AIB LEAGUE: Saturday, March 25
CLONTARF 36 BELFAST HARLEQUINS 8, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Marc Hewitt 2, Mark Woods 2, Ben Gissing, Daragh Geraghty; Cons: Darragh O'Shea 3
Harlequins: Try: Mark Kettyle; Pen: Johnny McClaughlin
Clontarf climbed to the top of the Division One table as they chalked up their eighth league win on the trot at Castle Avenue.
Tries from centre Marc Hewitt (2) and out-half Mark Woods, who deputized at out-half for late cry-off Peter O'Brien, helped the norther Dubliners lead 19-3 at half-time. Johnny McClaughlin landed a penalty for 'Quins.
Full-back Mark Kettyle managed to grab a try back for the visitors in the second half, but further efforts from Leinster lock Ben Gissing, Woods and replacement scrum half Daragh Gerraghty saw 'Tarf chalk up their eleventh bonus point of the campaign.
BUCCANEERS 26 GALWEGIANS 12, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Buccaneers: Tries: Sean Brady, Garreth Halligan; Cons: Tom Cregan 2; Pens: Cregan 3; Drop: Gearoid O'Grady
Galwegians: Tries: Tom Tierney, Denis O'Brien; Con: Brendon Bartley
Buccaneers beat their Connacht rivals Galwegians for the fourth time this season, at Dubarry Park.
Buccs had little but pride to play for as they are out of the race for the Division One semi-finals, but they did enough to add to their Connacht Senior League, Connacht Senior Cup and AIB Cup triumphs over their Galway neighbours from earlier in the season.
Third-from-bottom Wegians had everything to play for - and it showed in the early skirmishes as tries from scrum half Tom Tierney (12 minutes) and prop Denis O'Brien (38) helped them fight back to trail by 13-12 at the interval.
Tierney's opposite number Mark Bruce, who put in a lively display at pivot and deservedly secured the man-of-the-match gong, broke free to set up Buccs' first try on 24 minutes for young winger Sean Brady. Out-half Gearoid O'Grady also scored a peach of a drop goal in between for Buccs.
Starting the second half with a one-point buffer, Buccs strengthened their lead with penalties on 43 and 49 minutes from full-back Tom Cregan. For the second infringement, Wegians lost Michael Swift (retaliation) to the sin bin and a 70th-minute try from hooker and captain Garreth Halligan, converted by Cregan, capped off a pleasing win for the Pirates.
LANSDOWNE 10 GARRYOWEN 14, Lansdowne Road
Scorers: Lansdowne: Try: Neil Walsh; Con: Corey Burt; Pen: Burt
Garryowen: Try: Paul Devlin; Pens: Conor Kilroy 2; Drop: Gerry Hurley
Garryowen outgunned Lansdowne on the back pitch at Lansdowne Road for their 12th win in 13 Division One outings.
The Limerick side sealed the points with a try from centre Paul Devlin, late in the second half.
Despite losing top spot to the bonus point-guzzling Clontarf, Paul Cunningham's Garryowen charges are right on track for a 'home' draw in the semi-finals with fixtures against bottom side Carlow and UCD to follow - both at Dooradoyle.
Lansdowne took the lead through an eighth-minute penalty from Corey Burt. With conditions deteriorating, the first half quickly turned into a kicking duel and the visitors edged it for 6-3 at the break. A sweetly-struck drop goal from scrum half and man-of-the-match Gerry Hurley and a Conor Kilroy penalty, right on the stroke of half time, squeezed Garryowen in front.
Kilroy added a second penalty, straight in front of the posts on 47 minutes - with Lansdowne prop Enda Bohan in the sin bin. Devlin struck just past the hour mark, completing a blindside move. Winger Neil Walsh got over for a late Lansdowne try, which Burt converted, but the visitors were not to be denied.