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AIB League: Division 3 Round-Up

AIB League: Division 3 Round-Up

Queen’s University ran in six tries as they accounted for Ulster rivals Banbridge in Saturday’s entertaining AIB League Division 3 semi-final at Dub Lane. Nenagh Ormond caused an upset in the other semi-final, edging out Midleton on a 12-11 scoreline at Towns Park.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 3 SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, April 17

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY 41 BANBRIDGE 22, Dub Lane

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Scorers: Queen’s University: Tries: Jonny Shiels 2, David McIlwaine, Paul Karayiannis, Mark Robinson, Andrew Linton; Cons: James McKinney 3, Ian Porter; Pen: James McKinney
Banbridge: Tries: Chris Leathem 2, Michael Cromie; Cons: Shandon Scott 2; Pen: Shandon Scott

Queen’s produced the stronger finish as they progressed through to the AIB League Division 3 final, with Ulster Ravens centre Jonny Shiels grabbing a brace of tries.

Banbridge were well in the hunt up until the final quarter when the Belfast students managed to pull away.

The hosts, who topped the table, were 22-17 ahead at half-time, David McIlwaine, Shiels and Paul Karayiannis scoring their tries.

Bann had two tries from tricky winger Chris Leathem on the board at that stage and they showed they were not giving up without a fight when Michael Cromie touched down, cancelling out an effort from Queen’s captain Mark Robinson at the start of the second half.

The Banbridge pack had the better of the forward exchanges but Queen’s took their scoring opportunities most importantly. Robbie Moore’s charges pulled away in the final ten minutes with tries from Shiels and lock Andrew Linton.

Ireland Under-20 out-half James McKinney was Queen’s best performer on the day, playing a part in a number of the tries and kicking nine points.

The season may be over now for many clubs, but Queen’s still have a busy schedule of matches to negotiate before they put their boots away.

Next Saturday sees them facing UCD in the Dudley Cup decider, while they are also chasing silverware in the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup final – against Malone at Ravenhill on Friday, April 30 (7.30pm) – and the AIB League Division 3 final – against Nenagh Ormond at Anglesea Road on Friday, May 7 (6pm). 

Click here for Banbridge RFC’s video highlights from the game.

MIDLETON 11 NENAGH ORMOND 12, Towns Park

Scorers: Midleton: Try: Jim Gogarty; Pens: Jeff Hitchmough 2
Nenagh Ormond: Pens: David Delaney 3; Drop: David Delaney

Nenagh Ormond showed tremendous grit and determination to pip hosts Midleton in this Munster derby tie, with the Corkmen missing a drop goal effort with the final play of the game.

Most of the drama in this exciting semi-final came in the final 20 minutes with the lead changing hands on five separate occasions.

Midleton opened the scoring with a try after nine minutes from winger Jim Gogarty. Nenagh replied with a penalty from out-half David Delaney, leaving it 5-3 in favour of the home side at the break.

Than came all the excitement as after constant Nenagh pressure, Delaney put his side in front with a second penalty.

Winger Jeff Hitchmough restored Midleton’s advantage with a penalty after the home forwards were held up on the Nenagh line.

From the restart, Nenagh winger Colm McMahon was bundled into touch at the corner flag after a great break involving full-back Stephen Harvey and winger Ger Hermse. Nenagh retook the lead when Delaney landed a smartly-taken drop goal.

Midleton bounced back and a move involving centre Paul Whelan and Hitchmough saw Whelan being tap-tackled with the line agonisingly at his mercy. Midleton’s pressure was rewarded with a second Hitchmough penalty.

Two minutes from time, Delaney held his nerve to restore Nenagh’s single-point advantage with his third penalty of the afternoon.

With the game in injury-time, Midleton launched one final attack but replacement Jason Holland saw his drop goal shot go wide of the posts

With this the final whistle sounded to the joy of the large Nenagh following and it also ended the playing career of current Munster backs coach Holland who proved a great servant to the east Cork club.

Final: Friday, May 7 – Nenagh Ormond v Queen’s University, Anglesea Road, 6pm