Round four of the Bank of Ireland U-17 Shane Horgan Cup kicked off today at Energia Park with North Midlands taking on North East and Midlands facing Metro.

This was another opportunity for players to impress ahead of the Leinster Club side which will be selected this summer.

North Midlands 40 North East 19

The North Midlands put in their best performance of the Shane Horgan Cup to unseat previously unbeaten North East at Energia Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The winners made an encouraging start, Dylan O’Keefe breaking out of defence, Jake Darcy and Ola McCullough using their footwork to good effect.

However, they were given a lesson in finishing off their good work when North East centre Luke Carley shot up the left and Cathal Magee took the final pass for the lead try, converted by Carley in the seventh minute.

They were unable to protect their advantage when NM wing PJ Larkin smartly picked off an interception for James Harris’s conversion to level it up.

Next, Darcy was alert enough to snatch possession inside his own 22 and NM were soon on the attack where Darcy shot through a hole for a fine try, converted by Harris for 14-7 in the 17th minute.

A 50-metre burst from Eoin Clarke was cut short by Oisin Hegarty, the cavalry arriving in time for centre O’Keefe to make the line in the 26th minute.

When Darcy broke out from another interception, the out-half almost went the length of the pitch, the speedy Hegarty closing him down.

But, a flat offload was hacked on and touched down by Harris in impressive fashion, the full-back’s extras making it 26-7 at the half.

This must have come as something of a surprise to the North-East. Their reaction was just what the coaches would have ordered.

Centres Tim Deering and Luke Carley took play into the danger zone for replacement Morgan O’Reilly to ground the ball, Carley adding the conversion in the 40th minute.

NM were on the verge of striking back when Lincoln de Year grabbed a loose ball and initiated a counter-attack.

The problem was North-East were not as decisive as they had been in the early minutes, attacks breaking down due to passes going to ground

When they did achieve continuity, replacement Alex Hermitage could not quite get around the outside.

No matter, Jamie Byrne sniped the short side from a 5-metre scrum for another NE try to make it a one-score game on the hour mark. It was as close as they would get.

NM’s Karl Hartfiel made ground up the left until James Corcoran’s sound tackle ended that attack.

Full-back James Harris escaped the 22 on a promising break that put them in the right position for Eoin Clarke to round the cover for a fifth try, Harris’s extras making it 33-19 in the 64th minute.

The issue was sealed when they built nicely down the left for the close-in work of Jack Kelly to bring the sixth try, followed by Harris’s conversion on the final whistle.


North Midlands 40 –  (J Harris try, 5 cons; J Darcy, PJ Larkin, D O’Keefe, E Clarke, J Kelly try each);

North East 19 – (C Magee, M O’Reilly, J Byrne try each; L Carley 2 cons).

North-Midlands  – James  Harris (Athy); PJ Larkin (Portlaoise), Dylan O’Keefe (Newbridge), Lochlann Cawley (Naas), Ola McCullough (Cill Dara); Jake Darcy, Dylan Kelly (both Portlaoise); Oisin Bannon (Cill Dara), Dylan O’Sullivan (Clondalkin), Scott O’Keefe (Newbridge); Nathan Yap (Clane), Eanna Duffy (Naas); David Moore (North Kildare), Eoin Clarke (Cille Dara), Jude Kehoe (Naas).

Replacements – Jake Andrews (Portlaoise), Jack Kelly (Clane), Sean Walshe (North Kildare), Max Gaynor (Newbridge), John Murray (Naas), Samual Ryan (Cill Dara), Tom Dunne (Cill Dara), James Corcoran (Athy), Darragh Farrell (Athy).

North-East – Oisin Hegarty (Skerries); Cathal Magee (Balbriggan), Tim Deering (Skerries), Luke Carley (Boyne), Karl Hartfiel (Balbriggan); Tadgh Duff (Boyne), Paddy Kelly (Skerries);

Oisin McNamara (Balbriggan), James Canning (Dundalk), Jude Woods (Boyne); Cathal Halpenny (Ashbourne), Enda O’Brien (Ashbourne); Oisin Cunningham (Ratoath), Orama Daurezini (Boyne), Lincoln De Year (Boyne).

Replacements – Morgan O’Reilly (Boyne), Sean Lambe (Ashbourne), Sean Lambe (Ashbourne), Jamie Byrne (Boyne), Alex Hermitage (Boyne), Dan Holmes (Boyne), Dan Colgan (Ratoath).


Midlands 52 Metro 14

Midlands marched to an impressive 8-try win over Metro in the Leinster Shane Horgan at Energia Park on Tuesday afternoon.

They made it their business to start out on the front-foot, prop Daragh Brennan making the first impression before Conor Moore played the creator and Simon Drea the finisher in a stunning attack in the third minute.

They kept the foot down collectively, the attack narrowing as they got closer to the line. Hooker Jack Hanlon’s quick pick-and drive undid Metro, Rory Allen converting for 12-0 in the 11th minute.

Metro needed something to work from and a penalty provided the territory they were hunting. A powerful maul split the defence and captain Shane Moore plunged over for Will Saunders to convert.

This led to an immediate injection of confidence, out-half Saunders looking to bring right-wing Adam Gray into the game.

A tremendous tackle by Gray on full-back Dean Broderick turned defence into attack for Metro. They just didn’t have the control to make it count.

A blistering burst by Conor Moore was the prompt for a flurry of passes to put out-half Allen closing in on the line until Mark Cleary came to the rescue in the right corner.

The Midlands were not about to let Metro off the hook and prop Daragh Brennan’s bulk was too much to handle close to the line, Allen converting from the right for 19-7 in the 29th minute.

Then, tight-head Brennan, previously played at number eight, had the speed to beat the first line and fend off Cleary’s tackle for another converted try to make it 26-7 at the break.

Hugh Dummer’s energy was key to Metro’s better start to the second-half, the scrum-half even coming through a ruck to spoil Paidi Gorman.

Flanker Jack Boyan was another to generate metres, bumping off defenders down the standside and centre Moore’s footwork was fancy enough to earn the next try, converted by Allen for 33-7 in the 42nd minute.

Metro looked to their lineout for comfort and for the platform to drive a maul up the guts, hooker Sean Kearney touching down for Saunders to convert from wide left.

A typically tenacious carry from openside Boyan was the basis for a well-fashioned try finished by replacement Tom Sveinty.

Surprising footwork by Brennan and a more direct surge by Sveinty opened the door for Allen to eat up the ground for a superb score, the out-half converting with ease for 45-14 in the 52nd minute.

The game was opening up due to the tiring bodies, Brennan exploding for 40 metres without the support to maintain the attack.

Centre Gavin Keane made headway up the right and Metro moved the ball sweetly across the line for Luke Ingle to take off for a big gain before Cleary stopped him in his tracks.

Another carry by Brennan was good to take Midlands over halfway. Paidi Gorman was the spark behind the pack and Sam Mills powered through two tackles for the final converted try



Midlands – D Brennan 2 tries; R Allen try, 6 cons; S Mills, S Moore, S Drea, J Hanlon, T Sveinty try each.

Metro – S Moore, S Kearney try each; W Saunders 2 cons.


Midlands – Dean Broderick (Midlands Warriors); Jack Burns (Tullamore), Conor Moore (Mullingar), Simon Drea (Tullamore), Jude Audd (Mullingar); Rory Allen (Edenderry), Peter Feeley (Tullamore); James Buckley (Tullamore), Jack Hanlon (Edenderry), Daragh Brennan, Ciaran Crowley (both Tullamore), Arthur Lazor (Mullingar), Jack Kenny (Tullamore),  Jack Boyan (Mullingar), Sam Mills (Longford).

Replacements – Tom Sveinty (Mullingar), Paidi Gorman (Edenderry), Sean Brennan (Tullamore), Eoin Powell-Murtagh (Longford), Patrick Dooley (Birr), Jack Bates (Tullamore).

Metro – Mark Cleary; Adam Gray, Edgar Kucinkas, Gavin Keane (all MU Barnhall), Remi Pruvost (Clontarf); Will Saunders (DLSP), Hugh Dummer (Suttonians); Gordon Tracey (St Mary’s College), Sean Kearney, Reuben McCormack; Hugh Donegan (all MU Barnhall), Guilhermo Neto (Clontarf); Shane Stokes (DLSP), Ethan Fennell (MU Barnhall), Shane Moore (Coolmine, Capt).

Replacements –  Joshua Boyens (MUB arnhall), Luke Ingle (Suttonians), Conor Toomey (Clontarf), Ruaidhri Smith (MU Barnhall).