan slotting a third-minute penalty.
This was the basis for a period of domination, with flankers Glenn Connolly and Cian Coffey prominent, that was driven home by centre Sean Ward, after a break by left-wing Mikie Daly, in the 11th minute.
It got even better when openside Coffey pierced the defence from a quick penalty, Coonan converting, for a 15-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Tullamore began to come into the game, centre Mark Gowing making a big impact off the bench to pick up their first try.
Still, there was little sign of the drama to come as Coffey pinched his second touchdown, converted by Coonan.
Although, the Offaly club’s scrum-half Adam Molloy demonstrated his influence, after missing most of the season, with a smart finish to make it a manageable 22-10 to Portlaoise at the break.
Hyland, on his return from injury, stepped up in a big way, showing the running skills to go with reliability from placed balls in beating the cover for converted tries in the 40th and 53rd minutes, respectively, to turn the game on its head, putting Tullamore two points in front.
It was a credit to both clubs that they never gave an inch, Portlaoise recovering the lead on the hour mark when full-back James Kidd ghosted over.
However, Tullamore had the composure to make their way into the 22, lock Calvin Mahon doing trojan work, where No 8 Joel Troy cracked the cover on the right.
It all came down to the last kick of the match, 10 metres in from the touchline and into the teeth of the wind, Hyland arrowing a kick through the sticks in impressive fashion to complete a personal total of 16 points.
Scorers – Portlaoise: C Coffey two tries; S Ward, J Kidd try each; M Coonan pen, three cons. Tullamore: J Hyland two tries, three cons; M Gowing, A Molloy, J Troy try each.
Portlaoise – James Kidd; Luke Walsh, Sean Ward, Brian Keane, Mikie Daly; Matthew Coonan, Marc Bracken; Corey Bartley, Dara Phelan (capt), Brian Barry, Darragh Davies, Adam Breen, Glen Connolly, Cian Coffey, Ronan Donlon.
Replacements: Daniel Fingleton, Stephen Delaney, Billy Kerry, Liam McNulty.
Tullamore – Jimmy Hyland; Josh Downes, Oisin Murphy, Daire Early, Andrew Jaffray; Rory Lynch (capt), Adam Molloy; James Martin, Eoin Gavigan, Calym Dunne, Finley O’Brien, Jamie Rowan, Liam Dunne, Mark Devine, Joel Troy.
Replacements: Calvin Mahon, Dylan Dunican, Sean Gavigan, Mark Gowing, Fionan Redmond.
Skerries 22 Tullow 27
Skerries and Tullow went toe-to-toe at windy Holmpatrick in another back-and-forth encounter that began with a try by Tullow flanker Ben Lawless.
The hometown backline was stripped of centres Tom Grehan and James Downes and wing Christian Mason which had a hand in their game plan.
Nonetheless, the north Dublin club countered with a try by No 8 Craig Joyce as the forwards took on the mantle of responsibility.
Of course, there is nothing Tullow like more than the battle in the trenches that ensued as the wind made the wide game a calculated gamble at best.
Flanker Mark McDermott put the visitors in the driving seat again as the tight-five knuckled down to their traditional driving game.
It was at this point the home side took the lead for the first and only time from hooker Daragh McEneaney’s five-pointer, converted by Ronan Winters for 12-10 in the 28th minute.
The end-to-end play continued, the mistakes offering up opportunities, the next falling to Tullow out-half Adam Johnson, converting his own try for 17-12 at the break.
The decisive move came off the back of big carries by tight-head prop Adam Deay, No 8 Fionn Hickey and blindside Lawless as the Tullow pack imposed their will.
All the hard work was the basis for back-to-back tries by scrum-half Paddy Doyle and centre Ben Butler to make it 27-12, a three-score game.
The refusal of Skerries to back down drove a fourth-quarter fightback, centre Billy Carroll, Joyce and McEneaney all playing a leading role.
It produced tries by prop Matthew Concannon-Payne in the 65th minute and Josh Ericson at the death that were a better reflection of the overall flow of the game.
Scorers – Skerries: C Joyce, D McEneaney, M Concannon-Payne, J Ericson try each; R Winters con. Tullow: A Johnson try, con; B Lawless, M McDermott, P Doyle, B Butler try each;
Skerries – Joshua Ericson; Gavin Weldon, Billy Carroll, Ben McKiernan, Calum Phelan; Ronan Winters, Darrah McDonald; Owen McNamara, Darragh McEneaney, Matthew Concannon-Payne, Peter Groome, Andrew Tyrrell, James Heaney, Senan Moore, Craig Joyce.
Replacements: James Butler, Ethan Shannon, James Downes.
Tullow – Cormac Nolan; Shane Murphy, Conor Kelly, Ben Butler, Adam Burgess; Adam Johnson, Patrick Doyle; Conor Elliot, Jack Fitzgerald-Rogers, Adam Deay, Fiach Kavanagh, Tom Byrne, Ben Lawless, Mark McDermott, Fionn Hickey.
Replacements: Tom Ellington, Eoin Brophy, Clark Burgess, James Walsh, Adam Nolan, Ryan Byrne.