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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Derry native Conall Doherty contributed 15 points as UCD dominated from start to finish in a 35-3 bonus point hammering of a poor Galwegians side. It was the students’ first win in three Ulster Bank League outings.



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UCD, whose captain Stephen Murphy moved from centre to out-half, had the first sniff of a score at Crowley Park, turning over a scrum and number 8 Peadar Timmins almost set up a breakaway try.

Noel McNamara’s youngsters were duly rewarded for a bout of pressure, with their scrum getting on top, and centre Conall Doherty stepped up to convert a brace of penalties. Winger Barry Daly grabbed his fourth try of the campaign in the 23rd minute, as Galwegians again endured scrum problems.

It got worse for Matt Brown’s men six minutes before half-time when a typically spellbinding move from the UCD back-line ended with full-back Adam Byrne touching down. Neither try was converted, and a late Aidan Moynihan penalty made it 16-3 at the interval.

The margin was out to 20 points after Doherty converted his own 46th minute try, taking a great line to slice through off a lineout ball. The one-way traffic continued after ‘Wegians centre Brian Murphy was sin-binned. Former Ireland U-18 Schools starlet Jack Power bagged the bonus point with a 64th minute intercept score, before Byrne completed his brace five minutes later.

Munster Academy youngster Tomas Quinlan kicked Cork Constitution to victory for the second round running as they saw off Ballynahinch 32-23 at Temple Hill this afternoon.

The 20-year-old out-half converted first half tries from Darragh Lyons and James Murphy and booted six penalties to take his haul for this season’s Ulster Bank League to 83 points.

Bottom side Ballynahinch had Ulster duo Sam Windsor and Paul Rowley starting together at half-back for the first time, with the former making a promising early break before Chris Quinn opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty. Ireland Sevens international Aaron Cairns cut through for a fifth minute try to make it 8-0 and continue the visitors’ encouraging start on a bright autumnal day on Leeside.

However, Cork Con gradually got to grips with the Ulstermen. Quinlan, their match winner from last time out against Clontarf, landed three penalty efforts to one from Quinn, and he then converted a late Lyons try for a 16-11 half-time lead.

A 42nd-minute converted try from busy flanker Murphy was the ideal start to the second period for Con, with backs and forwards combining to great effect in the build-up. Quinlan’s reliable left boot kept the scoreboard ticking over for Brian Hickey’s men, albeit that ‘Hinch outscored them on try count with Kyle McCall and Robin Harte both getting over.

Defending Division 1A champions Lansdowne ended their two-match losing streak with a 17-10 triumph at home to Garryowen, as captain Scott Deasy’s late penalty clinched an important result for Mike Ruddock’s men.

The headquarters club were well beaten by Galwegians and Old Belvedere in recent weeks, and they were trailing 3-0 after flanker Joe O’Brien’s 20th-minute sin-binning and the follow-up penalty from Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin.

However, two tries either side of half-time got Lansdowne back on track. Promising openside Max Deegan was driven over from close range for a 7-3 interval scoreline, and that pack power also paved the way for a 49th minute penalty try which Deasy converted.

Industrious inside centre Andrew O’Byrne set up a grandstand finish with a seven-pointer in the dying minutes, but out-half Deasy had the final say for his side who are back up to fifth in the standings.

Resurgent Young Munster made it two victories on the bounce as they beat in-form Old Belvedere 20-18 in a cracking contest at Tom Clifford Park.

With new head coach David Corkery now installed for the rest of the season, the Cookies stormed out of the blocks thanks to a third minute try from winger James O’Connor.

They led 15-11 at the break, with Ireland Sevens international Gearoid Lyons kicking a penalty and converting Dan Goggin’s excellent try. The home fans gave their biggest cheer of the day as Lyons gathered his own box kick to send supporting centre Goggin over.

However, at times it seemed as if former Munsters star Willie Staunton had come back to haunt the hosts for Halloween. He kicked two long range penalties and ‘Belvo struck a timely blow approaching the interval with a Daniel Riordan five-pointer.

Into the second half, replacement Michael Vaughan gave Munsters some breathing space with a try in the corner, a powerful maul doing the initial damage. A penalty try for a high tackle, which Staunton converted, set up a tense finish but the Cookies dug deep to prevail by two points.

Meanwhile, Clontarf won for the first time in three league games as they got the better of hosts Terenure College on a 13-3 scoreline at Lakelands Park.

Bouncing back from last week’s one-point loss to Cork Constitution, Andy Wood’s men returned to the top of the table thanks to the efforts of young half-backs Dermot O’Meara (try) and Joey Carbery (a conversion and two penalties) in a low-scoring but entertaining tie.

Terenure out-half Jake Swaine slotted a 22nd minute penalty to open the scoring, rewarding James O’Donoghue for a determined kick chase. Swaine is one of the youngsters thriving under coach James Blaney’s tutelage, with ‘Nure fielding six players aged 21 or under in this Friday Night Lights clash.

Carbery suffered a third penalty miss from long range, however his half-back partner O’Meara capitalised on a ‘Nure mistake in their 22 to run in a converted try approaching half-time.

With his side now 7-3 to the good, Carbery increased his influence with two well-struck penalty goals after 45 and 51 minutes. Terenure won their last two games against Garryowen and UCD with strong finishes, but their hopes took a hit when flanker Kyle McCoy was sin-binned for taking out a lineout jumper.

14-man Terenure defended stoutly in wet conditions while McCoy was off, and Clontarf were denied a try by a knock-on in the corner. In the end, they did not need it as they got back to winning ways ahead of next week’s home fixture with Galwegians. ‘Nure face a trip to struggling Ballynahinch in round 7.