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All-Ireland League: Division 3 Round-Up

All-Ireland League: Division 3 Round-Up

City of Derry lead the way in All-Ireland League Division 3 after the opening two rounds of matches. They hammered Suttonians 68-28 for their second bonus point win, with Sunday’s Well, Seapoint, Instonians and Naas also unbeaten so far.

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 3 RESULTS: Saturday, October 9

Banbridge 51 Connemara 10, Rifle Park
City of Derry 68 Suttonians 28, Judge’s Road
Greystones 29 NUIM Barnhall 6, Dr. Hickey Park
Highfield 25 Ards 20, Woodleigh Park
Instonians 31 Nenagh Ormond 23, Shaw’s Bridge
Naas 25 Rainey Old Boys 19, Forenaughts
Navan 5 Sunday’s Well 28, Balreask Old
Seapoint 26 Wanderers 15, Churchview Road

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City of Derry and Suttonians clashed in a very entertaining encounter at Judge’s Road on Saturday, with the hosts running in ten tries to go a point clear at the top of the table.

Having been relegated from the All-Ireland League just two years ago, Derry’s current resurgence is all the more remarkable.

Bevan Lynch’s young team took the lead against Suttonians after a scoreless opening quarter. Lock David Houston gathered a loose ball and sprinted over from 30 metres out for the first try, which out-half Richard Peoples converted.

The Dubliners responded well through their forwards and a well-taken try from centre Ronan Murphy, with out-half Jamie Ward adding the extras, got them back level.

But Derry dominated the remainder of the first half, racking up the bonus point by half-time. Houston and Jack Caithness combined to set up replacement Tom Patton for their second try.

A well-weighted chip kick from scrum half Andrew Semple teed up centre Simon Logue for his first try of the afternoon, and Logue added his second in injury-time for a 28-7 lead at the break.

Derry were now in complete control and just two minutes into the second half, Semple used quick ruck ball to cross close to the posts.

Suttonians stalwart David Walsh launched a break from his 22, from which team captain Richard Delaney made it over for a seven-pointer.

And although Murphy scored again for the visitors soon after, Derry kept the scoreboard ticking over with further tries from Semple and excellent full-back Peter Henderson (2).

Delaney replied by notching Suttonians’ bonus point try, which Ward converted, but a dominant Derry had the final say as man-of-the-match Logue took his try-scoring tally for the day to four. Peoples added one conversion for an 18-point kicking haul.

Sunday’s Well made it two wins out of two, coming away from Balreask Old with a 28-5 victory over Navan. Winger Chris Spearman showed his finishing skills with two tries, the first seeing him evade three tacklers close to the touchline before going over in the corner.

He followed up with an intercept score, and the Corkmen also had scoring contributions from centre David Twohig (try) and out-half Danny O’Shea, who kicked 13 points. Navan had taken the lead through a Leigh Jackson try, created by centre John Davis.

Seapoint and Instonians both continued on the winning trail, earning home victories over Wanderers and Nenagh Ormond respectively, while full-back David Aherne starred with a 15-point haul in Naas’ 25-19 triumph over Rainey Old Boys at Forenaughts.

Rainey will be kicking themselves as a try from lock Peter Stewart and 14 points from the boot of impressive full-back Mark O’Connor had them leading 19-8 early on in the second half.

However, Naas sparked into life and two terrific tries from winger Jeff Delaney (53 minutes) and centre Donal Droney (62) edged them back in front, with Aherne landing both conversions.

Droney’s effort was a high quality score as, picking up a pass on the left, he managed to beat three players on a mazy run to the line.

Aherne landed a 77th minute penalty to stretch the Kildare side’s advantage to six points. He capped off his man-of-the-match performance in injury-time with a hugely important tackle on the advancing O’Connor who looked set to score in the right corner.

Prop Bobby Clancy was among the try scorers as Greystones secured a bonus point in their first home league game under new head coach Reggie Corrigan. Backs Simon Malone, Ronan Carroll and Jorge Prieto also crossed the NUIM Barnhall whitewash in a 29-6 win.

Highfield battled their way to their opening league success, a gutsy 25-20 win over Ards at Woodleigh Park. After a 10-10 scoreline at half-time, the Cork side pushed on with tries from full-back Dave Walker and Derek Houlihan whoses centre partner Colin Mahony kicked 10 points in all.

Meanwhile, at Rifle Park, Banbridge powered clear of Connemara in the opening half-hour on the way to a 51-10 triumph.

Four first half tries, with three of them from lock and team captain Simon McKinstry, had Bann in sparkling form.

Injury-hit Connemara suffered two sin-binnings, but fought right to the final minute and registered tries through flanker Martin O’Malley and replacement Kevin Barry.

Ashley Finlay (2), place-kicker Robin Thompson and replacement Jonny Martin completed the hosts’ try-scoring haul, which also included a penalty try. It was important for Banbridge to open their win account ahead of their trip to leaders Derry on October 23.