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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Early tries from Rory O’Loughlin and Daniel Riordan set Old Belvedere on their way to a 34-24 bonus point triumph away to bottom side Ballynahinch in Ulster Bank League Division 1A.



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Wingers Shane McDonald and Rory O’Loughlin also crossed for Old Belvedere in the second period, with the latter’s 83rd-minute effort ensuring a five-point return for Paul Cunningham’s men who are up to second in the Division 1A table.

Ireland Under-20 international Lorcan Dow, who lined out at openside flanker for Ballynahinch, bagged a brace of first half tries. Ireland Sevens speedster Aaron Cairns dotted down to make it 29-24, but O’Loughlin had the final say for the Dubliners.

A controversial late refereeing decision denied Cork Constitution a match-winning try as they drew 19-all with UCD at Temple Hill.

Cork Con looked comfortable at half-time, leading 16-5 after winger Darren Sweetnam (pictured below) touched down in the opening minute from a long clearance kick and out-half Tomas Quinlan contributed the other 11 points from the tee.

A fourth Quinlan penalty made it 19-5 in the 54th minute, but UCD fought back with scrum half Nick McCarthy nipping in under the posts and a converted penalty try then brought them level. They survived some late drama as Con had a try disallowed and also missed a drop goal.

Galwegians claimed the scalp of defending champions Lansdowne with a stunning 41-20 bonus point victory in front of a vocal home crowd at Crowley Park.

Young out-half Aidan Moynihan kicked two penalties and converted centre Brian Murphy’s 37th-minute try from the touchline to give ‘Wegians a 13-8 interval lead. Murphy’s score owed much to a fine burst from prop Jason East in the build-up.

A Joe O’Brien try from a charge down – two minutes into the second half – had Lansdowne ahead for the second time, but Matt Brown’s charges went on to dominate the closing half hour. Winger Ed O’Keeffe continued his rich vein of form with a brace of tries, while Ciaran Gaffney and Josh Pimm also touched down late on.

Meanwhile, young winger Jake Swaine’s 82nd-minute penalty guided Terenure College to a nail-biting 23-22 comeback win over three-try Garryowen at Lakelands Park.

Garryowen’s Kiwi captain Josh Hrstich crashed over on the end of a powerful early maul and was only just denied a second try approaching half-time, as Terenure struggled to cope with two yellow cards for Willie Devane (35 minutes) and Kevin O’Neill (37).

The Light Blues kept on course with converted efforts from Steve McMahon, who scored a brilliant breakaway score from his 22, and Neil Cronin for a 22-13 scoreline. However, Terenure snapped back to win by the minimum in the end as Swaine converted Stephen O’Neill’s 62nd-minute try in the corner (pictured below) and held his nerve to land the decisive penalty kick.

Clontarf lost their grip on a 21-13 half-time advantage and needed a late Joey Carbery penalty to draw 27-27 with hosts Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park.

Despite missing out on a fourth straight victory, ‘Tarf remain top of the Division 1A standings – a point clear of ‘Belvo. Missed tackles from Munsters allowed the visitors through for three first half tries, including a sixth try in four outings for Leinster winger Mick McGrath.

Diarmaid Dee touched down from a rolling maul on the resumption, adding to an earlier effort from the Cookies’ new South African scrum half Abrie Griesel, and the Limerick side went 27-24 up thanks to a Darragh O’Neill try. But Carbery’s second three-pointer of the day ensured a share of the spoils.