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AIB League: Tough Luck On Trinity

AIB League: Tough Luck On Trinity

Saturday saw an unlucky Dublin University slip to their third Division One draw of the campaign, as Blackrock fought back from a 10-9 half-time deficit for a share of the spoils at Stradbrook.

Saturday saw an unlucky Dublin University slip to their third Division One draw of the campaign, as Blackrock fought back from a 10-9 half-time deficit for a share of the spoils at Stradbrook.

Tony Smeeth’s side, who had both Martin Garvey and Forrest Gainer sin-binned, racked up a hat-trick of top flight stalemates as full-back Simon Mitchell was wayward with two late penalty attempts.

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The students are just about keeping their heads above water – four points off the bottom – but coach Tony Smeeth can hardly blame former Ireland Universities kicker Mitchell for the late capitulation.

Mitchell’s four previous penalties were crucial for DU’s seven-point lead and the full-back has bagged 66 points in eight starts.

Former Ireland Under-21 team mates Jamie Heaslip and Dave Gannon brought ‘Rock back into it, after Trinity right wing Philip Howard had touched down in the first half. The latter crossed with five minutes remaining to allow Conor Kilroy – already the kicker of four penalties – the chance to convert, and level at 19-apiece.

At Eaton Park, Paddy Wallace was the kicking king as his two first-half penalties gifted Ballymena a 6-5 derby win over Belfast Harlequins.

Ian Humphreys grabbed a superb solo try in the final quarter, but with his late drop goal attempt sailing wide, ‘Quins six-game winning run was halted.

At Oak Park, champions Shannon stuttered to a 17-7 defeat of bottom side County Carlow, with Munster hooker Jerry Flannery’s 79th-minute try the difference.

Ray Ward’s strugglers led 7-6 at the break thanks to a Kent Ashmore try on 15 minutes, from a five-metre lineout drive.

Richie Murphy converted, but the multi-talented kicker was held at bay in the second half as the Limerick men came into their own.

Veteran Andrew Thompson – six times an AIL winner – took over the kicking duties for the visitors due to the late withdrawal of David Delaney, and he kicked three penalties before his 84th-minute fourth cruelly robbed the midlanders of a bonus point.

Clontarf – who Shannon meet at Thomond Park next, on March 26 – sit top of the pile after Galwegians surrendered a 16-3 half-time lead to them at Crowley Park.

The north Dubliners racked up a 25-16 success, and their fifth bonus point in nine games as Warren O’Kelly, Conor Mahony and substitutes Simon O’Donnell and Darragh O’Shea breached the home side’s line.

Garryowen number 10 Billy Treacy was the man-of-the-hour at Stevenson Park, as they plundered a 24-21 decision for the trip back home.

He grabbed a late try to deny ‘Gannon their second straight win, after Jeremy Davidson’s side had led through Gillan Carruthers’ early converted try and a John McGuckin penalty.

A second touch down arrived in the second half for Carruthers as ‘Gannon claimed a second bonus point of the season.

Eoghan Hickey was back on form for UCD as they fended off the advances of last season’s semi-finalists Buccaneers 29-20 at Dubarry Park.

The mercurial fly-half kicked four penalties, adding to his opening drop goal, and converted tries from James Norton and Louis Burke as John McClean’s side condemned Buccs to their fourth straight defeat of 2005.

Cork Constitution full-back Conrad O’Sullivan also grabbed a try double at Temple Hill, as they continued their fine form with a 22-11 dismissal of Lansdowne.

Rory Collins was also on target for Brian Walsh’s men.

AIB League: Saturday, February 5 Results


Ballymena 6 Belfast Harlequins 5, Eaton Park
Blackrock College 19 Dublin University 19, Stradbrook
Buccaneers 20 UCD 29, Dubarry Park
County Carlow 7 Shannon 17, Oak Park
Cork Constitution 22 Lansdowne 11, Temple Hill
Dungannon 21 Garryowen 24, Stevenson Park
Galwegians 16 Clontarf 25, Crowley Park


Ballynahinch 6 St Mary’s College 8, Ballymacarn Park
Bective Rangers 20 Malone 13, Donnybrook
De La Salle Palmerston 11 Old Crescent 16, Kilternan
Dolphin 34 Waterpark 12, Musgrave Park
Highfield 6 Barnhall 12, Woodleigh Park
Midleton 15 UCC 26, Towns Park
Old Belvedere 22 Terenure College 7, Anglesea Road
Thomond 34 Young Munster 13, Fitzgerald Park


Ballina 8 Greystones 62, Heffernan Park
Banbridge 13 Sunday’s Well 19, Rifle Park
Bruff 20 Ards 24, Kilballyowen Park
City of Derry 20 Queen’s University 12, Judge’s Road
Clonakilty 22 Wanderers 12, Shannonvale Cross
Corinthians 11 Suttonians 16, Corinthian Park
Instonians 52 Skerries 21, Shaw’s Bridge
Portadown 29 Old Wesley 0, Chambers Park