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Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Review

Bottom side Ards were on the end of a 69-0 thrashing by table toppers Highfield in the latest round of Division 2B action, while Richmond claimed their first victory of the campaign by winning away to Navan.

Limerick club Richmond won at the seventh attempt as they came away from Balreask Old with a hard-fought 17-12 success, their tries coming from Brian Collins and Mike Kelliher.

The result was made all that more special by the fact that the players, management and supporters were able to celebrate that night back in their own newly-opened clubhouse.

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Kelliher’s second half try has lifted Richmond up to 14th in the table, above Boyne who lost 24-13 at home to promotion-chasing Tullamore.

The Offaly men, who have clmbed back up to second, were unable to shake off a gallant Boyne side until the final 10 minutes. The hosts were leading 13-12 when impressive young prop Dave Monahan had to go off injured, and Tullamore took immediate advantage at scrum time.

Boyne were 10-5 to the good at half-time, their lone try coming from brilliant approach work from winger Brian Howell and captain Eoghan Duffy which led to out-half Tyler Lansdowne, who juggled a pass initially, sprinting in by the posts.

Tullamore responded with an equally well-worked try in the 53rd minute, as out-half Aaron Deverell blazed through midfield and passed for the supporting Brian Geraghty to score a seven-pointer and make it 12-10.

Number 8 Karl Keogh then punished a Tullamore offside, lofting over an excellent long range penalty to see Boyne retake the lead entering the final quarter.

However, the departure of loosehead Monahan unsettled the Boyne scrum and after a series of close-in set pieces, the visitors were awarded a penalty try for a 19-13 scoreline.

Tullamore added a final try from Johnny Moloney via a deft Deverell cross-field kick, gaining a hard-earned bonus point at the end of a very entertaining tussle.

Armagh are lying in third spot, four points behind Tullamore, following their 21-17 dismissal of Midleton at the Palace Grounds. It was an important result for the Ulstermen after two recent narrow defeats.

Strong-running centre Seamus Mallon set up Lorcan McGillian’s first half try and touched down himself after Midleton had come back from 16-9 down to lead 17-16. Armagh defiantly held on in a tense final 12 minutes, furiously keeping a rampant Midleton pack at bay.

Meanwhile, Old Crescent also got back to winning ways with a fine 37-5 victory over Sligo at Rosbrien, which has moved them up to 12th in the league standings.

Crescent bagged their second try-scoring bonus point of the season as Larry Hanly, Liam McMahon, Jack O’Neill, John O’Dwyer and Tevita Tali’toia all touched down.

Wanderers celebrated their fourth win in five league outings after overcoming Bruff 19-10 at Kilballyowen Park. The Dubliners are now in seventh position, just two points off the top four.

Greg Lynch’s side took advantage of two Bruff yellow cards in the first half, with tries from Eoin O’Donnell and Robert Clune adding to an earlier sixth minute effort from winger Kelvin Leahy.

19-0 down at the break, Bruff, whose selection was hampered by injuries and work-tied players, got off the mark thanks to a 54th minute penalty from Declan Bannon. Wanderers had to defend for much of the remainder and they held out until the final play when winger Paidi Kilcoyne touched down in the corner.

Eighth-placed Sunday’s Well joined Wanderers on 19 league points after coming away from Greystones with a well-judged 16-9 win. The Corkmen have won their last three games without conceding a try.

Their robust and powerful defence frustrated Greystones throughout Saturday’s clash, and they crossed for the only try in the 22nd minute – a fantastic team effort that was started by David Kingston’s big carry through midfield.

Scrum half Sam Holt recycled quickly and Ross O’Mahony, Michael Moynihan and James Mulcahy made further ground before full-back Cian Keegan received the final pass, with a nice side-step and a long stretch seeing him touch down to the left of the posts. Shane O’Riordan converted for 7-0.

A prolonged spell of presure yielded a couple of penalties which Greystones’ Kiwi out-half Kurt Strachan converted to make it a one-point game at half-time.

Errors cost Greystones as they failed to convert possession and territory into points. The ‘Well grew in confidence and three O’Riordan penalties – as against one from Strachan – had them leading 16-9 with little over 10 minutes remaining.

Greystones threw everything they had at the ‘Well and while it was not always perfect from the visitors, they came up with the answers time and again. None more so than when they won a late scrum against the head, five metres out from their own try-line.

Kanturk remain in 11th place but importantly within striking distance of the top four, following their 13-3 defeat of DLSP at Knocknacolan.

Captain John O’Sullivan’s try was converted by Paul O’Keeffe who also kicked two penalties for the victors. It was a fitting result to crown veteran forward Bryan O’Neill’s 200th appearance for Kanturk.

Player-coach Tim Ryan got among the tries as unbeaten leaders Highfield crushed lowly Ards 69-0 at Woodleigh Park. They scored 10 tries in all, with Miah Cronin and Paul Stack scoring two each and Ryan, Fintan O’Sullivan, John O’Callaghan, Sean Quaid, Marc Murphy and Chris Bannon also dotting down.

ROUND 7 RESULTS:

Old Crescent 37 Sligo 5, Rosbrien
Armagh 21 Midleton 17, Palace Grounds
Boyne 13 Tullamore 24, Shamrock Lodge
Bruff 10 Wanderers 19, Kilballyowen Park
Greystones 9 Sunday’s Well 16, Dr. Hickey Park
Highfield 69 Ards 0, Woodleigh Park
Kanturk 13 De La Salle Palmerston 3, Knocknacolan
Navan 12 Richmond 17, Balreask Old