17 Jun, 19:25
Ireland pulled clear of hosts Canada with four tries in the closing half hour as they earned a 40-14 victory at the BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Check out some photos from the Toronto tussle.
But for an exciting finish the place to be was Oak Park in Carlow where the home side withstood a late Buccaneers rally to earn a share of the spoils (22-22). Co Carlow got away to a flier and led 22-3 thanks to tries from Andy Melville, Mark Buckley and Bobby Baggott. And as the game entered the final ten minutes they held that advantage despite fierce pressure from the Buccs.
Their defence was finally breeched when Ian Dillon scored a try which Colm Glynn converted. Then Co Carlow had the influential Andy Melville sin-binned and while he was off the field Chris Keane scored a second try, Glynn again adding the points to leave just five points separatiing the sides. In a hectic, tense finish, Buccaneers squeezed in at the corner for the equalising try and, much to the relief of the huge home support, Glynn pulled the conversion wide.
Afterwards, home coach, Kiwi Kim Thorburn expressed his delight with his side's performance. " I'm really very proud of what my side did today. They showed they can mix it with the biggest and the toughrest. I'm not disappointed that we lost that lead, we might just as easily lost the match. They (Buccaneers) are a top side. They play to the limit of the law and full credit to them for the way they came back at us. A draw was a fair result."
In other action over the weekend, a penalty from Damien McCabe in the 8th minute of injury time earned DLSP the points at home against Dungannon and although Ballymena scored two late tries they still came up short at home to Lansdowne losing 25-23.
In Division Two Belfast Harlequins retain the top spot and have opened a gap thanks to the shock home defeat of Barnhall. Second placed Barnhall played host to Ballynahinch who, a week earlier, had been 'hosed' by Harlequins. But the northern side ended up 21-12 winners in Parsonstown thanks to the excellent kicking of Daryl Callaghan who landed six penalties and a drop goal to inflict a rare home defeat on the home side.
Belfast Harlequins earned maximum points when they ran in six tries in their 41-25 win over Bective Rangers and with Barnhall slipping up, Harlequins have now opened a nine point gap at the top of the table.
In Division Three Banbridge earned a valuable point when they held Dublin University to a draw (6-6) at Rifle Park. That result and their win last week moves them away from the relegation zone. Greystones return to the top of affairs following their emphatic five try 41-14 demolition of bottom placed Bangor and Connemara also remain unbeaten, their latest win an 18-16 victory over Suttonians at The Monastery Field which leaves them third in the table.