Ireland Sevens international Martin McPhail scored a scintillating late try at Castle Avenue as UL Bohemians came from behind to pip Clontarf 29-28 for their first win of the league campaign.
AIB LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 22
Clontarf 28 UL Bohemians 29, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Derek Keane, Marc Hewitt 2, Peter O'Brien; Pens: O'Brien 2
UL Bohs: Tries: Martin McPhail 2, Ben Martin, Ryan Hartigan; Cons: Fergal Lawlor; Drop: Lawlor
Pipped by a late Neil Whitworth penalty at Cork Con last week, Bohemians deservedly rescued the points at 'Tarf as they mounted a stunning comeback.
Phil Werahiko's home side were right on top from the kick-off. It took barely a minute before left winger Derek Keane, a hat-trick hero against Trinity seven days ago, out-paced the Limerick students' defence to nab the game's first try. Full-back Peter O'Brien missed the conversion but added two quick penalties for an 11-0 lead.
'Tarf tagged on another unconverted try when Bohs full-back Mark Butler slipped on a greasy top surface and home centre Marc Hewitt took full advantage to score.
Division Two champions Bohs are made of stern stuff and they hit back before the break with converted tries from lock Ryan Hartigan and Australian centre Ben Martin, with number 10 Fergal Lawlor banging over both conversions.
After Niall O'Brien had sent his namesake Peter in for a try for a 23-14 half-time lead, the nip and tuck nature of the game continued into the second half.
A Lawlor drop goal was added to by a 52nd-minute try from McPhail, created by a snappy Martin break, and lawlor then held his nerve to land the conversion and hand Bohs a 24-23 lead.
Lawlor then turned villain when his missed tackle on Keane allowed Hewitt in for his second try with little over ten minutes remaining. O'Brien critically missed the conversion attempt and the way was clear for McPhail to scorch over for his second on 74 minutes.
The right winger picked up the ball on his own ten-metre line, proceeded to beat three defenders and finished superbly in the left corner for a worthy match-winning try. Lawlor missed the conversion but it did not matter in the end.
CLONTARF: P O'Brien; M Rantz-McDonald, N O'Brien (B O'Donnell 68), M Hewitt, D Keane; K O'Dowd, D Geraghty (F O'Loughlin 58); J Wickham (K Dorian 74), N Carson, R Sweeney, A Trenier, J Duffy (A Wood 56), D Ffrench (A Wood 56), J Ellison, D Quinn
UL BOHS: M Butler; M McPhail, B Martin, C Finn, I Hanley; F Lawlor, C Delooze (A Rees 66); M Harty, G Ryan (F Leonard 70), M Storey (R Feeney 74), R Hartigan, A Hartigan, A O'Gorman (P Breen 42), J O'Neill, J O'Connor.
Referee: Marshall Kilgore (IRFU)
Paddy O'Toole held his nerve to punt an injury-time penalty between the uprights at Stradbrook on Saturday and wrestle a valuable win away from Dublin University.
Blackrock College 21 Dublin University 19, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock: Tries: Gary Brown, Fionn Carr; Con: Paddy O'Toole; Pens: O'Toole 3
Dublin Uni: Try: Phil Howard; Con: Johnny Watt; Pens: Watt 4
'Rock, with Kiwi player-coach Dave Dillon in excellent form on the blindside of the scrum, edged the Students to remain as one of only five unbeaten sides left remaining in the top flight.
Trinity began the better and led 10-6 due to a try, midway through the first half, from right winger Phil Howard. Johnny Watt converted it and kicked two penalties. O'Toole landed a brace of penalties for 'Rock.
However the hosts, who had number 8 Eddie Manawati sin-binned, scored a brilliant try through Leinster winger Gary Brown to open the second half in fine style.
Brown, who started at outside centre, made a telling break on his own 22 and rushed on past halfway before chipping ahead of three covering defenders and outpacing them to gather his kick ahead and score beside the posts.
It was a stunning effort from the 24-year-old and deserved to be seen by more than the 300 or so supporters present.
Trinity fly half Watt added two more penalties but a second 'Rock try from young full-back Fionn Carr, who is a Leinster Under-21, put Dillon's men within sight of the win.
Watt kicked his fourth penalty for a 19-18 lead late on, but O'Toole was on hand, despite shipping a late injury, to land his third and shift 'Rock up to fifth.
BLACKROCK: F Carr; A Pinto, G Brown, P Graham, C Gilligan; P O'Toole, M Roche (R Molloy 57); C Murphy, C Gee (D Gavin 62), M Cusse (O McBennett 72), O Cullen, M Legge, D Dillon, D Laffin, E Manawati.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: S Mitchell; P Howard, B Hastings, C Donohue, F Keane; J Watt, C McShane (M D'Arcy half-time); N Conlon, M Crockett, P Doran-Jones (K O'Neil 69), M Garvey, M Warburton, R Morrow (S Young 69), H Hogan, D O'Reilly.
Referee: Eanna O'Dowd (IRFU); Sin-Bin: E Manawati (Blackrock)