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AIB League: Steenson Boots Dungannon To Victory

AIB League: Steenson Boots Dungannon To Victory

A Tyrone Howe try and a penalty try, allied to a 16-point kicking haul from fly half Gareth Steenson, earned Dungannon a hard-fought 26-18 win over Buccaneers on Saturday.

Gareth Steenson in action for Ireland Under-21s

A Tyrone Howe try and a penalty try, allied to a 16-point kicking haul from fly half Gareth Steenson, earned Dungannon a hard-fought 26-18 win over Buccaneers on Saturday.

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AIB LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 15

Dungannon 26 Buccaneers 18, Stevenson Park

Scorers: Dungannon: Tries: Tyrone Howe, Penalty try; Cons: Gareth Steenson 2; Pens: Steenson 3; Drop: Steenson

Buccaneers: Pens: Tom Cregan 6

Dungannon, already leading this season’s First Trust Ulster Senior League, lie seventh in the AIB League Division table after finally seeing off the best that Buss could muster – namely six penalties from the boot of new full back Tom Cregan.

The former Shannon goalkicker made full use of an infringement from ‘Gannon number 8 Campbell Feather on two minutes to drill over his first penalty. Steenson replied but another indisretion by Ulster forward Feather allowed Buccs to retake the lead through Cregan again.

Teed up by AIL debutant James Bates, Steenson dropped a sweet 15th-minute goal to level matters once more. The tit-for-tat nature continued right up to half-time as Cregan completed his hat-trick of penalties and Steenson, last season’s Ireland Under-21 captain, pinged over second place kick nearing the interval.

Tied at 9-9, ‘Gannon, who obviously had their fires stoked by coach Jeremy Davidson at the break, roared out for the second half and bossed matters for a good 10-15 minutes. Ulster winger Tyrone Howe, desperate to show what he can do before Ulster’s Heineken Cup assault begins on Friday, rounded off a well-worked move after the Tyrone side’s forwards and backs had tallied up five phases.

Steenson converted for 16-9 and the Stevenson Park crowd sensed victory. However two further penalties from Cregan kept Buccs, the Connacht Senior League and Cup double winners already this season, in touch.

With Buccs down to 14 men due to a yellow card for David Kelly, ‘Gannon’s superior scrum saw the westerners cough up a penalty try on 69 minutes, which Steenson converted for 23-15.

Davidson’s side were gaining an edge in the scrums with substitute prop Mark Neilly in dominant form late on – so much so that, whether by design or not, Buccs were forced to withdraw one of their props, resulting in uncontested scrums for the remainder of the game.

This seemed to fire up ‘Gannon even more and although they leaked another score to Cregan, the home side gained a retribution of sorts when in injury-time, Steenson landed a superb penalty to deny the visitors a losing bonus point.

DUNGANNON: S McDowell; R Mercer, A Kirkpatrick, G Tedford, T Howe; G Steenson, J Bates; G Maxwell, N Brady, D Fitzpatrick, S McCarroll, R Caldwell, A Hughes, O Hennessy, C Feather.

BUCCANEERS: T Cregan; C Lavelle, P O’Sullivan, W Wallace, T Robinson; D Greene, M Bruce; A Duignan, G Halligan, B Gilligan, D Gannon, B Buckley, D Kelly, A Hanley, D Quinlan.

Referee: Olan Trevor (IRFU); Sin-bin: David Kelly (Buccaneers)

UCD 36 County Carlow 19, Belfield

Scorers: UCD: Tries: Stephen Grissing 2, Darren McKenna, Ken Kennedy, Michael Fanning; Cons: Eoghan Hickey 4; Pen: Hickey

Carlow: Tries: Ross Jackson 2, Tumali Tasola; Cons: Greg Jacob 2

UCD’s young brigade showed their class in pulling clear of County Carlow in the second half for a comfortable enough win at Belfield.

These sides ironically met on the final afternoon of last season – UCD ran out 29-22 winners – but this time around, John McClean’s students had more control over matters.

Carlow, though, were 12-0 up inside eight minutes as both Ross Jackson and powerful Tongan Tumali Tasola crossed the home whitewash.

UCD, against the wind, struck back to level at the break through tries from centre Stephen Grissing, whose effort was converted by fly half Eoghan Hickey, and full back Darren McKenna.

Carlow’s lineout was malfunctioning and Hickey, with the breeze behind him, toyed with the midlanders in the second half. UCD’s new Kiwi lock Richard Mandeno was lording it at the set piece, stealing ball and always offering the home side its own share.

Touchdowns from Grissing again, Michael Fanning and Ken Kennedy, who was sent through by a lovely flat pass from Hickey, pulled UCD clear.

Hickey converted four of College’s five tries and also landed a second half penalty, and the scoring was topped off by Carlow right winger Jackson’s second try in injury-time. The result sees UCD residing in second place.

UCD: D McKenna; M Hickey-Crowe, S Grissing, K Kennedy, M Fanning; E Hickey, C Willis (J Moroney 70); J Lee ( B McGovern 76), C Geoghegan, B Hall, T Callanan (L Burke 60), R Mandeno (A Franciosi 76), S Crawford, K Croke, K McLoughlin.

CARLOW: C Raui; R Jackson, C Moore, G Jacob, T Bonnefoy; B Murphy (R Armstrong 68), S Gibbons (R Jones 74); P Brennan, A Galavan ( W kerr 65), K Corrigan, W Whitten, A Mikajlevic, D Cox (B Hurley 66), P Symes, T Tasola.

Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)

Cork Constitution 23 UL Bohemians 21, Temple Hill

Scorers: Cork Con: Tries: Conor Quaid, Frank Cogan; Cons: Quaid 2; Pens: Quaid 2, Whitworth

UL Bohs: Tries: Cathal Garvey, James O’Neill; Con: Fergal Lawlor ; Pens: Lawlor 3

A late penalty from substitute Neil Whitworth robbed UL Bohemians of victory on their return to the AIB League’s top flight as Cork Constitution stole the win.

Con had bossed this Temple Hill tie for over an hour but a two-try spurt from the students, allied to the assured kicking of Fergal Lawlor, had them 21-20 in front with only minutes remaining.

Two penalties from Conor Quaid sandwiched Con’s two tries from captain Frank Cogan (20 minutes) and fly half Quaid himself (25) as the home side led 20-6 at the break.

However, tries from Cathal Garvey and James O’Neill, added to by a Lawlor penalty, had UL within sight of a famous win but new signing Whitworth robbed them of it.

Con’s victory also sees them through to the next round of the ODM Munster Senior Challenge Cup as well as securing them the final spot as a Munster club in the forthcoming AIB All-Ireland Cup.

CON: R Lane; D O’Riordan ( A Ryan 78), T Gleeson, A O’Brien, C Healy; C Quaid ( N Whitworth 57), F Murphy; M Ross, D Fogarty, R McGrath (T Ryan 56), S Cottrell, S O’Connor, M O’Connell, F Cogan, B Cuttriss.

BOHS: C Garvey; F Lawlor, M McPhail, A Rees, I Hanly; B Martin, C Delooze; M Harty, F Leonard (G Ryan 52), M Storey, K Barry, A Hartigan, A O’Gorman, J O’Neill, JE O’Connor.

Referee: Alistair McKay (IRFU)

Clontarf 34 Dublin University 20, Castle Avenue

Scorers: Clontarf: Derek Keane 3, Niall O’Brien, Mark Rantz-McDonald; Cons: Peter O’Brien 3; Pen: P O’Brien

Dublin Uni: Tries: Cathal Garvey, Conor Donoghue; Cons: Johnny Watt 2; Pens: Watt 2

Clontarf bossed their capital duel with an inexperienced Dublin University side to secure a bonus point win at Castle Avenue.

The students, who included eight league debutants from the kick-off, battled back from a 12-0 deficit to lead 17-15 early on in the second half, but ‘Tarf pulled clear thanks to late tries from Niall O’Brien and Max Rantz-McDonald.

Two converted tries from Martin Garvey and Conor Donoghue pulled Trinity back within a point at the interval at 14-15.

A Johnny Watt penalty handed them the lead for the first time but with a wind advantage, but ‘Tarf overhauled their younger opponents, scoring tries from winger Derek Keane, who touched down twice in the first half, centre O’Brien and right winger Rantz-McDonald to power home.

Full back Peter O’Brien kicked nine points – three conversions and a penalty – for Phil Werahiko’s side.

CLONTARF: P O’Brien; M Rantz-McDonald, N O’Brien, M Hewitt, D Keane; K O’Dowd, F O’Loughlin; J Wickham, N Carson (A Wood), R Sweeney (A Clarke), A Trennier (D Geraghty), J Duffy, D Ffrench ( C O’Daly), J Ellison, D Quinn.

DUBLIN UNI: P Howard; E McNamara, B Hastings, C Donoghue, S Hanratty; J Watt, C McShane; N Conlon, M Crockett, P Dornan-Jones, M Warburton (P McFeeley), M Garvey, R Morrow, D O’Reilly, S Young.

Referee: Colin Stanley (IRFU)