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AIB League: Clontarf Leave It Late Again

AIB League: Clontarf Leave It Late Again

Cian Healy played the full 80 minutes for Clontarf as they edged out play-off rivals UL Bohemians at Castle Avenue on Saturday afternoon.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, January 26

CLONTARF 10 UL BOHEMIANS 8, Castle Avenue

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Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Daragh O’Shea, Derek Keane
UL Bohemians: Try: Ian Hanly; Pen: Paul Warwick

Cian Healy, a member of Ireland’s extended Six Nations squad, started at loosehead prop and made his presence felt, especially during the first half.

The visitors took a 5-0 lead into half-time thanks to a try from winger Ian Hanly.

A well-worked 55th-minute try from centre Daragh O’Shea levelled the tie and for the second week running, an injury-time effort from replacement winger Derek Keane handed the spoils to ‘Tarf.

Bohemians, looking to bounce back after last weekend’s reversal at home to Garryowen, won the toss and elected to play with the wind at their backs in the first half.

But the Limerick men could not pile on the points against a rock-soild Clontarf defence. Despite falling behind, ‘Tarf had their fair share of ball and Healy proved himself to be a very effective ball carrier in the opening 40 minutes.

Bohs ended the first quarter by putting winger Hanly over for a try fashioned by his back-line colleagues and initiated by Munster duo Paul Warwick and Barry Murphy.

Warwick missed the conversion and Bohs’ lead remained at just 5-0 until the hosts, now with the elements in their favour, sent O’Shea slicing through for his try.

Ian Keatley, who enjoyed a good duel with Warwick, missed the conversion and Warwick was able to kick Bohs back in front with a well-struck penalty soon after.

Nonetheless, the game’s defining moment arrived in the seventh-minute of injury-time. Last week Keane struck late to hand ‘Tarf the verdict away to Old Belvedere.

Back on home soil, the former Skerries clubman, on as a replacement, was just as big an influence as after a series of rucks and mauls and shunning a kick at the posts, the ball was shifted out wide for Keane to score and keep ‘Tarf well in the play-off picture.

Andy Wood’s men, for whom centre Breffni O’Donnell broke well, remain third in the table, while Bohs have slipped from sixth position to ninth and are now nine points short of the top-four albeit with a game in hand.

GARRYOWEN 12 TERENURE COLLEGE 10, Dooradoyle

Scorers: Garryowen: Pens: Conor Kilroy 3, Gerry Hurley
Terenure College: Try: Killian Coleman; Con: David McAllister; Drop: David McAllister

Terenure College gave Garryowen a major fright at Dooradoyle but an injury-time penalty from Gerry Hurley was enough for the defending champions to record their fifth straight AIB League win.

Terenure led 10-6 at half-time and should have been further ahead. After two Conor Kilroy penalties for the hosts, ‘Nure replied with a David McAllister drop goal.

McAllister set up centre Killian Coleman for a 23rd-minute converted try.

But there was heartbreak for the Dubliners after the break when Kilroy (55 minutes) and Hurley (82) kicked Garryowen to victory.

A decision by match referee David Wilkinson aided Garryowen when he over-ruled the touch judges to decree that a penalty by Conor Kilroy was on target. That came after 18 minutes and it gave the home side a 6-0 lead.

Within a minute of Kilroy’s second penalty, the outstanding David McAllister, a former Leinster squad member, dropped a goal to bring Terenure back into the game and for the remainder of the half the visitors were well on top.

They were full value for their 23rd-minute try which saw Coleman race in close to the posts after a good build-up in which McAllister played a key role. He also converted the try to leave his side 10-6 ahead at the turnaround.

But by that stage Terenure should have been well clear. Brian Flanagan was almost in for a try after 30 minutes when the best player on view, flanker Peter O’Malley, sent him clear only for Ireland ‘A’ international Keith Earls to get across and bring off a tackle two metres out.

For a four-minute spell following that attack, Terenure were camped on the Garryowen try-line but only some outstanding defence kept them out.

Kilroy narrowed the gap with a 55th-minute penalty as Garryowen soaked up pressure from a lively and better ball-playing Terenure.

McAllister had a chance to put Terenure further in front, early in the second half, but he was unable to judge the swirling wind and his effort from 35 metres went inches wide. That proved crucial during a second half which ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Dubliners.

Terenure had reason to believe they would survive when Kilroy missed a penalty for the home side after 69 minutes. And ‘Nure had another major scare with only two minutes remaining when they were penalised for hands in the ruck.

Garryowen decided to change place-kicker but number 9 Hurley failed from what seemed an easy enough position.

From the drop-out, Alan Kingsley was well wide with a long range drop kick attempt as the panic-stricken Garryowen side stared at defeat.

However, Terenure were punished again for their lack of discipline and this time Hurley stole the points with the second last kick of the game.