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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Lansdowne and Young Munster are locked level on 11 points at the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A after a pulsating series of matches in round 3.



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YOUNG MUNSTER 20 CLONTARF 18, Tom Clifford Park
Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Calvin Nash, Colm Skehan; Cons: David O’Mahony 2; Pens: David O’Mahony 2
Clontarf: Tries: Karl Moran, Rob Keogh; Con: Rob Keogh; Pens: Rob Keogh 2

HT: Young Munster 17 Clontarf 15

Last season’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A finalists Clontarf and Cork Constitution both fell to their second successive defeats of the new campaign today, losing to Limerick’s Young Munster and Garryowen respectively.

For the visit of champions Clontarf, Young Munster were without Robin Copeland, who has starred for them in recent weeks, but they were able to call on recent PRO12 debutant Dan Goggin who partnered Mark Doyle in the centre with talented teenager Calvin Nash moving to the right wing.

New signing Jack Power, the Ireland Under-20 international, and Sean Long came into the Clontarf back-line, while hooker Rory Litchfield started in the visitors’ otherwise unchanged pack.

‘Tarf made the stronger start in Greenfields, twice hitting the front through the boot of Rob Keogh and an unconverted try from flanker Karl Moran. A purposeful break from Matt D’Arcy then played in winger Keogh for a 35th-minute converted effort.

However, Munsters finished the first half in fine style, scoring two quick-fire tries to nip into a 17-15 lead. Thurles tighthead prop Colm Skehan, so influential in Munster’s Junior Interprovincial title win last season, struck from a well-executed maul.

The Cookies’ second try came straight from the restart, the north Dubliners falling asleep as Munster Academy recruit Nash waltzed in for full-back David O’Mahony to convert and put two points between the sides.

That was still the gap at the end of an absorbing, defence-dominated second period. ‘Tarf dug deep during replacement scrum half Sam Cronin’s sin-binning and although Keogh’s 77th-minute penalty edged the visitors back in front, Munsters full-back O’Mahony landed the match-winning kick just two minutes later to seal a rousing 20-18 victory and move Gearoid Prendergast’s men level with Lansdowne at the top of the table.

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Mark Doyle, Jack Harrington; Abrie Griesel, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Alan Ross, Michael Madden, Alan Kennedy, Dan Walsh, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Gavin Coombes, Peter Meyer, Conor Bartley, Craig O’Hanlon, Alan Tynan.

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Sean Long, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Rob Keogh; Evan Ryan, Dermot O’Meara; Vakh Abdaladze, Rory Litchfield, Royce Burke Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Eoghan Browne, Michael Noone, Karl Moran, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jonathan Larbey, Neil Reilly, Dylan Doyle, Sam Cronin, Mark Sutton.

Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Andrew O’Byrne; Con: Neil Cronin; Pens: Neil Cronin 3
Cork Constitution: Try: Conor Kindregan; Con: Tomas Quinlan; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 2

HT: Garryowen 6 Cork Constitution 10

Captain Neil Cronin guided his Garryowen team to a gutsy 16-13 win over Munster rivals Cork Constitution in a ding-dong battle at Dooradoyle this afternoon.

Cronin stepped up to fire home a 72nd minute penalty – his fourth successful kick of an 11-point haul – and make it two narrow victories on the trot for Conan Doyle’s young charges.

Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, JP Phelan and Barra O’Byrne were the Garryowen changes from last week’s confidence-boosting 13-11 win at Old Belvedere, while Michael Clune replaced the in-form Shane Daly for Cork Con who moved Liam O’Connell to full-back.

As they did against Young Munster, Constitution gained the upper hand early on thanks to Tomas Quinlan’s fifth-minute penalty and a converted try on the quarter hour from bulldozing second row Conor Kindregan.

However, Con’s discipline has been poor in the opening rounds and they suffered their fifth yellow card in 200 minutes of rugby when O’Connell was binned for a high tackle. That came five minutes before half-time and Garryowen scrum half Cronin mopped up with a brace of penalty goals for 10-6.

Centre Andrew O’Byrne’s 55th-minute try – his second in as many games – continued the Light Blues’ resurgence, although Quinlan set up a grandstand finish with a levelling penalty, 10 minutes from the end.

Cronin then held his nerve to split the posts for the final time and Garryowen determinedly held on to take a tight verdict. They did so despite losing their loosehead prop Niall Horan to injury and playing out the final few minutes with 14 men.

GARRYOWEN: Liam Coombes; Steve McMahon, Andrew O’Byrne, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Peadar Collins; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costello, JP Phelan, Barra O’Byrne, Sean O’Connor, Johnny Keane, Elliot Fitzgerald, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Caolan Moloney, Mike O’Donnell, Dara Shanahan, Joey Purcell, Ronan O’Halloran, Dave McCarthy.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; Michael Clune, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, John Poland; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, Graeme Lawler, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Liam O’Connor, Vincent O’Brien, Sonny Dwyer, Jason Higgins, James O’Neill.

TERENURE COLLEGE 31 UCD 24, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Robbie Murphy, Robert Duke 2, James O’Neill; Con: Jake Swaine; Pens: Jake Swaine 3
UCD: Tries: Jimmy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher, James Ryan, Harry McNulty; Cons: Tim Foley 2

HT: Terenure College 16 UCD 7

Terenure College and UCD both racked up try-scoring bonus points in an eight-try thriller that went ‘Nure’s way – 31-24 – at Lakelands Park.

James Blaney’s men lifted themselves off the bottom of the Division 1A table, with flanker Robert Duke’s brace of tries helping them to bounce back from a 29-5 drubbing by Lansdowne.

Terenure made five changes to the side that lost at the Aviva Stadium, with Sam Coghlan Murray and captain Kyle McCoy heading their list of absentees.

UCD were also without some of their Leinster contingent – most notably Nick McCarthy and Barry Daly, who were both on the bench for Leinster tonight, while Andrew Porter, Jeremy Loughman and Will Connors were missing from the pack.

‘Nure deservedly led 16-7 at half-time, Mark O’Neill and James O’Donoghue getting the plaudits for their interplay in the build-up to winger Robbie Murphy’s opening try which went unconverted.

UCD were 13 points behind by the 23-minute mark, Jake Swaine landing a penalty and quick turnover ball saw Swaine grubber through for blindside Duke to ground Terenure’s second try.

Ireland Under-20 captain James Ryan led UCD’s response, carrying strongly and offloading for centre Jimmy O’Brien to speed through the middle and snap back seven points in the 34th minute. A late Swaine penalty gave ‘Nure a nine-point cushion to take into the second half.

Swaine made it 19-7 early on the resumption, but a multi-phase attack from UCD wore down the home defence for full-back Tom Fletcher to touch down on the right. Fit-again Leinster Academy out-half Ross Byrne, who came on as a replacement, could not convert.

It was Terenure’s turn to have a purple patch and they strung together two tries to secure their bonus point with 20 minutes remaining. While UCD’s Peadar Timmins was in the bin, an advancing maul ended with openside James O’Neill crossing for the hosts.

Duke grabbed his second try of the day, five minutes later, showing his pace again to get on the end of a kick through from winger Stephen O’Neill. Swaine’s conversion made it 31-12 before UCD fought hard to take home two bonus points.

Ryan got over for a deserved score, converted by Tim Foley, and then with ‘Nure hooker Adam Clarkin yellow carded, the visitors fed Ireland Sevens international Harry McNulty to finish in the corner. There were no further tries in a tense conclusion, though, as ‘Nure deservedly prevailed by seven points.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Stephen O’Neill, Conor Finn, James O’Donoghue, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Thomas Burke; Gary Hamilton, Adam Clarkin, Oisin Heffernan, John Dever, Cathal Deans, Robert Duke, James O’Neill, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Robbie Smyth, Kieran Moloney, Mike Murphy, Stephen Caffrey, Niall Thornton.

UCD: Tom Fletcher; Harry McNulty, Stephen Murphy, Jimmy O’Brien, Hugo Keenan; Tim Foley, Jamie Glynn (capt); Mikey Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Emmet MacMahon, James Ryan, Greg Jones, Alex Penny, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Rob Byrne, Jack Regan, Nick Peters, Ross Byrne.

LANSDOWNE 13 OLD BELVEDERE 16, Aviva Stadium back pitch
Scorers: Lansdowne: Try: Joe McSwiney; Con: Scott Deasy; Pens: Charlie McMickan, Scott Deasy
Old Belvedere: Try: Paul Pritchard; Con: Willie Staunton; Pens: Willie Staunton 3

HT: Lansdowne 6 Old Belvedere 9

Old Belvedere stung Ulster Bank League Division 1A leaders Lansdowne with a 16-13 defeat on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch on Friday night.

Having done the double on Lansdowne last season, ‘Belvo are proving to be a bogey team for Mike Ruddock’s men who struggled to find their usual rhythm. That is a credit to ‘Belvo whose rugged pack produced an excellent display, particularly at set piece time and the breakdown, in a game that doubled up as the Leinster Senior League Cup final.

Out-half Willie Staunton, who had an awful day with the boot against Garryowen last week, was back in brilliant kicking form with an 11-point haul, including three settling penalties after 18, 21 and 33 minutes.

Staunton’s strikes had the visitors leading 9-6 at the turnaround – Charlie McMickan and Scott Deasy replied for the table toppers – before a close range try from former Ballynahinch flanker Paul Pritchard,who was sprung from the bench, put Paul Cunningham’s charges out of reach.

Joe McSwiney’s late effort earned Lansdowne a losing bonus point, with the defeat cutting the headquarters club’s lead at the summit to a single point. Captain John Kennedy lifted the provincial silverware afterwards on a memorable night for ‘Belvo.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Mark Roche, Tom Daly, Charlie McMickan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Josh O’Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Willie Earle, Charlie Butterworth, Max Deegan.

Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Ntinga Mpiko, Joe McSwiney, Matthew D’Arcy, Jack Howlett.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Sean Coughlan, John Kennedy (capt), Ben Woods, Shane McDonald; Willie Staunton, Charlie Rock; Adam Howard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Karl Miller, Jack Kelly, Jonathan Slattery, Michael Oyuga, Dave Sherry.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, Jonathan Inglis, Paul Pritchard, Robert Cruess Callaghan, Aaron Sheehan.

Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Try: Ian O’Neill; Con: Sean Kearns; Pens: Sean Kearns 4
Dublin University: Tries: Colm Hogan, Jack Burke, Michael Courtney; Cons: Jack McDermott 2; Pens: Jack McDermott 4

HT: St. Mary’s College 13 Dublin University 6

A stunning three-try second half display from injury-hit Dublin University earned them a 31-19 victory over St. Mary’s College at Templeville Road on Friday.

Bouncing back from last week’s derby defeat to UCD, Trinity showed impressive resolve to come from 10 points down just before half-time and pick up their second road win in the top flight.

The students are still without injured captain Brian Slater due to shoulder surgery. Seb Fromm and Raef Tyrrell are among their absentees from last year, Tom Ryan is currently nursing a rib injury and second row Cian O’Dwyer also broke his hand against UCD.

Two of Trinity’s former frontliners, centre Paddy Lavelle and back rower Nick McCarthy, featured for new side St. Mary’s tonight. Their ex-team-mate Jack McDermott kicked the students ahead with a third minute penalty before Sean Kearns responded for Mary’s in the 32nd minute.

Kearns and McDermott slotted two more penalties before the break, however, in between, Mary’s mustered the game’s first try. At the end of a probing attack, Terry Kennedy’s telling pass sent winger Ian O’Neill over on the right.

Trailing 13-6, Trinity crucially hit back with a 10-point surge in a five-minute second half spell. McDermott landed another penalty before superb handling from the Ireland Club international out-half and Bryan Mollen paved the way for Ireland Under-19 full-back Colm Hogan to clinically score wide on the right.

Trinity’s greater firepower was coming to the fore and Mary’s could only respond with two more Kearns penalties over the remainder, struck in the 51st and 68th minutes.

A powerful maul on the hour mark was finished off by Trinity’s industrious skipper Jack Burke, with McDermott adding a tremendous conversion.

The visitors’ third and final try came following a prolonged multi-phase move in the 71st minute, lock Burke latching onto a loose ball and offloading neatly for centre Michael Courtney to score by the posts. McDermott’s conversion and subsequent penalty – moving his own tally to 16 points – completed a superb collective performance from Tony Smeeth’s young guns.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Terry Kennedy; Ian O’Neill, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O’Loughlin, Jordan Larmour; Sean Kearns, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Hugo Kean, Emmet Ferron, Ciaran Ruddock (capt), Cathal O’Flaherty, Caelan Doris, David Aspil, Nick McCarthy.

Replacements: Richard Halpin, Michael McCormack, Mark Fallon, Conor Dean, Dave Fanagan.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; Jack McDermott, Daniel Joyce; Eric O’Sullivan, Paddy Finlay, Andrew Keating, Jack Burke (capt), Pierce Dargan, Sam Pim, Ross Todd, Adrien Charbonnier.

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Shane Byrne, Niall O’Riordan, Daryl Egan, James O’Donovan.