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AIB Division 2 Semis: Belvo and ‘Stones Win Through

AIB Division 2 Semis: Belvo and ‘Stones Win Through

Both sides had to come from behind, with Belvo leaving until the 5th minute of injury time, to ensure that the top two in the league will play each other in the Division 2 Final next Saturday.

It will be a short trip to Templeville Road for Old Belvedere and Greystones for next Saturday’s Division 2 Final. The two Leinster clubs came through against Munster opposition but both had to come from behind to win.

Greystones 18-14 Clonakilty

Clonakilty’s bid to become AIB All-Ireland League Division Two champions, just 12 months after they took the Division Three title, was ended in their semi-final at Dr Hickey Park this afternoon by a hungry Greystones side.

Already assured of promotion back to the top flight, ‘Stones did well to come from behind, when playing into the wind in the second half, to beat Clon 18-14 and book their place in next Saturday’s final at Templeville Road.

A well-taken try from experienced winger Ronan Carroll saw the Wicklow men take a 7-0 lead into the break, but Clon hit back quickly with two Gary Cribb penalties.

An unconverted try from centre Paul Dillon nudged the visitors into a 11-7 lead, but Cribb then missed a kickable penalty and ‘Stones, the Division Three champions in 2005, took their cue.

Out-half James Power took his tally for the league campaign to 116 points by kicking two penalties and converting Carroll’s second try.

While the backs took the scoring plaudits, ‘Stones had two match-winners in back rowers Greg Herrera and John O’Beirne, who put in a massive effort in defence and attack.

Greystones: Tries: Ronan Carroll (2); Con: James Power; Pens: James Power (2). Clonakilty: Try: Paul Dillon; Pens: Gary Cribb (3).

Old Belvedere 23-21 Young Munster

Table-toppers Old Belvedere were in danger of missing out on a place in the Division Two final this afternoon, but Mike O’Donovan’s side came with a second half charge to pip Young Munster 23-21 at Anglesea Road.

It was agony for the Cookies as a try, five minutes into injury-time, propelled ‘Belvo into next weekend’s decider, which will be an all-Leinster affair.

Munsters looked on course for a shock win, considering Belvedere came into today’s game on the back of a 14-match winning streak in the league.

Tries from wingers Derek Corcoran and Darren Classens, allied to five points from the boot of full-back Mark Connolly, had the Limerick side 15-3 in front at the break.

Summing up the game, ‘Belvo director of rugby O’Donovan said: ‘Young Munster really caught us on the hop. But in the second half, we came out and started playing the rugby we know we can and thankfully it was enough to get us through.’

Winger Kevin Barden, lock and captain Scott Hutton and out-half Andy Dunne all crossed the Munsters’ whitewash as O’Donovan’s men came good.

Dunne also kicked two penalties, while player-coach Richie Murphy struck a crucial late conversion – it was needed as ‘Belvo trailed 21-16 before they mustered a last-gasp seven-pointer.

Old Belvedere: Tries: K Barden, S Hutton, A Dunne; Con: R Murphy; Pens: A Dunne (2). Young Munster: Tries: D Corcoran, D Classens; Con: M Connolly; Pens: M Connolly (3).