Cill Dara Pay The Penalty
With all 24 points in the match scored from the boot, one might think this was a drab game but it was far from dull.
Cill Dara played host to second placed Malahide in the 4th round of the Leinster League Division 1B on Sunday and the encounter kept spectators enthralled for the full 80 minutes.
The Dublin visitors play an attractive brand of rugby and were sitting in second place in the league prior to this encounter. Cill Dara, on the other hand, had started the campaign slowly with only one win from three. This is not surprising though as the new coaching ticket of Aidan Tyrell and Cill Dara stalwart, Chris Moore, need time to remould the team.
Dara started brightly and were 3-0 up within four minutes courtesy of a sweetly struck penalty by their New Zealand scrum-half, Tyron Davis. Malahide had a chance to equalise ten minutes later after the home team strayed offside but the kick was missed. Their out-half, Brendan Carpenter, made no mistake with a second opportunity minutes later and the teams were level at 3-3.
Davis missed a penalty kick on 23 minutes after a Malahide rucking infringement and Cill Dara would rue that miss as Carpenter knocked over another penalty near the end of the first half, sending Malahide into the break with a deserved 3-6 lead. The North Dublin club had played the better rugby throughout and only rarely had Cill Dara got out of their half, relying on their well organised defence to keep Malahide try-less.
With former Leinster U.20 scrum-half, Hugo Nolan, pulling the strings, Malahide began the second half just as strong. Their centre partnership was gaining them good yardage and Cill Dara were feeling the pressure, conceding kickable penalties. Carpenter duly obliged in the 42nd and 52nd minutes and Malahide were starting to pull away with a 3-12 lead.
Whether it was harsh words or the nine point gap, Cill Dara seemed rejuvenated for the final quarter of the game. Their intensity and tempo increased and Malahide, at last, began to struggle. Dara lock, Billy O’Shea, had the visitor’s try-line at his mercy but agonisingly knocked the ball on at the crucial moment. Cill Dara’s scrum-half, Davis, missed a kickable penalty in the 59th minute but almost immediately made amends by knocking over a 61st minute kick to close the gap to six; 6-12.
Soon after, another string of Cill Dara phases looked certain to reward them with a try but, again, the ball was knocked-on at a ruck when one more pass would have yielded at least five, if not seven points for the hosts.
Carpenter scored Malahide’s fifth penalty in the 73rd minute but crucially for Cill Dara, Davis replied four minutes later to secure a losing bonus point for the Kildare club. Small consolation after a 9-15 home defeat but Dara’s improved second half performance deserved some reward.
Although Cill Dara lies in 6th position in the league, only seven points separate them and the league leaders. They face a tough task next Sunday with a trip to Mullingar but there are signs that the new coaching structure with the Kildare club will soon pay dividends.
Cill Dara RFC Team: 1. Aaron Coraway, 2. Ger Moore, 3. Owen Donegan, 4. Billy O’Shea 5. Colm McGroary, 6. Paudie Wall, 7. Jack Kennedy, 8. Damian Broughall, 9. Tyron Davis, 10. Paddy Behan, 11. Peter O’Neill, 12. Paddy Ryan, 13. Jack Ryan, 14. James O’Loughlin, 15. Peter Howard.