A converted try from centre John Bollard was enough for Terenure College to end Galwegians’ winning start to the AIB League campaign at Lakelands Park on Saturday, while a late drop goal from Andy Cummiskey guided UCD past St. Mary’s College at Belfield.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, November 10
Terenure College 7 Galwegians 5, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure: Try: John Bollard; Con: David McAllister
Galwegians: Try: John Cleary
Galwegians failed to turn a late bout of pressure into points as Terenure College clung on for their second win of the current Division One campaign – a 7-5 success at Lakelands Park.
In a game dictated by the wind, ‘Nure struck for the crucial try in the third quarter when former Leinster out-half David McAllister sent centre John Bollard through on a 40-metre dash to the line.
‘Wegians, who included former Ireland internationals Matt Mostyn and Tom Tierney, struck for an unconverted try in the 32nd-minute through winger John Cleary.
‘Wegians, having won their two opening games, should really have made it a hat-trick with their Connacht centre Alipate Tuilevuka putting in a man of the match performance before he was unfortunately injured during the second half.
With Peter Durcan required by Connacht on Friday night, Cormac O’Beirne stepped in at out-half for the visitors. Fresh from starring in last weekend’s win over Blackrock College, ‘Nure had the influential McAllister at number 10.
In a hard-fought game that was slugged out between the forwards for long stretches, the deadlock continued past the 20-minute mark until some relentless pressure from the visitors told and Cleary got over for the only score of the half.
But with Frenchman Bertrand Guiry, who hails from Perpignan, his back row colleague Brian Moroney and prop and captain Stephen Nolan excelling for the hosts, ‘Nure managed to fight back and claim their fourth win in eight league meetings with the westerners.
A yellow card for Cleary helped their cause and McAllister’s quick thinking helped see the speedy Bollard over for a fine breakaway try which McAllister tellingly converted.
‘Wegians were not the same team after they lost Tuilevuka to a knee injury and despite some late pressure from their pack, they could not breach the hosts’ defence and ‘Nure held on to move from eighth to fourth in the Division One table. ‘Wegians have gone the opposite way and are now seventh ahead of next weekend’s visit to Dolphin.
UCD 16 St. Mary’s College 15, Belfield
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Vasily Artemiev, Kevin Croke; Pen: Killian Lett; Drop: Andy Cummiskey
St. Mary’s: Pens: Jonathan Sexton 5
Centre Andy Cummiskey kicked a late drop goal as UCD edged out St. Mary’s College by 16-15 in this well-contested Division One clash at Belfield. The students made it two league wins on the bounce as they came back after Jonathan Sexton had kicked Mary’s in front. Sexton, the Leinster out-half, landed five penalties in all – four in the second half – to give Mary’s a 15-13 lead.
UCD, who led 8-3 at half-time, had tries from winger Vasily Artemiev and back rower Kevin Croke.
As well as Sexton, Mary’s included young Leinster stars Matthew D’Arcy, Richard Sweeney, Conor McInerney and Kevin Sheahan in their starting line-up – the latter three being former UCD players.
UCD, for their part, had former Ireland Schools winger Artemiev on from the start as well as Leinster prop Ronan McCormack and Ireland Under-20 Grand Slam back rower Sean O’Brien.
Searching for their first league win over Mary’s in six meetings, UCD made the better start and were 8-0 to the good after the first quarter-hour’s play. The confidence gained from last weekend’s 23-13 dismissal of Dungannon was obvious as the Belfield side put the powerful Russian-born Artemiev over for a well-worked try in the left corner.
Centre Killian Lett was off target with the conversion but he did succeed with a penalty which Sexton managed to reply to after a good spell of pressure for Mary’s in the hosts’ half.
Shortly after the restart, UCD’s pack, helped by the bulk of McCormack, made the hard yards for former skipper Croke to crash over the line for a 13-3 buffer.
But a loss of discipline for the final half-hour almost saw Mary’s snatch the win. With a kicker of Sexton’s standing on the pitch, UCD knew any infringement would be punished and the Leinster man kicked four successive penalties to see the Dublin 6W club into a late lead.
It was a lead which they were destined to cough up though as UCD deservedly hit back at the death with Cummiskey, who scored two tries in the students’ previous two games, coolly dropping a goal from close to the 22 to see Bobby Byrne’s youngsters end the game in the ascendancy.