Tries in the closing stages from Andrew Trimble and Huw Jones, both converted by Paddy Wallace, gave Ballymena a share of the spoils in Musgrave Park.
First half tries from Shane Madigan and Conor Twomeygave Dolphin a 14-10 lead at the break and they looked to be safely home when they extended that lead to 24-10 after Twomey scored his second try. Then the League champions struck late with tries from Andrew Trimble and Huw Jones, both converted by Paddy Wallace to earn a share of the spoils.
In Stradbrook, two Conor Kilroy penalties had Blackrock six points clear at the break. David McAllister kicked a 47nd minute penalty for Clontarf but with less than five minutes to go Paul Drew scored a try with Kilroy adding the points. Clontarf wing Daragh Higgins scored in injury time to earn his side a bonus point. In Belfield the home side raced into a 15 point by half time and extended that lead with a penalty from Niall McNamara eleven minutes into the restart. However, Shannon’s fight-back began with a Tommy Cregan penalty and his conversion of John Lacey’s 67th minute try brought the visitors within five points of the lead. Cregan then landed another penalty (18-16) with five minutes to go to set up a tense finish. Cregan saw a long range penalty come back off the crossbar and Andrew Thompson’s drop-goal didn’t have the height to deny the students.
Belfast Harlequins ran in five tries in their 31-17 win over Lansdowne The home side led 19-10 at half time thanks to tries from Chris McCarey and Andy Park. Two second half tries from the outstanding Reece Spee ensured that this game was in safe keeping long before the final whistle.
AIB League Division One:
Belfast Harlequins 31-17 Lansdowne
Blackrock College 13-10 Clontarf
Co Carlow 36-6 St. Mary’s College
Dolphin 24-24 Ballymena
Galwegians 24-37 Cork Constitution
Garryowen 10-28 Buccaneers
U.C.D. 18 -16 Shannon
Dungannon – Free
AIB League Division Two
Ballynahinch 14-22 Terenure College
Malone 17-19 Dublin University
Old Belvedere 23-25 U.C.C.
Old Crescent 22-16 D.L.S.P.
U.L. Bohemians 58-0 Sunday’s Well
Young Munster 33-25 Waterpark
Bective Rangers Thomond (Sun 16th November)
AIB League Division Three
Ards v Ballina – Cancelled
Clonakilty 20-13 Portadown
Highfield 24-10 Connemara
Old Wesley 19-16 Instonians
Queens University 18-9 Corinthians
Skerries 19-17 Naas
Suttonians 16-27 Banbridge
Wanderers 40-11 City of Derry.
Greystones – Free.