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AIB League: Division Two Round-Up

AIB League: Division Two Round-Up

Clonakilty took some pressure off themselves on Saturday by moving out of the relegation zone in AIB League Division Two. The Corkmen moved into 13th place as they handed Belfast Harlequins their sixth defeat of the current campaign.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION TWO: Saturday, February 14

WANDERERS 5 BRUFF 12, Merrion Road

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Clonakilty’s match-winning try and conversion arrived in injury-time when lock Mike O’Hea crossed to the right of the posts and hooker Alfie Harte added the extra points, pushing the visitors into a 15-14 lead.

That is how it finished at Deramore Park where man-of-the-match Chris McCarey touched down twice for hosts Belfast Harlequins.

There was little between the sides in this rescheduled match (it was postponed on January 17 due to an unplayable pitch).

‘Quins broke the deadlock on 19 minutes when flanker McCarey scored after a neat chip kick from David Creighton put Clon under serious pressure.

But the visitors, who lost to leaders Lansdowne last time out, regrouped and collected a try on the stroke of half-time. Long-serving prop Eddie Knowles rounded off a close range drive by scoring an unconverted effort.

7-5 ahead at the break, ‘Quins stretched their lead on 48 minutes when McCarey launched a superb long range attack from all of 75 metres out. He raced all the way to the line for one of the tries of the season.

Ulster out-half Niall O’Connor tagged on the conversion, however Clon were having the better of the possession and as the second half wore on and the Belfast men lost two players to the sin-bin for high tackles, the visitors’ influence increased.

Harte kicked a penalty for them on 51 minutes and though ‘Quins’ tackling was strong and wholehearted, particularly from McCarey, they could not keep out former Irish Colleges international O’Hea late on.

At Merrion Road, Bruff made it two league wins on the trot as they accounted for Wanderers on a 12-5 scoreline.

The result moved Bruff into third position in the table, level on 33 points with second-placed UCC and four behind Lansdowne.

The Limerick men led 6-5 at half-time, with Brian Cahill notching two penalty goals to follow up on the consistent work of the forwards.

Bruff turned the screw in the scrum but from that attacking platform, they were negated in midfield and out wide by the tough-tackling Junior Charlie and his team-mates.

Wanderers struggled for territory in the opening half and from their only real attacking break, they engineered an unconverted try.

Full-back Paul O’Brien launched a kick chase for Bruff but Wanderers returned it with interest with winger John Gibson hacking on and scoring in the right corner.

Wanderers grew in confidence after that score and their lineout was particularly effective but indiscipline let them down and two second half penalties from O’Brien secured the four league points for Bruff.

Meanwhile, at Rosbrien, Old Crescent and Bective Rangers played out a six-try thriller and the Limerick side boosted their play-off hopes by recording a 35-23 victory.

John Broderick’s Crescent side ran in tries through Pierse Breen, Aaron Carroll, Billy Leahy and Eamonn Broderick to chalk up their first try-scoring bonus point of the campaign. Brian O’Shea kicked 15 points in all.

Crescent are now fifth in the standings, 10 points behind table-toppers Lansdowne but with a game in hand.

Bective, who are a point behind in sixth, had tries on Saturday from scrum half David Campbell (2). Cathal Connolly converted both efforts and also kicked three penalties.