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McMullen Cup LIVEBLOG: Ardee CS vs Good Counsel

The Ardee CS team are back at Donnybrook Stadium. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie
Hey! Welcome to our live blog coverage of the McMullen Cup final between Ardee Community School and Good Counsel. Sadly, there was no happy ending for Ardee Community School. They fell 60-15 to Good Counsel New Ross. Despite a super crowd of support from Ardee and a resolute second half show, they just couldn’t keep pace with a brilliant New Ross.


Thanks for following with us We’ll have photos and reaction over the next few days on ThisIsArdee.ie so keep an eye out. Bye!


That’s where we’ll leave you folks. We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of today’s final. We’d have preferred a better result, but that’s the way it is sometimes. The strides made in rugby at Ardee Community School are tremendous andthat should not be forgotten any time soon. There’s some serious players in that squad.

The medal presentations are just taking place now. The ver gracious losers Ardee Community School have accepted their runners-up medals and now it’s the turn of the winners – Good Counsel New Ross.

FULL TIME: It’s all over Good Counsel New Ross win the McMullen Cup by a score of 60-10. Real disappointment for Ardee Community School.

70: Try Ardee! Joe Mullholland is over again! It’s 60-15.

69: Score kicked for Good Counsel. It’s 60-10. Honestly, it must be so hard for the young players got to lose their drive here with the game out of sight. They’re doing commendably well.

68: A rare line out down by the Ardee end line here but Andy Robb’s side escape….

67: Taylor Diamond replaced Barry Cousins earlier. Now Jake Finlay, Liam Hoey and Patrick Cotter are all getting a run out here at Donnybrook Stadium. Paul Bashford also on – meaning the entire 23 man panel has seen action today.

67: Their 13 is lightning quick and he showed it there to extend New Ross’ lead to 57-10. It’s unconverted.

66 min: Wanna see Joe go over for Ardee CS’ second try? Here he is – as captured excellently by Adrian Crawley.

65: No doubt about the next one though. This time it’s the Good Counsel hooker that gets in for a try. Super kick from 7 for the conversion.

59: TRY ARDEE! This time, it’s down the right flank and Joe Mullholland gets it. He deserves it after his showing today. He capitaises on a loss of possession and is off. Can’t be caught even by GC’s speedster 13. It looked as if Conor Hennessy can concerted from the ten metre line, but apparently not. 45-10.

55: No sooner is it 40-5, New Ross GC go over at the opposite end. Their 11 did the damage. 10’s conversion attempt falls short.

49: TRY ARDEE! Andrew Bingham gets it. After Gillespie and Bakekolo are denied through the middle, Ardee work it wide and Bingham just squeezes it in at at the flag. Conor Hennessy has narrowly missed the conversion attempt from the touchline.

47: Super stuff from Conor Gillespie. He collects his one forward kick as Ardee make some ground. James Reilly goes close. His brother Conor in the stand and Neil on the touchline urge him on.

43: And the New Ross number 15 is over again for another try. This time, and for the first time today, there’s no conversion. It was wide right on the 10 metre line. Tough task.

43: As we see another scrum here in midfield, this was the scene at half time. Ardee were in no doubt as to their task.

39 min: And again more handling issues and lax play lets the Wexford boys in. Danny Morse is rounded on the outside and the speedy number 17 for GC gets in for the try. It’s converted and it’s 35-0.

39 min: The crowd love it here when the big prop Cyr takes a run at the New Ross backline. Nothing comes of it though….

36: Cian Taaffe’s race is run. Danny Morse has replaced him. We’re back underway.

Half-time here. Good Counself 28-0 Ardee CS. Not going great in truth. 

35: And I should have mentioned, Conor Hennessy is back in the action. He’s replaced scrum half Colm Murphy.

35: Every time GC get the ball, they look like making serious ground on their opponents. So dangerous. They’re lightning. Fair to say they’re incredibly efficient with the ball when they have it. Less probing, more darting forward. Ardee struggling to plug the gaps.

35: Ardee penalty goes into the corner from just inside the 22. For obvious reasons.

33: Not getting much better here for Ardee. Counsel’s lighnting quick outside centre dashes away from Mullholland and and gets over the line. It was a close run thing for a time, but he had the pace. It’s converted and Ardeee now trail 28-0.

30: So close! Joe Mullholland is stopped on the line after play is worked from right to left. Decent move. Then Thomas Gillespie makes a dash but heis denied. Looked for all the world that Ardee were in for their first try. Not yet.

28: 19-0 now. GC’S right wing got away down the flank. He skipped past Dixon. Rather than go for the corner, he went inside and despite a great challenge by Lorcan Dixon, their blindisde was there to take the ball on and score the try. That’s converted and now it’s 21-0.

25 min: John Commins has entered the fray for tighthead Tadgh Callan.

22: Now Andrew Bingham gets the crowd going for Ardee after beating a few men down that same side. Good distance made. Meanwhile, Lorcan Dixon is in for Conor Hennessy who is still feeling that earlier injury.

18 min: Best moment of the match for Ardee as Joe Mulholland steals in nd makes hay down the left only for his run to be brought to an end by the GC full back. Ardee work it across the field in their best advance yet but nothing comes of it.

17 min: There’s plenty of support for for Ardee here, not just from the school but from the whole town- including Ardee Rugby Club.

15 min: Conor Gillespie’s free kick doesn’t travel up the line as far as he’d like and Ardee CS are under the cosh once more hear. Good Counsel are getting the run on them.

14 min: Arguably the biggest cheer of the match so far – for either side – as big Cyr Bakekolo brings a halt to a GC advance in characteristically muscular style.

10: Disaster for Ardee! Good Counsel’s 10 leaves Andrew Bingham grounded and he surges into the space through the middle for the the try. It’s converted and the Wexford boys lead 14-0.

9 min: A couple of handling errors in midfield means possession is traded in quicksuccession in the middle of the park.

6 min: Conor Hennessy getting some early treatement for a knock. He’ll run that off I’m sure.

4: That early try is converted and it’s 8-0 inside five minutes. Good early score for GC but plenty of time left in this one.

3 min: Conor Hennessey made some timely early interventions but GC made strong ground in the opening attack and they’ve gone over. 5-0 to the men from Wexford. The try scorer is down and is some discomfort at the moment.

1 min: Adrian spotted some clourful costumes in the crowd before kick-off!

KICK OFF: Good Counsel get us underway!

PRE-MATCH: We’re seconds away from kick off here. Both teams are on the pitch. The Ardee fans are undoubtedly in greater voice early on.

PHOTO: Actually, before I go, here’s the lads warming up.

PRE-MATCH: The game gets underway in just over 30 minutes time. It’s quite cloudy overheard here so let’s see what the weather has in store for us. I’m off for a coffee, I’ll be back closer to kick off. Keep it here!

PRE-MATCH: Here’s how Ardee CS are lining up today. Conor Hennessy captains the side at 12 with ten of the players that started last year’s Anne McInerney Cup Final back in again at Donnybrook. An 11th, John Commins, is among the replacements.

PRE-MATCH: Today’s referee is the experienced Leinster Rugby official Berney White.

PRE-MATCH: The whole town is getting behind the team today, not just teachers and pupils. Check out this great window from the Irish Wheelchair Association Shop.

PRE-MATCH: Of course, many of you will be spending your Friday night watching Ireland’s huge Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff. All of the players involved today will certainly be. It could be an incredibly memorable, special day for them. Ireland’s fate is out of their hands – so here’s hoping they can do their own business here in Donnybrook!

PRE-MATCH: Don’t forget to leave your comments below or of course or you can e-mail us on [email protected] OR you can tweet us on @ThisIsArdee. Let us know where in the world you’re following Ardee CS’ cup winning attempt!

PRE-MATCH: Here’s our match report from the last time Ardee CS were at Donnybrook Stadium, thirteen months ago. That day, Cyr Bakekolo’s try and Conor Hennessy’s penalty weren’t enough as the boys fell to Colaiste Bhride Carnew in the Anne McInerney Final. Can they go one better this time?

PRE-MATCH: Our photographer Adrian Crawley was at Ardee Community School ahead of the final to take the official 2016/2017 team photo, featuring coaches Andy Robb and Liam Mullane. Looking good lads!

Ardee Community School senior rugby team 2016/17

PRE-MATCH: Don’t forget, as well as this live blog – where we’ll be bringing you live photos from throughout the afternoon – you can follow the action on our Twitter and our Instagram accounts. If you haven’t given us a follow yet, what are you waiting for?

PRE-MATCH: You can look back over Ardee Community School’s run to the 2017 McMullen Cup final by clicking here.

PRE-MATCH: We were at the school this morning. The team had already departed but the supporters were just setting off. Plenty of them making the journey!

PRE-MATCH: Hey, everyone! The liveblog is up-and-running! It’s Barry Landy here. I’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the match from start to finish right here on ThisIsArdee. You won’t miss a a moment so stay with us!


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