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AIB League: Division 2 Round-Up

AIB League: Division 2 Round-Up

Bruff have moved into third place in AIB League Division 2, taking advantage of Bective’s slip-up at home to Terenure College. With four games left, including a home clash with Bective, the Limerick men are timing their run nicely as they attempt to join runaway leaders in making the leap into Division 1B.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 2 RESULTS: Saturday, February 20

Bective Rangers 16 Terenure College 21, Donnybrook
Bruff 27 Corinthians 0, Kilballyowen Park
Clonakilty 34 Old Crescent 13, Shannonvale Cross
De La Salle Palmerston 30 UCD 20, Kirwan Park
Greystones 13 Lansdowne 52, Dr. Hickey Park
Highfield 5 Dublin University 8, Woodleigh Park
Malone 32 Old Wesley 9, Gibson Park
Thomond 23 Belfast Harlequins 12, Liam Fitzgerald Park

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Coached by Eoin Cahill and Peter Malone, Bruff put in a typically workmanlike display at Kilballyowen Park on Saturday as they beat Corinthians 27-0 for their third straight league win.

Loosehead prop Stephen Foster scored the game’s opening try, with full-back Philip Moloney kicking the resulting conversion and a penalty to give the home side a 10-0 half-time lead.

Bruff had the better of possession in the opening 40 minutes but could not transfer that dominance onto the scoreboard. A 45th minute penalty from team captain Brian Cahill saw a young Corinthians side fall further behind but they remained in the hunt until Bruff hooker Cathal O’Regan touched down, ten minutes from the end.

Bruff kept pushing for scores and added a third try on the stroke of full-time when openside flanker John Shine crashed over, as the visitors’ tiring defence gave way.

At the other end of the table, a Josh Pentland-inspired Malone eased their relegation worries with an impressive 32-9 dismissal of mid-table side Old Wesley.

Helped by the availability of Ulster backs Mark McCrea and Cillian Willis, Malone opened the scoring at Gibson Park with a fifth minute penalty from out-half Pentland, but Old Wesley, who lost to Bective last time out, replied with two successful kicks from their number 10 David Smith.

Malone quickly got back on the offensive and Pentland kicked them level before intercepting a pass to race away and score an unconverted try in the corner.

The Belfast side built some pressure through their pack, coming up to half-time, and blindside flanker Mark Hill muscled his way over from close range for a second try, which Pentland converted.

Old Wesley upped their intensity in the third quarter but a third penalty from Smith was their only reward, as Malone defended manfully and soaked up the pressure in their 22.

Another interception left a game Wesley side with a mountain to climb as Malone centre Johnny Burgess cruised over close to the posts, with Pentland converting.

And the talented number 10 secured Malone’s bonus point score when he linked with Willis before spearing his way through the Dubliners’ midfield and outpacing the cover to run in under the posts, with the extras pushing the winning margin to 23 points.

Click here to view video highlights from the Malone v Old Wesley game.

Like Malone, Limerick outfit Thomond also claimed their fourth win of the league campaign on Saturday, turning the tables on Belfast Harlequins at Liam Fitzgerald Park.

Thomond vaulted up to tenth place in the standings, with Munster’s Declan Cusack scoring a try, two conversions and three penalties in their 23-12 defeat of ‘Quins.

At Shannonvale Cross, Clonakilty made it three wins on the trot against Munster opposition as they broke clear for a 34-13 victory over a relegation-threatened Old Crescent.

Clon pushed into a 15-3 half-time lead thanks to tries from John O’Donnell and place-kicker Kurt Morath.

Crescent struck back with a try from Lemeki Vaipulu, but second half touchdowns from O’Donnell, Michael O’Hea and Noel O’Sullivan saw the hosts, who are now eighth in the table, canter home.

Ahead of their Colours match against UCD on March 4, Dublin University rose to sixth place off the back of an 8-5 victory away to Highfield.

The Tony Smeeth-coached students struck for an early try, with hooker Mark Murdoch dashing over from 20 metres following a well-worked lineout move. A penalty from out-half Dave Joyce made it 8-0 for the break.

However, Trinity’s accuracy deserted them in the second half and unforced errors, including taking the wrong option when presented with kickable chances, saw it remain a tight game.

They missed four penalty attempts and after a sticky opening period, their Cork hosts sprung into life. Roared on by the Woodleigh Park faithful, Highfield scored a try midway through the second half, with Joey Sheahan emerging with the ball.

At the wrong end of the table, Highfield are scrapping for their lives and they put in a monumental effort in search of the winning score. But with luck on their side at last, Trinity held on with a last-gasp drop goal attempt from the hosts sailing wide of the uprights.

Elsewhere, Dublin sides Lansdowne, Terenure College and De La Salle Palmerston all scored wins.

Eoin Sheriff, Brian O’Riordan and Kieran Lewis all impressed as table toppers Lansdowne gained their eleventh successive league win, beating Greystones 52-13 at Dr. Hickey Park.

Terenure, who have two games in hand and could yet force their way into the play-off reckoning, showed their battling qualities as they got the better of Bective on a 21-16 scoreline at Donnybrook, while a free-scoring clash at Kirwan Park went DLSP’s way when they overcame UCD 30-20.

‘Salmo’s third win in four league games keeps them in second place, just a point ahead of Bruff.

Related Links –

AIB League: Division 2 Round-Up (February 13)