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AIB League: Division Two Round-Up

AIB League: Division Two Round-Up

Young Munster’s impressive start to the season continued on Saturday as they gained a comfortable 36-0 win at home to Suttonians with Mike South, Cian Clohessy, Ger Slattery, Matt Costello and Tom Cronin all grabbing tries.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION TWO: Saturday, November 10

RESULTS –

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Barnhall 11 Dublin University 18, Parsonstown
Belfast Harlequins 13 UCC 20, Deramore Park
De La Salle Palmerston 41 Clonakilty 17, Kilternan
Malone 22 Bective Rangers 20, Gibson Park
Old Crescent 18 Buccaneers 24, Rosbrien
Thomond 21 Ballynahinch 31, Liam Fitzgerald Park
Wanderers 24 Highfield 18, Merrion Road
Young Munster 36 Suttonians 0, Tom Clifford Park

The Cookies’ New Zealand recruit Tom Wells converted four of those tries and kicked a single penalty to complete the Limerick side’s third win on the trot. The bonus point success sees them move from second to first in the table, just a point ahead of UCC and Highfield.

UCC are the only other unbeaten team left in Division Two after they secured their first ever league victory over Belfast Harlequins. What made the 20-13 win all the more impressive was that the Cork students were away from home at Deramore Park and they had to overcome a 13-3 interval deficit.

Backed by the wind in the first half, ‘Quins went 6-3 in front thanks to two penalties from centre Thomas Horner before UCC out-half Gavin Dunne booted an 18th-minute penalty.

The decisive moment of the half arrived in the final minute when referee Dermot Moroney awarded the hosts a penalty try which Horner converted.

UCC’s young and energetic pack, whose rucking and mauling was superb throughout, came into their own in the second period with Dunne kicking for position with some aplomb.

Dunne landed his second penalty in the 48th-minute and the visitors grabbed two rolling maul tries in the 59th-minute and the fourth minute of injury-time to put the seal on a fine comeback win. Prop Ronan O’Neill and lock Neilus Keogh, the former Ireland Under-20 international and brother of Leinster’s Stephen, were the UCC try scorers.

Kildare club Barnhall lost for the first time in this season’s league when Dublin University held firm for an 18-11 win at Parsonstown. A poor start meant the Blue Bulls’ hopes of recording a hat-trick of opening league wins for the first time since the 2001/02 season quickly evaporated.

Beaten 33-25 at home by Barnhall just over a year ago, Dublin University shot out of the traps on Saturday with winger Killian Stafford weaving him way over for the opening try after only two minutes. Johnny Watt converted.

Centre Cathal Connolly replied with an eleventh-minute penalty for the hosts, and despite bouts of pressure for both sides, the score remained at 7-3 until shortly before the break when Watt fired a 35-metre penalty through the posts after a ruck offence from Cormac Dunne.

Tony Smeeth’s men moved 15-3 ahead in the closing minutes of the half when full-back Shane Hanratty sliced through for a great individual try after Connolly had failed to find touch with a penalty kick.

Watt’s missed conversion left Dublin University 15-3 ahead for the second half and the visitors continued where they left off before half-time with a barrage of early attacks.

Only some excellent defending from Barnhall’s Burke brothers and the Dunne brothers kept the students out. Barnhall then lost flanker Richie McDonagh to the sin bin but they impressively regained the advantage up front coming up to the hour mark.

The hosts were unfortunate to miss out on adding to their tally as a Connolly penalty was adjudged to have drifted just wide of the uprights and their pack was twice held up over the try line.

A Connolly penalty did cut the gap to 15-6 and when Dublin University lost number 8 Richie Morrow to a yellow card, the game was thrown right back into the melting pot.

Barnhall heaped the pressure on and after a number of close in drives, lock Dermot Dunne was driven over for an unconverted try. However, thanks to some heroic defence, Dublin University clung on for the win with Watt slamming a penalty over from halfway in injury-time.

Former Ireland Under-21 out-half Kieran Hallett kicked an 82nd-minute penalty to steer Malone to a nail-biting 22-20 victory over Bective Rangers at Gibson Park.

Andy Dougan’s side looked to well on their way to record their first win of the league season when they finished out the opening half with a 12-0 lead. Winger John Anderson dotted down twice off two counter attacks with Hallett converting one of the tries from the touchline.

Ulster’s Scotland-capped winger Simon Danielli cantered over for Malone’s third try soon after the break, with Hallett converting for a 19-0 buffer.

But Bective suddenly took control up front and with Malone’s error count increasing, the Dubliners took full advantage. They scored four successive tries in an amazing spell with lock Paul Hatton and full-back Gregor Lawson both touching down twice.

Unfortunately for the visitors, all four conversion kicks were missed and Hallett had the final say with that last-gasp penalty. The result, which marked only Malone’s fourth win in 14 league meetings with Bective, moved the Belfast men up from twelfth to tenth in the standings.

A deserved 24-18 victory at Old Crescent has seen Buccaneers rise from eight to fifth place in the table. Buccs, who have struggled with injuries so far this season, made a blistering start with flanker Brendan Guilfoyle scoring off a quick tap against his former club.

An 18th-minute try from full-back Sean Carey, which was converted by winger Alan Gaughan, edged Buccs further in front against an Old Crescent side whose out-half Gareth James missed two early penalties.

There was a third try for the Pirates right on the stroke of half-time. Crescent lost winger Darren Harris to a yellow card – he was sin-binned for a high tackle on Guilfoyle – and just moments later hooker Marcus Madden crashed over in the left corner.

17-0 in front at the break, Buccs leaked a penalty to James and after scrum half Mark Bruce had a try ruled out, the visitors lost lock Alamoti TePou to the sin bin.

Crescent seized their chance to get back into the game and an excellent maul from the hosts’ pack saw lock John Ryan touch down in the 66th-minute.

The game continued to ebb and flow and Crescent were next to have a man yellow carded as James saw yellow for a high tackle on Stephen Burke. But the Limerick men soon managed to drive replacement prop Ian Guilfoyle over for a similar try to their first.

The conversion was missed and an 83rd-minute try from centre Adrian Penzhorn was enough to copper-fasten the victory for Buccs, with Gaughan tagging on the conversion. There was still time for a try for Crescent centre Billy Leahy, four minutes later, which garnered a losing bonus point for Mark Ring’s outfit.

At Liam Fitzgerald Park, Ulster hooker Matt Miles made a try-scoring debut for Ballynahinch in their 31-21 defeat of Thomond. ‘Hinch made it two wins on the trot and they started with gusto as Miles nipped over for a second-minute try which Mark Scott converted.

Declan Cusack kicked two penalties for Thomond after 6 and 13 minutes before ‘Hinch struck for their second try through Ulster Academy back rower Willie Faloon.

Scott’s conversion took the County Down side 14-6 clear but Crescent managed to shore up the gap before the interval. Cusack and Scot swapped penalties around the half hour mark, and then ‘Hinch lost prop Chris Stevenson to a yellow card for aiming a punch at an opponent.

Mike Gallagher snuck over for a try in injury-time for the hosts, leaving them with just a 17-14 deficit to overcome in the second half.

‘Hinch gave themselves some breathing space when replacement winger Thomas Turner got the better of Cusack to dart in for the visitors’ third try which Scott converted.

Thomond struck back with a converted try in the right corner by Darragh O’Neill, but ‘Hinch secured the points when full-back Scott scooped up a loose ball near the home 22 and galloped over under the posts for the bonus point try which he converted himself.

. Elsewhere, Wanderers bagged a battling 24-18 win over Highfield at Merrion Road with David Fitzgerald contributing eleven points, while De La Salle Palmerston beat Clonakilty for the first time in the AIB League – Salmo ran out 41-17 winners at Kilternan with Niall Smullen (2), Francis Cooney (2), John Power and Carl de Chenu all crossing the visitors’ whitewash.