Shane Byrne brought the curtain down on his stellar playing career as Blackrock College sent him off on a winning note with a 30-19 victory over UL Bohemians at Stradbrook on Saturday.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 18
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 30 UL BOHEMIANS 19, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock College: Tries: Kyle Tonetti, Niall Morris, Penalty try, David Rowan; Cons: Darragh Fitzpatrick 2; Pens; Darragh Fitzpatrick 2
UL Bohemians: Tries: Dave Moloney 2, James O’Neill; Cons: Aidan McNulty 2
But the bonus point triumph was not enough for ‘Rock to reach the play-offs and prolong hooker Shane Byrne’s days with the Stradbrook club as other results at the business end of the table went against them.
The top five sides in the final Division One table – Cork Constitution, Shannon, Garryowen, Clontarf and St. Mary’s College – all scored bonus point wins on the final day of the regulation phase of the league.
Blackrock have been the entertainers in this season’s league, with seven try-scoring bonus points in their 15 games, and their attractive brand of rugby should also prove a hit in next season’s Division One Section A.
The Barry Gibney and Emmet Farrell-coached outfit led Bohs by 16-12 at half-time. Darragh Fitzpatrick knocked over an early penalty before Ireland Sevens international Kyle Tonetti blazed through for an unconverted try.
UL closed the gap to a single point with a try from winger Dave Moloney, converted by Aidan McNulty, and youngster Moloney repeated the trick soon after to give the hosts a 12-8 advantage.
However, a penalty from Fitzpatrick and a try from full-back Niall Morris edged the home side back in front for the break.
Byrne and his pack cohorts eked out a penalty try, early on in the second half, and Fitzpatrick tapped over the conversion to put some daylight between the sides at 23-12.
‘Rock sealed the bonus point when winger David Rowan finished off a neat back-line move, with Fitzpatrick converting again.
And a last-minute try from back rower James O’Neill only served as a consolation score as Bohs, who did enough over the season to merit their inclusion in Section A next autumn.