Cork Constitution moved two points clear at the top of the Division One standings after overcoming Dungannon at Temple Hill on Saturday afternoon.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, January 26
CORK CONSTITUTION 40 DUNGANNON 12, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Richard Lane 2, Cronan Healy, Tom Gleeson, Ed Leamy; Cons: Jeremy Manning 3; Pens: Jeremy Manning 3
Dungannon: Pens: Richard McCarter 4
Con had too much pace and power for Dungannon, who were out to beat another of the top flight’s big teams after shocking Shannon at Stevenson Park seven days ago.
Their chances plummeted though when Con score two tries in the opening six minutes through Richard Lane and Cronan Healy and the Leesiders were 20-3 in front at half-time.
Munster-capped out-half Jeremy Manning kicked 15 points in all, while Tom Gleeson, Ed Leamy and Lane added further tries for Con. Richard McCarter contributed four penalty goals for Dungannon.
The Tyrone men were on the back foot immediately when Lane got over for a first-minute try, while a delightful cross-field kick from Manning picked out Healy for his score.
The kicking tactic worked well for Con last week in their win over Lansdowne, resulting in another try for Healy. Manning converted both early efforts against ‘Gannon and also fired over two penalties, one of which came after visiting prop Dejay Terblanche was sin-binned.
The visitors’ sole response was a 35-metre penalty from McCarter shortly before the break. The AIB Club international added to his tally before Con scored their best try of the afternoon.
The scorer was centre Tom Gleeson and he dotted down after four phases of flowing rugby from Brian Walsh’s side. The attack picked up pace when full-back Denis Hurley made a half break, he passed on to Lane and Gleeson was on hand to make the line.
The try went unconverted, although Manning soon landed a penalty and flanker Ed Leamy, who combined well with Brendan Cuttriss and Frank Cogan in the back row, powered over for the hosts’ bonus point try.
Lane’s second touchdown – his sixth of the campaign – followed as Con closed out another good day at the office.
LANSDOWNE 16 UCD 29, RDS
Scorers: Lansdowne: Try: Ross McCarron; Con: Lorcan Kavanagh; Pens: Lorcan Kavanagh 3
UCD: Tries: Brian Cawley, Michael Hastings, Vasily Artemiev, Killian Lett; Cons: Killian Lett 3; Pen: Killian Lett
UCD made it four wins in six AIB League games as they bagged a bonus point against Lansdowne in their RDS encounter on Saturday afternoon.
The students moved up to sixth in the Division One standings as Brian Cawley, Michael Hastings, Vasily Artemiev and Killian Lett all touched down.
This was Lansdowne’s fourth defeat in five league outings since their move to the RDS and their only highlight was full-back Ross McCarron’s 64th-minute try.
Scores for Cawley and Hastings after 35 and 43 minutes were key as ‘College turned around with a 17-6 buffer.
It was a slow opening from both sides with a fourth-minute penalty from Lorcan Kavanagh, an Under-20 out-half who Lansdowne started due to an injury crisis, being the only score of the first quarter.
Lett and Kavanagh swapped penalties after 21 and 33 minutes as Lansdowne but UCD took the game by the scruff of the neck in the closing minutes of the first half.
A fumble by Shane Whelan led to a Lansdowne clearance kick being blocked down by lock Cawley and the former Ireland Under-19 international was able to keep his head and ground the ball under pressure from the cover defence.
Lansdowne also contributed in some way to Hastings’ try in first half injury-time. The Lansdowne players seemed to stop and wait for the referee’s whistle when an attack broke down but Hastings, the students’ captain, was alert enough to latch onto the ball and make a 50-metre break all the way to the whitewash.
Lett converted both tries for a 17-6 UCD lead. It should be noted that UCD lost their Russian-born winger Artemiev to a yellow card (professional foul) before half-time but Lansdowne could not make their numerical advantage pay.
Back on the field, Artemiev then struck for an excellent try as he rounded his man with ease on a 20-metre break for his fifth try of the league run.
A Kavanagh chip ahead paved the way for McCarron to score against his former club and the young number 10 converted and added a penalty to suddenly get Lansdowne into bonus point territory at 22-16.
But UCD had more in the tank and the hosts leaked a soft 78th-minute try to Lett with the former Kings Hospital pupil converting his own score to round off their first win in four away trips this season.
GREYSTONES 23 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 22, Dr. Hickey Park
Scorers: Greystones: Tries: Aaron Higgs, Stuart Abbott; Cons: James Power 2; Pens: James Power 3
Blackrock College: Tries: Niall Morris 2, David Rowan 2; Con: Fionn Carr
Greystones secured a valuable win over an in-form Blackrock College side at Dr. Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon.
The result sees ‘Stones move off the bottom of the Division One table. Blackrock threatened to run riot when their wingers Niall Morris and David Rowan pocketed two tries apiece.
The visitors led 22-13 at the break but a poor kicking display from full-back Fionn Carr saw them falter.
In the end, a converted try from stand-in captain Stuart Abbott and penalty from out-half James Power drove the Wicklow men to victory.
This was Greystones’ first home win of the league season and a richly deserved one after previous near misses. In truth, had Blackrock full-back Fionn Carr brought his kicking boots to the seaside town, ‘Rock would probably have held on for the win.
But Carr, a usually reliable place-kicker, missed six shots at the posts throughout the match, including one effort from just in front of the uprights which would have probably sealed the result.
‘Stones made a stunning start and were 13 points up in as many minutes. Inside centre Aaron Higgs charged over after the hosts’ impressive half-backs James Power and the Leinster-capped Cillian Willis had spotted space out to the left off a scrum.
Power, the son of the club’s current President Pierce, kicked the conversion and was also successful with two penalty chances.
However, all ‘Stones’ good work was undone when some lacklustre defending out wide allowed ‘Rock’s speedy backs to cut loose.
Morris, who is hoping to start next week for the Ireland Under-20s against Italy, finished off two breaks from the ‘Rock rearguard and his right wing counterpart Rowan was equally as effective in his finishing.
Carr could only convert one of those tries to give his side a 22-13 advantage for the break but there looked to be more to come from a lively ‘Rock side that once again included Shane Byrne and Des Dillon.
But the visitors, whose scrum struggled at times, fell away in the second half as ‘Stones upped the gears.
Outside centre John Quigley did go close to notching the Dubliners’ fifth try but it was Colin McEntee’s charges who bagged the half’s only try.
Flanker Stuart Abbott, a very able captain in the injury-enforced absence of Neil Megannety, muscled his way over the whitewash after ‘Rock scrum half David Moore had been driven off the ball.
That score came while ‘Rock were down to 14 men but the hosts did not care and Power’s conversion and penalty was enough for them to see out a long-awaited home win.