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AIB League: Division 3 Round Up

AIB League: Division 3 Round Up

The race to join Wanderers and Ballynahinch in next month’s Division Three semi-finals hotted up this weekend with timely wins for Nenagh Ormond, Instonians and Bruff.

Nenagh jumped into third place on the back of a 21-12 victory at Corinthians, set up by tries from back rowers Ruaidhri O’Brien and Richard Dodd and scrum half Michael Fogarty. Out-half John Lillis added the extras to all three.

Old Wesley slipped up away to play-off rivals Instonians but did run in four tries in the 25-24 defeat. The Dubliners’ two losing bonus points means they are fourth, a single point ahead of Inst, going into the final weekend.

Minus a number of regulars due to injury, Wesley battled well at Shaw’s Bridge and led by 14-10 at the break. Jon Ellis and Alan Large touched down for the visitors.

Wesley moved 19-10 clear when Large crossed again before an Owen McMurray penalty and a converted try from flanker Adam Telford nudged Inst back in front.

McMurray then crossed the whitewash himself, five minutes from time, to push the Belfast side into a 25-19 lead before flanker Stephen Wallace managed to muscle over in injury-time for Wesley’s bonus point-clinching try.

Unfortunately, David Smith’s conversion arrempt shaved the outside of the post from a difficult angle but Wesley can still make the play-offs with a home win against Banbridge next time out.

Bruff are also within striking range of a play-off spot. The Limerick club, coached by Eugene Murnane and Eoin Cahill, are just three points behind third-placed Nenagh after their four-try 33-6 defeat of City of Derry.

Winger Finbarr Hogan touched down twice, while John Carroll and Brian Cahill grabbed a try apiece in the win for Bruff, who still have a game in hand on the teams about them.

The loss for Derry, their seventh in a row, in addition to the 12-9 victory that Sunday’s Well secured away to Connemara, means that Gerald McCarter’s side will play-off with the team that finishes second in the league’s Round Robin series to decide who will be playing in Division Three next season.

Four penalties from the boot of Denis McCarthy were enough for Sunday’s Well to guarantee their Division Three status in Clifden. For winless Portadown, the misery continued with a 31-18 loss at home to Ards. Full-back Dave Whitten and winger Johnny Holden did raise some cheers for Ports with two well-executed tries.

Elsewhere, leaders Wanderers scored a 24-14 win at home to Waterpark with tries from hooker and captain Bevan Cantrell and wingers Mark Culhane (2) and David Fitzgerald helping the Dublin 4 outfit to rack up another bonus point.

Second-placed Ballynahinch came a cropper at home to Queen’s. Scrum half Michael Pyper was the star of the show for the Belfast students as he collected two tries, two conversions and a penalty to down the hosts 17-15.

Meanwhile, not even a superb individual display from Michael Glancy, who scored a converted try and three penalties, could save Rainey Old Boys from a 20-16 defeat at the hands of Banbridge. The County Down men took the spoils in the sides’ first ever league meeting – Bann flanker Gareth Bell and wingers Claude Crawford and Adam Waugh scored a try apiece. 

Division 3 Results

Division 3 Table