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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Review

Dublin University showed that they are genuine promotion contenders by stunning Division 1B leaders Galwegians into submission at College Park this afternoon.



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Dublin University produced their best performance of the season to date, running in five tries in a 35-5 demolition job of Matt Brown’s table toppers who leaked 22 unanswered points in the second half.

It was a bad day at the office for Galwegians who were well off the pace, allowing the students to dictate as they extended their winning streak in the division to seven matches – six wins and a draw.

Trinity set the tone with German underage international Sebastian Fromm crossing in the corner for a fifth minute try. Tighthead prop Tom Collis plunged over for a second unconverted effort from a maul, seven minutes later.

Galwegians failed to convert long bouts of possession and pressure into points. There were a couple of missed penalty opportunities, but they finally got some reward in the 37th minute when number 8 Anthony Ryan touched down from a powerful forward drive.

However, Trinity hit back with a 30-metre penalty from Jack McDermott just before half-time, and it took a last-ditch tackle from Galwegians full-back John Cleary (pictured above) to keep the hosts at bay early in the second period.

Out-half McDermott missed a 40-metre penalty but he was next over the try-line, picking a very good line to carve open the Galwegians defence and dot down in the corner.

The visitors’ error count continued to increase as a missed tackle allowed lock Jack Burke through for Trinity’s bonus point score, which was converted by McDermott.

Winger Conor Kearns added his fifth try of the season from a quick turnover shortly afterwards, and a final penalty right on full-time rubbed salt into Galwegians’ wounds.

The result cuts ‘Wegians’ lead at the summit to five points, while fourth-placed Trinity are now only nine points off top spot ahead of the Christmas break.

Second-placed Ballymena should be closer to the league leaders but they were held to a 13-13 draw by Corinthians in Galway today.

It was very much a game of two halves at Corinthian Park where Andy Graham’s Braidmen opened up a 13-0 lead thanks to tries from lock Connor Smyth (pictured below) and winger Jordan Foster.

But Corinthians mounted a spirited comeback after the break with centre Dwayne Corcoran crossing for a try and out-half Conor Murphy kicking eight points, earning a share of the spoils for Pat Cunningham’s sixth-placed team.

Bottom side Belfast Harlequins revived their fortunes with a runaway 38-7 victory over UL Bohemians at Deramore Park, with Ulster duo Michael Heaney and Rory Scholes both touching down.

‘Quins put an end to their four-match losing streak, scoring five tries in all as they paid a fitting tribute to former player Fintan Hillyard who sadly passed away last Tuesday following a brave battle with cancer.

A minute’s silence was held in Hillyard’s honour, and Adam Larkin’s men burst out of the traps to produce a dominant first half display. They scored three tries by the interval to lead 26-7, and Heaney and Scholes joined captain Danny Annett and two-try winger David McMaster (pictured below) in crossing the whitewash.

Scrum half Heaney finished with a 16-point haul, kicking three penalties and a conversion, as ‘Quins closed within two points of Shannon (ninth) and Malone (eighth) at the foot of the table.

In the evening kick-off at Dubarry Park, Buccaneers swept Malone aside for a 32-14 bonus point win which keeps them in touch with the top four.

Connacht flanker Mata Fifita, who recently returned from a heel injury, scored one of Buccs’ four tries with his back row colleague Kolo Kiripati bagging a brace and out-half Callum Boland also touching down. Boland had a rewarding night with the boot, landing three conversions and two penalties to complete a handsome 17-point tally.