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Beaten in both the 2002 and 2004 deciders, UL Bohemians finally ended their wait for an AIB League Division Two final win this afternoon as they edged past St Mary's College 18-12.

AIB League Division Two Final: Saturday, May 7St Mary's College 12 UL Bohemians 18, Lansdowne RoadScorers: St Mary's: Pens: Barry Lynn 4UL Bohs: Tries: Ben Martin, Ian Hanley 2; Drop: Martin

Right wing Ian Hanley pocketed a try in either half as Bohs laid their final ghost to rest.

The Limerick students' two previous play-off visits to Lansdowne Road ended in defeat, most dishearteningly in last year's decider when Trinity substitute Pierre Lazies dropped a last-gasp goal for a 23-22 win.

But already promoted this season, Bohs displayed a stronger backbone this afternoon as Hanley's brace and eight points from fly-half Ben Martin finally saw Mike Tewkesbury's men gain some league silverware.

Although Mary's secured the better possession, Bohs stole in for a 10-3 half-time lead. Midway through the half, Australian Martin easily brushed by the challenges of John Kilbride and Peter Coyle 40 metres out, to race to the right corner and open the scoring.

Martin, although named as man-of-the-match, had a poor afternoon from place kicks, missing the conversion and a further five shots at the Mary's posts.

Barry Lynn, Mary's top scorer in the league proper, reduced the deficit with a 32nd-minute penalty. The kickers both fired against the uprights with late penalties before Hanley evaded Mary's number 8 Adrian Copeland to touch down for an unconverted effort on the right touchline.

Former Ireland Under-21 Lynn curled a penalty shot just inside the right post on the restart, and bagged his third success on 51 minutes to make it a 10-9 game.

Two minutes later, Martin wobbled a drop goal shot over. Both Lynn and Martin missed further penalty attempts before Hanley broke through for Bohs' third try after a bout of concerted pressure.

Despite Lynn chipping over his fourth penalty from five attempts late on, Hanley's score was to prove the match-winner as he beat Mary's substitute Conor McPhillips for pace out wide on the left.

St Mary's: D Hughes; P Brophy, J McWeeney, C Fifield, B Lynn (Capt); J Sexton, J Kilbride; C O'Byrne, P Smyth, P Coyle, G Logan, J Ellis, K O'Brien, G Hickie, A Copeland.Subs used: C McPhillips for Fifield, M Donnellan for O'Brien (both half-time), D Clare for Coyle (55), R Smyth for Kilbride (62), B Moran for O'Byrne, B McCormack for P Smyth (both 71), G Crawford for R Smyth (76).

UL Bohemians: C Garvey; I Hanley, C Finn, M McPhail, K Matthews; B Martin, A Rees; M Harty, G Ryan, M Storey, B Madigan, A Hartigan, A O'Gorman (Capt), P Van Esbeck, J O'Neill.Subs used: J O'Connor for O'Neill (66 mins), K Flanagan for Storey (69), C O'Boyle for Rees (79).

HT: St Mary's 3 UL Bohs 10 Referee: Simon McDowell (Ulster)

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19 June 2018
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