At Stevenson Park on Saturday afternoon, third-placed UCC maintained their promotion challenge with a deserved 21-3 success against a disappointing Dungannon side.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, January 23
DUNGANNON 3 UCC 21, Stevenson Park
Scorers: Dungannon: Pens: James Shiells
UCC: Tries: Brian Dennehy, John Ryan; Con: Brian Derham; Pens: Brian Derham 3
Second half tries from lively centre Brian Dennehy and tighthead prop John Ryan did the business for Conor Twomey’s men who have now won six of their last seven AIB League Division 1B games.
Struggling for form, Dungannon could only muster a single penalty from out-half James Shiells as they turned around with a 6-3 deficit to overcome.
Losing influential lock Michael Rainey to the sin-bin did not help, and UCC were almost home and hosed by the 60-minute mark.
Goalkicking winger Brian Derham landed his third penalty of the tie, after 52 minutes, and UCC were celebrating their first try just five minutes later.
Outside centre Dennehy did well to finish off a move that started on the halfway line as the ‘Gannon defence was ruthlessly split open.
Dungannon did have their moments in attack, particularly in the final five minutes when UCC were down to 14 men, but the ‘College defence was superbly drilled.
Number 8 James Ryan was a huge presence for the Cork students and they finished off the job with a 77th minute try, scored by front rower John Ryan and converted brilliantly from the touchline by Derham.