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Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Last Saturday was a red-letter day for Munster clubs in Division 2C as all four sides from the province won their games, including league leaders Old Crescent who triumphed 29-18 away to bottom side Dundalk.

In the top versus bottom clash at Mill Road, Old Crescent racked up their seventh win in eight league outings with Seaghan Gleeson’s first-minute try setting them on their way to a bonus point by half-time. Larry Hanly, with a brace, and Marty Ryan also touched down with goal-kicker Hanly finishing with a handsome 19-point haul.

Next Friday’s Limerick derby between Crescent and third-placed Bruff at Rosbrien should be a humdinger, with both clubs pushing hard at the business end of the table during this first half of the season.

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Bruff carved out a 19-0 victory over second-from-bottom Sligo in the latest round, however they missed out on the bonus point with a malfunctioning lineout robbing them of some decent opportunities to strike for that fourth try.

Tony Trehy’s side got over the line three times in difficult weather conditions at Kilballyowen Park, centre Brian Cahill  – pictured below – bagging a brace of first half tries and winger Paudie Kilcoyne adding the third on the hour mark.

Tullamore leapfrogged over Wanderers with a rousing 19-15 success against the Dubliners, climbing into second spot ahead of the final two rounds before Christmas. It was a great way for the Co. Offaly club to mark the opening of their new dressing rooms at Spollanstown.

Tullamore shot out of the blocks with a fourth minute try from centre Ivor Scully as he intercepted a pass on halfway and darted away to score under the posts with Karl Dunne converting. Aided by some expert breakdown work from their back row, Wanderers dug in and managed to close the gap to 7-3 by half-time despite the hosts dominating both possession and territory.

Indeed, slick passing from the Wanderers backs released Niall O’Donoghue for an unconverted effort five minutes after the break. That edged them in front, but Tullamore were quick to respond and a classy five-pointer from lively winger Jordan Conroy saw him beat his man 30 metres out and outpace the cover to go over out wide.

The hosts built further momentum through their forwards and were rewarded with a decisive third try in the 68th minute. Out-half Aaron Deverell’s precise cross-field kick was gathered by Brian Gilligan to touch down, and Dunne swung over the difficult conversion for good measure.

However, Deverell spent the final 10 minutes in the sin-bin and the 14 men had to endure a nervy finish, following the concession of a maul try, before securing a very impressive sixth win on the trot.

Midleton, who have pushed up to fifth place, are another side to watch out for with five victories in their last seven games. The Corkmen have made a habit of winning tight contests on the road with Sligo (12-11), Bruff (25-22) and now Navan (14-13) all defeated.

Aidan McCarthy’s two second half tries, both converted by Stuart Lee, guided Midleton to a one-point triumph at Balreask Old, ahead of this week’s crunch derby clash with Kanturk at Towns Park.

Kanturk ended their run of three successive defeats with a 27-17 win over Boyne at Knocknacolan. These sides are seventh and eighth respectively in the standings, but it was Ben Martin’s men who gained a confidence-boosting result with Dan McCabe crossing the whitewash twice and player-coach Martin bagging a try, three conversions and two penalties.

ROUND 8 RESULTS –

Bruff 19 Sligo 0, Kilballyowen Park
Dundalk 18 Old Crescent 29, Mill Road
Kanturk 27 Boyne 17, Knocknacolan
Navan 13 Midleton 14, Balreask Old
Tullamore 19 Wanderers 15, Spollanstown