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Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Wanderers have hit top spot in Ulster Bank League Division 2C following their dismissal of Boyne at the home of Irish Rugby. The current top five is completed by the Munster quartet of Bruff, Old Crescent, Midleton and Kanturk.

Boyne were unable to back up last week’s home win over Midleton as Wanderers took the spoils in the sides’ Friday Night Lights clash played on the Aviva Stadium’s main pitch.

The Dubliners, who won away to Kanturk in the opening round, passed the 30-point mark again as their second bonus point win (31-13) moves them to the top of the table.

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Brian Vaughan’s third-minute try was added to by an Eoin O’Donnell effort five minutes later, with the latter finishing off a slick back-line move after Wanderers had pressed from an initial rolling maul.

Peter Brougham missed two tricky conversions but tagged on the extras to a Paddy Mallon try from a quick tap that caught the visitors napping. Either side of that score, Karl Keogh and Niall Kerbey landed penalties for Boyne to leave it 17-6 at half-time.

Boyne had a solid platform from their scrum and should have opened their try account early in the second period. Brian Howell broke up the left wing but could not combine with the supporting Eoghan Duffy with the try-line in sight.

Wanderers’ potent back-line then clicked into gear once more to register the bonus point through Ciaran Wade with little over a quarter of an hour remaining. Replacement Ben Traynor’s overhead pass played in Kerbey for Boyne’s only try in the 70th minute.

That cut the gap to 24-13, but Wanderers made sure to have the final say as flanker Harley Murray’s solo effort from 20 metres out was converted by Wade for a convincing 18-point winning margin.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Midleton showed no mercy to league newcomers Dundalk as they triumphed 43-0 at Towns Park. The Cork club’s opening success of the campaign, which puts them fourth in the standings, saw them rack up seven tries in all.

Limerick duo Bruff and Old Crescent matched Wanderers’ two wins-from-two tally as they prevailed at home to Tullamore (22-15) and Navan (20-10) respectively.

Bruff full-back Brendan Deady continued his ‘deadly’ form with a third try in two games. However, Tony Cahill was the hosts’ most important weapon at Kilballyowen Park – he kicked five penalties and a conversion to down a resilient Tullamore side who had second half tries from Leon Martin and Jordan Conroy.

At Rosbrien, tries from Seaghan Gleeson, Cathal O’Reilly and impressive number 8 Brendan Guilfoyle drove Eugene McGovern’s Crescent outfit to a hard-fought victory over Navan.

Sligo’s first home match of the season did not go to plan for them, as Kanturk came away from Hamilton Park with a 45-15 bonus point success. Ben Martin’s charges established an early 21-3 lead and never really looked back, with Sean Cremin (2), Ronan O’Brien (2) and Luke McCabe touching down and Sligo also leaking a penalty try.

Martin, who played at out-half, added all six conversions and kicked a penalty, while bottom-placed Sligo had tries from Enda Gavin and the ever influential Mark Rooney. In an incredible statistic, after starting for Kanturk on Saturday, evergreen winger John Duggan has now played a game for the club’s first team every season for 20 years in a row.

ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Midleton 43 Dundalk 0, Towns Park
Old Crescent 20 Navan 10, Rosbrien
Sligo 15 Kanturk 45, Hamilton Park
Bruff 22 Tullamore 15, Kilballyowen Park
Wanderers 31 Boyne 13, Aviva Stadium main pitch (played on Friday)