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AIB League – Ballymena Off To A Flyer

AIB League – Ballymena Off To A Flyer

Reigning champions Ballymena got their AIB League campaign off to a flying start when they scored a four try 34-9 win over UCD at Eaton Park.

Champions Ballymena enjoyed the opening day with a 34-9 win over John McClean’s UCD. South African full back Dirkie Strydom scored nineteen points – kicking four conversions, two penalties and notching a try of his own – to crown a wonderful performance.

Ian Humphreys, brother of Ireland out-half David, put Ballymena winger Andy Maxwell through for a second-half try with further scores from substitute Andy Monson and Matt Waterhouse putting a gloss on
the score line. UCD’s three penalty replies came from the boot of full back Alan Henry.

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Five-times AIB League winners Shannon shot to the top of Division
One, following their five-try 38-5 hammering of Harry Williams’
Lansdowne at Thomond Park.
Colm McMahon, on the bench for Munster’s 26-10 Celtic League win over Glasgow on Friday evening, touched down twice for the Thomond Park side. New recruit Brian Tuohy also claimed a debut try from centre, with
scrum half Fiachra O’Loughlin and John O’Connor notching the others.
Wing Tom Creegan converted all five and added a penalty for a
personal tally of 13 points.
Lansdowne’s sole reply came through a Brian McNamara effort midway through the second half.

Elsewhere Cork Constitution relied on a 23-point first half to beat a Jeremy Davidson-coached Dungannon at Temple Hill. Scrum-half Pat McCarthy put them in front with a left-sided penalty
after2 minutes, before new recruit, New Zealand out-half Steve McColl popped over a drop goal for a 6-0 Con lead. McColl released centre Jean Vincent Igarza through the Dungannon line on 14 minutes for the game’s opening try, converted by McCarthy.

Full back David O’Brien tagged on a second drop goal before wing
Cronin Healy eventually touched down in the 39th minutes to the right of the Dungannon posts, with the conversion added by the impressive McCarthy.
The Northerners rallied late on with two tries from John McGuckin and Gillan Carruthers for a final score of 23-12.

A late 75th minutes Shane Leahy try at Templeville Road rescued a share of the points for Garryowen. There was drama at the end as Mary’s lock Peter O’Sullivan combined with Ciaran Potts to almost score a late winner. Centre Barry Lynn had the opportunity to snatch it in injury time with a penalty from halfway which went narrowly wide.

Newly promoted Dolphin went down bravely at Co. Carlow’s Oak Park 34-25, with the home side scoring tries through number 8 Andy Melville, prop Kenneth Ashmore, wing Ian Dwyer and centre Tom Bonnefoy.

Last season’s runners-up Clontarf took their twelfth league win in a row at Castle Avenue with a three-try 23-15 victory over Galwegians while Andre Bester’s Belfast Harlequins surmounted a twelve-point deficit on the hour mark at Buccaneers’ Dubarry Park, to nick a 24-18 win, with two late tries from scrum-half Sean Clancy.

In Division Two, relegated Terenure began life in the lower reaches with a 24-18 victory over Young Munster at Lakelands, with Ards crowning their elevation to Division Three for the first time in three seasons, with 6-3 win over Corinthians in Galway.

All-Ireland League Division One.
Ballymena 34-9 UCD
Buccaneers 18-24 Belfast Harlequins
Clontarf 23-15 Galwegians
Cork Constitution 23-12 Dungannon
Carlow 34-25 Dolphin
Shannon 38-5 Lansdowne
St Mary’s College 13-13 Garryowen

AIB League Division Two.
Barnhall 15-6 Bective Rangers
DLSP 10-12 Old Belvedere
Dublin University 35-28 UL Bohemians
Midleton 21-6 Ballynahinch
Old Crescent 31-3 Malone
Sunday’s Well 16-12 UCC
Terenure 24-18 Young Munster
Waterpark 14-19 Thomond

AIB League Division Three.
Ballina 13-12 Connemara
Banbridge 19-10 Greystones
City of Derry 20-5 Skerries
Clonakilty 11-21 Old Wesley
Corinthians 3-6 Ards
Instonians 26-8 Suttonians
Naas 5-42 Highfield
Portadown 12-10 Queen’s University