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AIB League: Division 2 Round Up

AIB League: Division 2 Round Up

After seven successive seasons in the AIB League’s Division Two, Midleton will be playing Division Three rugby next term – the east Cork club’s 12-9 defeat at the hands of Clonakilty confirmed as much.

Coached by former Irish international David Corkery, Midleton has struggled throughout the current season despite some notable performances from their New Zealand recruit Tyrone Taiepa.

A 21-17 win over De La Salle Palmerston did give Corkery’s side hope of avoiding the drop but in what was strangely the Cork rivals’ first ever league meeting, play-off chasing Clon proved too strong at Shannonvale Cross.


Former Skibbereen player Taiepa kicked three penalties, taking his season’s tally to 89 points, but winger John O’Donnell’s sixth try of the campaign, a penalty try and a conversion from Gary Cribb saw the hosts all but guarantee themselves a place in the semi-finals, behind promoted duo Old Belvedere and Greystones.


As with the title race, Belvo and ‘Stones are leading the way in the individual try-scoring charts. At Donnybrook on Friday night, Belvedere winger Kevin Barden touched down twice, taking his season’s haul to 13 tries in 14 games, in his side’s 36-18 win over Bective.


Ronan Carroll, the experienced Greystones winger, also bumped up his try tally to 13 but the Wicklow side did go down 6-5 to Thomond in what was only their second defeat on the road this season.


Young Munster, who have two games in hand, remain an outside bet to make the play-offs after a well-judged 28-12 defeat of UCC at Fitzgerald Park. Hooker Paudie McMahon (2) and winger Darren Classens shared out Munsters’ tries while full-back Mark Connolly kicked 13 points.


Barnhall’s chances of making the semi-finals took a hit at Highfield as Munster’s Brian O’Meara inspired the Bishopstown outfit to a 25-23 win. O’Meara collected 15 points – a try, two penalties and two conversions – as Highfield’s third win on the trot moved them up to fifth in the table.


Dublin University currently occupy fourth spot ahead of the final round of action on Easter Saturday. The Trinity students dug deep for a 33-31 win at Malone which keeps their play-off hopes alive.


Left winger Chris Jebb was the Trinity hero, grabbing a hat-trick of tries while scrum half Joey Burns and centre George Burns, who also touched down, and out-half Johnny Watt, who kicked four out of five conversions, had notable contributions.


De La Salle Palmerston leapfrogged over Suttonians into twelfth place as they beat relegation-threatened County Carlow 22-16 at Kilternan. Conor Hickey, a brother of Munster player Eoghan, converted his own try and kicked five penalties in a man of the match display for ‘Salmo.


Carlow, who are second from bottom, are on the cusp of being relegated. The midlanders head into the final weekend needing a big bonus point win at Thomond, coupled with a defeat for Malone above them, to stand any chance of avoiding the drop.


Meanwhile, Suttonians lost for the fourth successive weekend as two tries from prop James Cullinane inspired Old Crescent to a 13-8 triumph at the JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds.


Division Two Results


Division Two Table