Old Belvedere were far too strong at home to Suttonians on Saturday, beating the play-off hopefuls 32-14 to remain at the head of proceedings in Division Two.
Belvo have a five-point lead over Greystones after their tenth win in eleven league games. Coached this season by Warren O’Kelly, former Leinster ace Richie Murphy and New Zealander Mike O’Donovan, the Dubliners have certainly hit a rich vein of form.
Bolstered by eleven summer signings, they showed much of their potential in the Leinster Senior Cup, claiming the scalp of Clontarf in the final, and it looks like all their hard work is paying dividends in the league.
At Merrion Road on Saturday, a converted eighth-minute try from Leinster’s Andy Dunne set them on their way. Wearing the number 15 jersey, Dunne slotted in at out-half when required and the hosts had a comfortable 17-0 lead at the break.
From a well-worked scrum, five minutes before half-time, Belvo number 10 Ray Monaghan slashed through the Suttonians defence for another converted try. Dunne converted and tagged on a late penalty as both sides’ tighthead props were sent to the sin bin.
Three minutes into the second half, the home side extended their advantage thanks to a Phil Treacy try. Dunne missed the conversion but added a penalty and he swung over a superb conversion from the touchline, making prop Brad Kose’s try a seven-pointer after 56 minutes.
Suttonians, now 32-0 down, summoned a good deal of courage and deservedly got over for two converted tries in the closing quarter. Daire Higgins plunged over, after a move off an Aidan Kearney lineout take, and substitute Darragh Mulligan teed up Emmett Conroy for a 78th-minute score.
Elsewhere, a try from right winger Brian O’Friel and an 11-point kicking contribution from out-half Cathal Connolly helped Barnhall to a 16-10 win over Old Crescent at Parsonstown.
Another winger in form, Ronan Carroll, scored his 11th try of the league campaign in Greystones’ 28-23 defeat of County Carlow at Oak Park.
Centre Conor Donohue (2), lock Roger Young and flanker Shane Young shared out Dublin University’s tries in their 33-15 victory over Midleton. Impressive former Ulster Under-21 out-half Johnny Watt kicked three penalties and three conversions for Trinity, taking his season’s tally to 116 points.
Back line talents Mark McCrea and Johnny Amos bagged a try apiece in Malone’s hard-fought 17-15 success against UCC.
Meanwhile, the accurate kicking of David Lombard, who landed three penalties and a conversion, allied to tries from Mike Keohane and Eddie Knowles, helped Clonakilty to their fourth league win on the trot – a 21-3 dismissal of Thomond.
Bad weather forced the postponements of the DLSP v Young Munster and Highfield v Bective Rangers matches.
Barnhall 16 Old Crescent 10, Parstonstown
County Carlow 23 Greystones 28, Oak Park
De La Salle Palmerston v Young Munster (Postponed)
Dublin University 33 Midleton 15, College Park
Highfield v Bective Rangers, Towns Park (Postponed)
Malone 17 UCC 15, Gibson Park
Old Belvedere 32 Suttonians 14, Merrion Road
Thomond 3 Clonakilty 21, Liam Fitzgerald Park