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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

After a very eventful opening month in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, Old Belvedere have edged their way to the top of the table – closely followed by promoted Dublin University and one of the beaten semi-finalists from last year, Young Munster.



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Scorers: Dublin University: Tries: Pierce Dargan, Liam Cronin, Colm Hogan, Michael Courtney; Cons: Jack McDermott 2; Pens: Jack McDermott 2
Young Munster: Tries: Craig O’Hanlon, Cian Bohane, Jack Harrington; Cons: David O’Mahony, Alan Tynan 2; Pens: David O’Mahony, Alan Tynan

HT: Dublin University 8 Young Munster 10

Michael Courtney’s classy injury-time try secured a rousing 32-27 bonus point win for Dublin University over second-placed Young Munster this afternoon.

The former Ireland Schools international’s decisive solo run delighted the College Park faithful and made it three wins in four Ulster Bank League Division 1A games since Trinity’s promotion.

The Cookies, who paired Munster’s Dan Goggin and Cian Bohane together in midfield, led 10-8 at half-time, Craig O’Hanlon’s converted try on the half hour cancelling out Pierce Dargan’s early effort for the students.

It was Trinity’s turn to force the issue on the resumption, hooker Liam Cronin crashing over in the corner and out-half Jack McDermott converting with aplomb as the hosts retook the lead.

The highly-rated Colm Hogan intercepted a pass and darted 80 metres downfield for his third try of the campaign, but Munsters bounced back with two converted efforts from Jack Harrington and Bohane to lead 24-22 with 12 minutes remaining.

It was breathless stuff as both sides chased the win and a try-scoring bonus point. A sin-binning for the visitors saw McDermott edge Trinity ahead with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Gearoid Prendergast’s charges hit back with a penalty of their own from replacement Alan Tynan, however the free-scoring students had the final say when centre Courtney brilliantly hared through to match winger Hogan’s three-try tally to date.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; Jack McDermott, Daniel Joyce; Eric O’Sullivan, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Jack Burke (capt), Sam Pim, Ross Todd, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: James O’Donovan, Rowan Osborne, Jack Boland, Fintan Murphy, Adrien Charbonnier.

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Cian Bohane, 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 16 GARRYOWEN 14, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Try: Matt D’Arcy; Con: Rob Keogh; Pens: Rob Keogh 2; Drop: Rob Keogh
Garryowen: Tries: Liam Coombes, Alex Wootton; Cons: Neil Cronin 2

HT: Clontarf 10 Garryowen 0

Rob Keogh’s right boot came to Clontarf’s rescue again as his injury-time drop goal edged them past Garryowen by two points at Castle Avenue.

The Light Blues were on the cusp of their third straight victory thanks to two converted second half tries from full-back Alex Wootton, who made his first PRO12 start for Munster last week, and young winger Liam Coombes.

But ‘Tarf rescued a much-needed win from the jaws of defeat thanks to full-back Keogh, whose 11-point tally today took his league haul to 46 points in four outings.

It was a slow-burning first half on the north Dubliners’ grass pitch, a Keogh penalty after 20 minutes opening the scoring for Andy Wood’s men.

They led 10-0 at the turnaround courtesy of a typically stylish try from Ireland Club international captain Matt D’Arcy. The tall centre forced his way through heavy midfield traffic, breaking out of his own half for an inspirational solo score, converted by Keogh.

Garryowen, who had recent Munster try scorer Conor Oliver in their back row, grabbed the first points of the second period through Wootton, who finished off a superb team move that began in the visitors’ 22.

A long range penalty from Keogh gave ‘Tarf a six-point cushion, but they were in serious danger of losing for the third time on the trot after Coombes reached over in the corner. Garryowen captain Neil Cronin nailed a cracking conversion from the touchline for a 14-13 scoreline.

Wood’s side failed to panic and they got back into scoring range in the dying embers of the game, setting up Keogh for a snappy drop kick. The result gives the title holders a timely boost before their round 5 trip to Lansdowne in three weeks’ time.

CLONTARF: Rob Keogh; Sean Long, Colm O’Shea, Matt D’Arcy, Michael Brown; Evan Ryan, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdaladze, Jonathan Larbey, Royce Burke Flynn, Eoghan Browne, Ben Reilly (capt), Michael Noone, Karl Moran, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jack Hutchinson, James Doyle, Dylan Doyle, Peter du Toit, Mark Sutton.

GARRYOWEN: Alex Wootton; Steve McMahon, Andrew O’Byrne, David Johnston, Liam Coombes; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costello, Mike O’Donnell, Barra O’Byrne, Sean O’Connor, Elliot Fitzgerald, Conor Oliver, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Caolan Moloney, Hugh Lane, Dara Shanahan, Peadar Collins, Dave McCarthy.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Conor Kindregan, Shane Daly, James Murphy; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 2; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 4
Lansdowne: Try: Joe McSwiney; Con: Scott Deasy; Pens: Scott Deasy 2

HT: Cork Constitution 15 Lansdowne 6

Lansdowne lost their grip on top spot in Division 1A as Cork Constitution cruised to their first win in three league games at Temple Hill.

Out-half Tomas Quinlan’s 16-point haul from the kicking tee, including three penalties in the second half and an overall return of six successes from nine attempts, helped Brian Hickey’s men get back to winning ways.

The omens were good for the hosts early on when second row Conor Kindregan – one of their Leesiders’ most influential players in the early rounds – crossed in the fifth minute via an Evan Mintern-won lineout.

Kindregan’s second try in the space of a week was converted and Quinlan then sandwiched in a penalty between two opening strikes from Lansdowne’s Scott Deasy, who split the posts in the eighth and 12th minutes.

Defences were on top for the remainder of the first half, despite the best efforts of Lansdowne’s lively centres and Ireland Sevens team-mates John O’Donnell and Mark Roche, winger Charlie McMickan and strong-carrying lock Stephen Gardiner.

The visitors certainly missed the influence of captain Ian Prendiville and Leinster ‘A’ starters Tom Daly, Peter Dooley and Max Deegan, and they fell 15-6 behind for half-time when good continuity from Cork Con led to full-back Shane Daly going over in the corner in the 39th minute.

Daly’s third try of the campaign was added to by a second half score from James Murphy – a breakaway effort in injury-time – with Murphy’s forward colleague Brian Hayes producing a man-of-the-match performance for the victors.

Quinlan’s left boot was hugely influential too, pushing Lansdowne indiscipline at almost every turn. The visitors did close the gap to 18-13 at one stage thanks to a terrific try from 30 metres out by flanker Joe McSwiney, who played for Constitution for five years.

However, Quinlan’s dead-eye kicking form and Murphy’s late score saw Con finish with a flourish, leaving Mike Ruddock’s men with plenty to work on ahead of their October 28 showdown with Clontarf.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Shane Daly; Liam O’Connell, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan, Graeme Lawler, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Gavin Duffy, Ger Sweeney, Sonny Dwyer, John Poland, Darragh Lyons.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Charlie McMickan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ntinga Mpiko, Josh O’Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.

Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Jack Barry, Paul Boyle, Matthew D’Arcy, Jake Howlett.

UCD 13 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 19, Belfield Bowl
Scorers: UCD: Try: Andy Marks; Con: Matthew Gilsenan; Pens: Matthew Gilsenan 2
St. Mary’s College: Tries: Mark Fogarty, Kevin Sheahan, Cathal O’Flaherty; Cons: Sean Kearns 2

HT: UCD 3 St. Mary’s College 5

Second half tries from forwards Kevin Sheahan and Cathal O’Flaherty steered St. Mary’s College to their first win in three outings – a narrow 19-13 triumph against under-strength UCD at Belfield.

UCD were without a host of first team regulars due to the Leinster ‘A’ v Ulster ‘A’ match taking place tonight at nearby Donnybrook, while the visitors were also missing backs Terry Kennedy and Jordan Larmour for the same reason.

Out-half Matthew Gilsenan’s confidently-struck penalty from 40 metres out gave the students an 11th minute lead, but Mary’s looked to have the greater firepower and both Sean Kearns and Paddy Lavelle almost crossed the whitewash from a 25th minute attack.

A Mary’s try did arrive just two minutes later when number 10 Kearns instigated a move that ended with pacy winger Mark Fogarty diving over in the left corner. 5-3 is how it remained up to half-time, UCD losing flanker Alex Penny to the sin-bin in the 34th minute and Gilsenan missing a late penalty attempt.

A bout of attacking pressure saw Mary’s get over the whitewash in the 50th minute, influential number 8 Sheahan breaking through in powerful fashion. Kearns’ superb conversion stretched the lead to 12-3.

UCD responded thanks to centre Stephen Murphy’s eye for a gap. He expertly split the visitors’ defence open and then offloaded for winger Andy Marks to finish off by the posts, with Gilsenan converting to make it a two-point game.

With further gaps opening up as the second half progressed, former Cork Constitution lock O’Flaherty was in the right place to claim Mary’s third try wide on the left. Kearns’ terrific touchline conversion was cancelled out by a Gilsenan three-pointer in the 61st minute, keeping UCD in contention at six points down.

In a tense finale, UCD’s task grew more difficult as loosehead Mikey Moynihan was sin-binned with eight minutes to go, and then Mary’s replacement prop Emmet Ferron followed him. The energetic students pressed for a match-winning seven-pointer, but Mary’s held on for a hard-fought and well-merited win.

UCD: Tom Fletcher; Rob Keenan, Jamie Glynn (capt), Stephen Murphy, Andy Marks; Matthew Gilsenan, Nick Peters; Mikey Moynihan, Gordon Frayne, Stephen McGivern, Emmet MacMahon, Jack Dwan, Jonny Guy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.

Replacements: David Canny, Rory Mulvihill, Brian Cawley, Tim Foley, Harry McNulty.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Zach O’Hagan, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O’Loughlin, Mark Fogarty; Sean Kearns, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Hugo Kean, Brian McGovern (capt), Caelan Doris, Cathal O’Flaherty, Nick McCarthy, David Aspil, Kevin Sheahan.

Replacements: Richard Halpin, Emmet Ferron, Peter Starrett, Jack Dilger, Conor Dean.

OLD BELVEDERE 18 TERENURE COLLEGE 15, Anglesea Road (played on Friday)
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Pens: Willie Staunton 6
Terenure College: Tries: Jake Swaine 2, James O’Neill

HT: Old Belvedere 3 Terenure College 10

Willie Staunton struck late with his sixth successful penalty to guide Old Belvedere to an 18-15 home win over Terenure College on Friday night.

With the rugged ‘Belvo scrum setting up the opportunity, out-half Staunton split the posts right at the death to move Paul Cunningham’s men to the top of the Division 1A table.

His kick broke Terenure’s hearts, the visitors – boosted by last week’s victory over UCD – managing to outscore Belvedere by three tries to none during this end-to-end encounter.

An entertaining first half ended 10-3 in ‘Nure’s favour, a brace of high quality tries from full-back Jake Swaine doing the damage for James Blaney’s side.

A lost Belvedere lineout handed possession to Terenure and good width and accurate passing put Swaine racing over in the corner, with 11 minutes on the clock.

Staunton responded off the tee in the 19th minute, before ‘Belvo fell asleep after a kick went out on the full. Robbie Murphy’s quick thinking caught the home side out and Swaine had the pace to finish his second unconverted effort in superb fashion.

An early second half penalty from Staunton was cancelled out by ‘Nure’s third try, scored by flanker James O’Neill. The ‘Belvo defence, which was so impressive against Lansdowne, gave way as neat passes from captain Kyle McCoy and Mark O’Neill sent the openside through for his second try in as many games.

With no conversions, Terenure’s lead was not as big as it should have been and just five minutes later, Staunton found the target to reduce the arrears to 15-9.

The ‘Belvo pack repeated the trick with further scrum pressure leading to a converted penalty, and after ‘Nure lock John Dever was sin-binned for a ‘no arms’ tackle, Staunton drew the hosts level in the 80th minute.

The momentum was fully behind ‘Belvo with the extra man and they made it count in the dying seconds, their scrum coming up trumps again for the Galbally man to knock over the deciding kick.

OLD BELVEDERE: Shane McDonald; Sean Coughlan, John Kennedy, Robert Cruess Callaghan, David Brandon; Willie Staunton, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Jonathan Slattery, Michael Oyuga, Dave Sherry.

Replacements: Andrew McGrath, Paul Pritchard, Kyle McCarthy, Jonathan Inglis, Simon Killeen.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Stephen O’Neill, Conor Finn, James O’Donoghue, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Thomas Burke; Kieran Moloney, Adam Clarkin, Silvio Borza, John Dever, Cathal Deans, Robert Duke, James O’Neill, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Cian Madden, Kyle McCoy, Gary Clarkin, Niall Thornton.