McCorry Cup Final UCD U20A 30 Clontarf FC 13 at St Mary’s College RFC

03 May 2017

Sunday, April 30th 2017

Both teams came into this Charlie McCorry Cup Final with convincing semi-final wins, UCD saw off Navan 55-10 and Clontarf won 43-10 against Trinity.  However it was UCD who picked up their first Under 20’s trophy since 2013 with this impressive and deserved victory yesterday at Templeville Road.

The earlier winds had abated but the rain which fell throughout made for difficult ball-handling and early mistakes were plentiful. Determined to take the game to UCD, Clontarf started brightest and were full value for the 9th minute penalty given for an offside offence after a series of pick-and-go’s and slotted by centre Conor Jennings.The UCD pack then began to assert their dominance ably led by mercurial hooker Matt O’Donovan, with Jack Regan, Ben Murray and Ronan Foley carrying and clearing out rucks to provide good quality ball for scrum-half Niall O’Neill.  The first try of the match came when O’Donovan carried from a line-out and following quick hands from out-half Ciaran Frawley and centre Gavin Mullin an overlap was created for winger Tim Carroll to crash over in the left corner. Frawley added the conversion.With UCD back-row being kept on their toes by the busy Clontarf half-backs Andrew Feeney and Mark O’Sullivan it was left to UCD centes Colm Mulcahy, Mullin and full-back Tim Foley to thwart the threats posed by the Clontarf backs, in particular fleet-footed wingers Seni Reilly Ashiru and James O’Kane.On 29 minutes UCD’s Frawley executed a beautifully weighted cross-field kick when spotting that the Clontarf cover sucked in centrally to defend, he picked out flanker Ben Murray who never broke stride for a corner touch-down and a 12-3 lead to UCD.Frawley added a penalty (15-3) following a Clontarf yellow card for Clontarf prop Geoff Chapman before Jennings reduced the lead with a 40th minute penalty for offside. Half-time: UCD 15 Clontarf 6.

For the 10 minutes following the break, Clontarf produced their best rugby and strong carries from Dylan Murray, Hugh Fenlon and Michael Sweeney created opportunities for centre Sean O’Brien and winger O’Kane. However the UCD defence refused to be breached and the siege was lifted. Then when the ball was shifted downfield and the Northsiders were penalised for not releasing, Frawley popped over the 25 metre penalty.The pivotal point of the game came on 55 minutes when a 19-phase period of Clontarf pressure in the UCD 22 was brought to a halt when Feeney’s intended long skip-pass was brilliantly read by Frawley who raced the 80 metres to the line with Ashiru gaining on him all the time but he touched down just as he was caught under the posts (25-6).As bodies tired and both coaches emptied their respective benches the game loosened up noticeably and Clontarf’s Dan McCaffrey burrowed over for a 73rd minute converted try (25-13). It was UCD though who finished off the scoring when, fittingly, the departing Jack Regan burst through the now-exhausted Clontarf cover and crashed over. On behalf of his team, Collidge captain Niall O’Neill accepted the Cup from Leinster Vice-President Mr Niall Rynne

The match was a fitting tribute to Leinster Under 20 age-grade rugby and referee Helen O’Reilly certainly added to the enjoyment of the game with her competent no-fuss officiating.

UCD: 15 Tim Foley; 14 Tim Costigan; 13 Gavin Mullin; 12 Colm Mulcahy; 11 Tim Carroll; 10 Ciaran Frawley; 9 Niall O’Neill (Capt); 1 Rory Mulvihill; 2 Matt O’Donovan; 3 Sam Griffin; 4 Jack Regan; 5 Alec Byrne; 6 Jonny Guy; 7 Ben Murray; 8 Ronan Foley. Replacements: 16 Alex Holmes; 17 Emmet Burns; 18 Richie Mouatt; 19 Niall Marshall; 20 David Pogatchnik; 21 Tom Foley; 22 Jack Ringrose.