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AIB League: Division One Reports Round-Up

AIB League: Division One Reports Round-Up

Division One leaders Cork Constitution marched on at Crowley Park on Saturday afternoon, posting their sixth straight league win but Galwegians did help them on their way.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, March 29


Scorers: Galwegians: Try: John Cleary

Cork Constitution: Tries: Cronan Healy, Evan Ryan; Pen: Richie Lane

Division One leaders Cork Constitution marched on at Crowley Park on Saturday afternoon, posting their sixth straight league win but Galwegians did help them on their way.

Con took advantage of two lapses from the hosts – a missed tackle and a charged down kick – to pick off tries.

Alipate Tuilevuka missed a third-minute tackle, allowing Con winger Cronan Healy to touch down. Richie Lane added a penalty for an 8-0 interval lead.

Centre Evan Ryan grabbed the block-down score to edge Con further in front before Galwegians winger John Cleary got over for a late consolation try – his fourth of the campaign.

Making their only trip to Connacht this season, the Leesiders raced into an early lead when Tuilevuka put in a poor tackle and a swift attack, with former captain Frank Cogan central to it, ended with Munster’s Denis Fogarty setting Healy free into the 22 and over for the try.

Con could not really build on that early score and had to be satisfied with the addition of a Lane penalty, after 18 minutes, as they took an 8-0 buffer into the break.

‘Wegians had a couple of scoring chances either side of half-time but Connacht squad member Liam Bibo pushed two penalty kicks to the wrong side of the posts.

The home side also included John Lyne, Brian McGovern, Andrew Browne and Peter Durcan, four players who are in and around the Connacht squad this season.

Just when it looked like ‘Wegians might eat into Con’s lead, a poorly thrown pass from Robbie Shaw forced Bibo into a hurried clearance and Ryan was in quick to get the block-down and notch the killer 58th-minute try in the corner.

As it turns out, a losing bonus point would have been enough for the men from the west to guarantee their place in next season’s Division One.

However, despite Cleary’s late effort, which Bibo failed to convert from the touchline, Paul Young’s charges had nothing to show for their efforts.


Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Shane Monahan 2; Cons: Kyle Tonetti 2; Pen: Kyle Tonetti

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Clontarf: Tries: Niall Carson, Paul O’Donohoe; Pens: Daragh O’Shea 2 

‘Shane’ was the name on everyone’s lips at Stradbrook on Saturday afternoon as Blackrock College dented Clontarf’s Division One play-off hopes.

Winger Shane Monahan grabbed two tries and former Ireland hooker Shane Byrne reeled in the years with an inspirational display as ‘Rock came from 16-0 behind.

‘Tarf had a huge wind advantage in the first half but were only 11-0 in front at half-time thanks to a Niall Carson try and two Daragh O’Shea penalties.

However, Monahan’s brace of scores – the second in the 78th-minute – saw the north Dubliners overhauled.

The result leaves Clontarf on 42 points in fourth place, a full eight points behind Garryowen in third.

If they are to feature in the semi-finals, Andy Wood’s men will need to beat Galwegians on April 19, preferably with a bonus point, and hope that Dolphin do not post wins over either St. Mary’s College or Cork Constitution.

Dolphin’s game against Mary’s was postponed today, leaving the Corkmen three points behind ‘Tarf with a game in hand.

‘Tarf’s league form on the road this season has been enviable with five wins and a defeat in their previous six away games.

But despite a solid start, during which centre O’Shea knocked over penalties after 14 and 31 minutes, the visitors created little in the way of try-scoring chances.

Hooker Niall Carson did get over in the third-minute of injury-time, after a sustained bout of forward pressure, but with that forceful wind behind them, ‘Tarf needed to be further in front.

They managed to increase their lead, eight minutes into the second half. Scrum half Paul O’Donohoe slipped through for an opportunistic try that went unconverted.

Blackrock had lost prop Kieran Maloney to a sin-binning just before the break, but restored to their full complement, the AIB Cup finalists soon reeked havoc.

The evergreen Byrne popped up everywhere as ‘Rock turned things around after the visitors had dominated possession.

Out-half Kyle Tonetti opened ‘Rock’s account with a 50th-minute penalty. Just two minutes later, a swift back-line move ended with Monahan crashing over for his first try.

Tonetti converted and he also added the extras, two minutes from time, when Boyne product Monahan, a member of last year’s Ireland Under-20 team, sliced through the Clontarf cover and raced in under the posts.

The win completes a neat double for ‘Rock who also beat Clontarf 34-17 at Stradbrook a few weeks ago in a memorable AIB Cup semi-final tie.


Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Conan Doyle 2, Keith Earls, Alan Kingsley; Con: Conor Kilroy; Pens: Conor Kilroy 3; Drop: Alan Kingsley

Old Belvedere: Tries: Barry Kinsella, Felix Jones; Cons: Brian Collins 2; Pen: Brian Collins

Garryowen guaranteed themselves a place in the Division One semi-finals with a well-crafted 34-17 win over Old Belvedere at Dooradoyle on Saturday afternoon. 

The Limerick men lie in third place in the table, eight points clear of Clontarf, thanks to this four-try success.

Barry Kinsella got over for an early ‘Belvo try but scores from Conan Doyle, Keith Earls and Alan Kingsley helped the hosts lead 23-10 at half-time.

Felix Jones made a 40-metre dash for the Dubliners’ second try, but Doyle’s second touchdown made the game safe for Garryowen, who could still nick a home semi-final off the top two, Cork Constitution and Shannon.

Three tries inside the opening seven minutes got this game off to a bright start at Dooradoyle but, once in front, Garryowen cruised to victory and wrapped up the bonus point midway in the second half.

Two of the brightest prospects in the country, Keith Earls and Felix Jones both scored spectacular tries for their respective sides.

It was a game in which the handling of both sides proved costly at times, but with six tries the small attendance could not complain that they were not entertained.

And the tries by Earls and Jones, two members of last year’s Ireland Under-20 team, were worth the admission alone. This pair look set to make a big impact on the game in future seasons.

Garryowen had the better backs with Conan Doyle and Alan Kingsley being especially prominent as a support act to Earls who threatened every time he gained possession.

In the forwards Garryowen had star men in Anthony Kavanagh, Paul Neville and Mark Melbourne.

The Old Belvedere half-backs Brian Collins and Ruairi Cushion coped well behind a sometimes beaten pack and Jones was the star of the visitors’ three-quarter line. In the ‘Belvo pack, Tim Jago and Vincent Soden were the pick.

Old Belvedere led inside two minutes when Jones gave an inside pass to Barry Kinsella who raced in and Brian Collins converted.

Three minutes later, three Garryowen players chased a kick by Alan Kingsley and Conan Doyle got the touchdown.

Then came the superb try by Earls who flew clear from inside his own half for a spectacular try and a drop goal by Alan Kingsley had the home side 13-7 in front.

A penalty by Collins kept ‘Belvo in touch but ten points in the last six minutes of the half made all the difference.

Firstly, Kingsley had a try after the pack tried to drive over several times – Melbourne gave the try-scoring pass to the out-half. Conor Kilroy converted and he then added a penalty.

Kilroy added two second half penalties for Garryowen and in between Doyle had his second try. The lightning quick Jones raced over for Old Belvedere’s second try which Collins converted.

Once the score-line clearly indicated a Garryowen win, both coaches availed of the opportunity to empty their benches.

UCD 14 SHANNON 43, Belfield

Scorers: UCD: Tries: Conor Quinn, Conor Geoghegan; Cons: Killian Lett 2

Shannon: Tries: John Clogan, Mossie Lawlor, Killian O’Neill, Eoghan Grace, Stephen Kelly 3; Cons: Andrew Thompson, David O’Donovan 3

Stephen Kelly showed what an asset he is to Shannon by scoring a hat-trick of tries in their impressive dismissal of UCD at Belfield on Saturday. 

The sheer pace of the multi-talented winger, who is also a member of the Limerick Gaelic football panel, was too much for the students to handle.

UCD took the lead thanks to a Conor Quinn try but efforts from John Clogan, Mossie Lawlor and Killian O’Neill had Shannon leading 17-7 at half-time.

Further tries from replacement Eoghan Grace and Kelly (3) completed the rout as Shannon guaranteed their place in the semi-finals.

The former champions, along with pace-setters Cork Constitution and third-placed Garryowen, can book a home semi-final on April 19 but will be relying on other results to go their way.

Gunning for their fifth win in seven league games against UCD, Shannon got off to a sluggish start with Quinn intercepting a midfield pass and ghosting over for an 11th-minute try.

Killian Lett converted and with Shannon facing into the breeze, it looked like they might struggle – particularly after last Sunday’s 18-13 reversal to Dolphin.

But three tries before half-time gave them the upperhand and they never relinquished that lead.

Centre John Clogan notched the first in the 23rd-minute, dashing in at the corner after Munster’s Niall Ronan had been held up.

There was some neat play from Andrew Finn and Mossie Lawlor, who slotted in at out-half, in the lead-up to Clogan’s score.

Lawlor then turned scorer in the 39th-minute when he spotted a gap and went straight through it, allowing Andrew Thompson an easier conversion for 12-7.

In the third-minute of first half injury-time, prop Killian O’Neill got over for his first try of the season.

Colm McMahon and Niall Ronan were heavily involved in the build-up and a quick pass from Lawlor out to the left put the unchallenged O’Neill over.

Nine minutes after the resumption, Shannon continued to pile on the pressure with replacement flanker Eoghan Grace touching down for the bonus point score.

It then turned into the Stephen Kelly show for the final quarter. In the 61st-minute, the winger launched a chip and chase attack which led to his first try, which winger David O’Donovan converted.

UCD cut the gap back to 31-14 when pressure near the Shannon line told and hooker Conor Geoghegan crashed over after he had taken a quick tap penalty.

But Shannon ended the game on the up when Kelly crossed for a 76th-minute try, after David Quinlan had initially broken off the back of a scrum.

Quinlan and Grace both took the ball on in the first-minute of injury-time before Finn offloaded for Kelly to nab his hat-trick score and his ninth try of the league campaign.

O’Donovan’s third conversion completed the scoring as Shannon’s backs coach Ian Sherwin, an ex-UCD scrum half, got one over on his former club.

The win sent Kelly merrily on his way up to Newry to join the Limerick footballers for Saturday night’s NFL encounter with Down, but his journey was cut short as the game was called off due to an unplayable pitch.