Belfast Harlequins ran in six tries to completely dominate Galwegians on Saturday. The 34-0 win moved 'Quins from seventh place up to fourth in the Division One standings.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, December 10
BELFAST HARLEQUINS 34 GALWEGIANS 0, Deramore Park
Scorers: Harlequins: Tries: Paul McKenzie, Stuart Philpott 2, Darren Cave 2, Mark Kettyle; Cons: Michael Glancy 2
Belfast Harlequins boss Andy Ward reckons the Deramore Park faithful got a glimpse of the future when watching Darren Cave's two-try salvo against 'Wegians.
Centre Cave, only 18 and in the Ireland Under-21 squad for the next weekend's training get-together, scored twice and created 'Quins' sixth and final try for Mark Kettyle as the Ulstermen thumped 'Wegians for their fourth win in five Division One outings.
Now well-placed in fourth before the festive break, 'Quins can really mount a challenge for the play-offs when the AIB League resumes on January 7.
Former Ireland flanker Ward said: "I've a lot of belief in this side, especially in terms of what they are capable of.
"My biggest single challenge is making them believe in themselves. Hopefully this result will go some way towards achieving that. We were very positive for the most part though we let it drift away somewhat in the second half.
"Darren Cave is certainly a player to look out for. He can drift in and out of matches, but this boy can go a long way," he added.
'Wegians must have a headache playing 'Quins, who have now scored 149 points against the westerners in their last three league meetings, conceding only 22 in the process.
Tries from winger Paul McKenzie and hooker Stuart Philpott (2) handed Ward's side a 19-0 interval lead. They added three more in the second half as Cave cut loose for his brace and the former Sullivan Upper schoolboy chipped ahead for full-back Kettyle to gather and touch down in the final quarter.
CLONTARF 23 CORK CONSTITUTION 16, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Niall Carson, Jacob Ellison, Max Rantz-McDonald; Con: Daragh O'Shea; Pens: O'Shea 2
Cork Con: Try: Richard Lane; Con: Daragh Lyons; Pens: Lyons 3
Three-try Clontarf staved off a second half revival from Cork Constitution to earn a seven-point victory against the Munster heavyweights at Castle Avenue.
South African back row Jacob Ellison and homegrown talents Niall Carson and Max Rantz-McDonald bagged a try apiece for the Dubliners as they ended Con's five-game unbeaten run.
Prop Carson grabbed the first try after only barely a minute's action as he exposed a gap in the Con rearguard and exploited it to the maximum as his pack waded in behind him for the score.
Con fly-half Daragh Lyons chipped a penalty over in reply on 13 minutes, but just two minutes later, the impressive Ellison barged through for his try. Lyons and 'Tarf full-back Daragh O'Shea, who assumed the kicking duties instead of number 10 Peter O'Brien, then swapped a penalty apiece as the north Dubliners ended the half 13-6 in front.
An intercept try from Con winger Richard Lane, scored right under the home posts, early in the second half saw the visitors snap back to lead 16-13 with Lyons adding the conversion and his third penalty.
But Rantz-McDonald's converted try - his second of the campaign - on 55 minutes helped 'Tarf hit the front again. The 'Tarf flyer was fortunate to find himself in a one-on-one situation with Con lock Shane Cottrell and he evaded the latter's grasp to dot down.
Phil Werahiko's men held on for a win which sees them up to fifth but the 'Tarf celebrations were tempered as their inspirational lock John Duffy sustained a suspected knee ligament injury in the closing minutes.