AIL dream ends for Richmond

Richmond’s dreams of returning to senior were ended on Saturday when they were beaten by Leinster champions Skerries in.

Richmond’s dreams of returning to senior were ended on Saturday when they were beaten by Leinster champions Skerries in.

PLAYED before the largest attendance at this venue for some time, Richmond suffered a second successive defeat in the AIL Round Robin at the Canal Bank last Saturday.

They were well in it at the break, trailing by just four points, but failing to put points on the board from good striking positions, they conceded a penalty and a try in the third quarter that sealed a second victory in this season’s qualifier series for the Dublin side.

With the home team hoping for a good start to this play-off game, it was Skerries who got first blood with back-row Mark Nally powering over for a try which they failed to convert.

The Leinster junior champions then jumped into an 11-0 lead with successive penalties from Conal Keane, whose partnership with his brother, former Leinster scrum-half Chris, provided an effective half-back combination for the visitors throughout.

Richmond had their best period after that with their scrum enjoying superiority and after a succession of set pieces, they were awarded a penalty try which Dara Clancy converted with ease.

That was to be the home side’s only reward for an otherwise gutsy performance and had they succeeded in converting the second half pressure they exerted on their opponents into scores, they could have been much closer to their more fancied opponents at the end.

Skerries sealed it with a third Keane penalty and their second try scored by winger Kevin McGrath to deprive the home side of a losing bonus point.

Richmond were well served on this occasion by a strong front-row of Alex Simpson, Pat Humphreys and Pat McNamara while Dara Clancy at out-half and skipper Gearoid Phelan also put in decent performances.

With Ulster representatives Clogher Valley beating Monivea 21-20 the same afternoon in the other round robin AIL qualifying tie. Richmond are out of contention ahead of their final game against Clogher Valley as they have no points from two games and can’t catch Monivea, who are on six, even if they get a bonus point against the Ulster champions.

They will have home advantage for that qualifier against Clogher Valley but their last chance of more success this season is in the Transfield Cup.

Overall it was an improved performance by the Canal Bank side from their outing against Monivea just seven days earlier, against a Dublin outfit that had obviously recruited a number of experienced players with a view to gaining promotion to senior ranks before the end of this season.

RICHMOND - Jeffrey McNamara; Emmett Harty, Gareth O’Hanlon, Stephen Clancy, Mike O’Friel; Dara Clancy, Mossy O’Connor; Pat McNamara, Pat Humphreys, Alex Simpson; Sean Bennett, Barry Woods; James Hayes, Tomas Galvin, Gearoid Phelan.

SKERRIES - David Quirke; Paul Devitt, Ed Caraher, Ross Dempsey, Kevin McGrath; Conal Keane, Chris Keane; Ross McAuley, Kevin O’Connell, Thomas O’Hare; Rick O’Mahony, Joe Glennon; James Ngatupuna, Chris Tonge, Mark Nally.

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