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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Dublin University have hit the dizzying heights of top spot in Ulster Bank League Division 1A after downing Garryowen 27-14 at Dooradoyle this afternoon. Catch up with a full round-up of the weekend’s action.



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Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Niall Horan, Peadar Collins; Cons: Neil Cronin 2
Dublin University: Tries: Tom Ryan, Pierce Dargan, Colm Hogan; Cons: Jack McDermott 3; Pens: Jack McDermott 2

HT: Garryowen 14 Dublin University 17

Dublin University showed composure beyond their years to see out their fourth win in five top flight games, aided by 10 unanswered second half points and some resolute defending late on.

The pre-match talk centered around Sam Arnold’s involvement for Garryowen, the Munster centre making his return from a knee injury as a second half replacement. He was introduced in the 55th minute and came through with no problems.

David Johnston moved to full-back to cover the absence of Alex Wootton, who played for Munster in Belfast last night, with Peadar Collins joining Andrew O’Byrne in the centre and the Light Blues’ pack was unchanged from their 16-14 defeat at Clontarf.

Dermot O’Flynn’s inclusion at openside flanker was Trinity’s only change, but Tony Smeeth’s side had to play catch-up after leaking two early tries. Garryowen loosehead Niall Horan rumbled over in the corner and centre Collins touched down from an interception, with captain Neil Cronin nailing both conversions.

Number 8 Tom Ryan hit back for the visitors, scoring by the posts after impressive breaks by Colm Hogan and Pierce Dargan. Jack McDermott converted and added a penalty soon after for 14-10.

Second row Dargan, who had another excellent game, then turned try scorer to move Trinity three points ahead for half-time, and a 43rd minute penalty from out-half McDermott made it 20-14 as they continued to turn the screw.

Garryowen’s defence gave way again when winger Hogan beat a couple of would-be tacklers and scampered over for his fourth try of the campaign, converted by McDermott.

The Limerick men, including an eager Arnold, tried desperately to end their scoreless spell, but Trinity managed to hold them up over the try-line and complete a notable Limerick double, following their late heroics against Young Munster in round 4.

GARRYOWEN: David Johnston; James Frawley, Peadar Collins, Andrew O’Byrne, 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, Jack Mullany, Dara Shanahan, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Sam Arnold.

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

Replacements: Paddy Finlay, Tom Collis, Ross Todd, Evan Dixon, James O’Donovan. 

Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Sean Coughlan, Penalty try; Cons: Steve Crosbie 2
Cork Constitution: Try: Graeme Lawler; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 5

HT: Old Belvedere 0 Cork Constitution 9

Old Belvedere have fallen from first to fourth in the table after Tomas Quinlan’s ever-accurate left boot set up a 20-14 win for Cork Constitution at Anglesea Road.

Quinlan landed five penalties, including three for a 9-0 interval lead, as Brian Hickey’s charges made it two victories on the bounce, leaving them fifth and just four points off the summit.

‘Belvo’s back-line was significantly strengthened by full-back Daniel Riordan’s return from injury and recent Munster recruit Steve Crosbie’s selection at inside centre.

Kiwi lock Mat Ritani and ex-Ballynahinch flanker Paul Pritchard also started, with Karl Miller moving to number 8, while Sonny Dwyer’s inclusion at blindside was Constitution’s only change from their excellent 31-13 victory over Lansdowne.

Quinlan split the posts with a 35-metre penalty with barely a minute on the clock, ‘Belvo struggling to gain a foothold as Cork Con made use of possession in dangerous areas. Their skipper Niall Kenneally carried very effectively from his inside centre position.

Winger Rob Jermyn knocked on just shy of the try-line on the quarter hour mark, but the Con scrum was making a serious impact and Belvedere were down to 14 men after winger Sean Coughlan was sin-binned for a high tackle on the rampaging Kenneally.

Quinlan fired over the subsequent penalty, 24 minutes in, and despite the best defensive efforts of Miller in particular, 14-man ‘Belvo fell further behind when the visitors’ young out-half had his third penalty success.

Four minutes into the second half, scrum half Jason Higgins exploited some space in the Belvedere half and offloaded for half-time replacement Graeme Lawler to drive over the whitewash in clinical fashion. Quinlan missed the conversion but made amends with a 59th minute penalty for 17-0.

The introduction of Simon Killeen and Leinster ‘A’ scrum half Charlie Rock brought some fresh impetus to ‘Belvo’s play. Following a yellow card for Jermyn, the hosts opened their account when Coughlan grabbed a converted score.

The dependable Quinlan answered back with another penalty ten minutes from time, but the Dubliners continued their try search and their persistence was rewarded with a penalty try in injury-time, converted by Crosbie for a hard-earned losing bonus point.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, John Kennedy (capt), Steve Crosbie, Sean Coughlan; Willie Staunton, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Edward Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Matt Ritani, Michael Oyuga, Paul Pritchard, Karl Miller.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, Daryl Ryan, Tom de Jongh, Simon Killeen, Charlie Rock.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Shane Daly; Liam O’Connell, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Conor Kindergan, Brian Hayes, Sonny Dwyer, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Greg Roche, Gavin Duffy, Graeme Lawler, Michael Clune, John Poland. 

YOUNG MUNSTER 37 UCD 31, Tom Clifford Park
Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Alan Ross, Alan Tynan, Jack Harrington, Alan Kennedy; Cons: David O’Mahony 4; Pens: David O’Mahony 2; Drop: Alan Tynan
UCD: Tries: Jamie Glynn, Tommy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher 2, Andy Marks; Cons: Matthew Gilsenan, Cillian Burke 2

HT: Young Munster 9 UCD 12

Young Munster got back to winning ways with a fantastic four-try second half display in seeing off UCD 37-31 at Tom Clifford Park.

The Cookies turned this game in their favour in the third quarter, tries from influential lock Alan Ross (44 minutes) and out-half Alan Tynan (53) seeing them bounce back from a 12-9 interval deficit.

Centres Colm Mulcahy and Tommy O’Brien came into a rejigged UCD back-line that contained three positional switches, while lock Jack Dwan and back rowers Jonny Guy and Greg Jones were the only survivors up front from their recent home loss to St. Mary’s.

The versatile Jamie Glynn, who reverted to scrum half, played the captain’s role to a tee with a smartly-taken opening try, evading two defenders wide on the right after a neat link-up with lock Brian Cawley off a lineout maul.

Two penalties from David O’Mahony, allied to a Tynan drop goal, moved Munsters ahead (9-5), but teenager O’Brien, who had an accomplished league debut, popped up on Matthew Gilsenan’s shoulder to touch down for College on the stroke of half-time.

This round 5 fixture really began to open up on the resumption, those scores from Ross and Tynan igniting the home attack, before UCD winger Tom Fletcher and his opposite number Jack Harrington both crossed by the hour mark.

An Andy Marks effort, following an excellent Mulcahy break, closed the gap for the visitors to 30-26, but Ross’ second row partner Kennedy reached over to seal the Cookies’ bonus point and ultimately the victory. Credit to UCD, despite falling to their fourth defeat in five league games, Fletcher’s second try of the afternoon collected two bonus points for the battling students.

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Jack Harrington, Dan Goggin, Mark Doyle, David Gleeson; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Alan Ross, Alan Kennedy, Darren Ryan, Daniel Walsh, Gavin Coombs.

Replacements: Mark O’Mara, Evan Ryan, Sean Rennison, Shane Airey, Abrie Griesel.

UCD: Andy Marks; Rob Keenan, Colm Mulcahy, Tommy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher; Matthew Gilsenan, Jamie Glynn (capt); Mikey Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Jeremy Loughman, Brian Cawley, Jack Dwan, Jonny Guy, Josh Murphy, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Gordan Frayne, Liam Hyland, Keelan McKenna, Ciaran Frawley, Cillian Burke. 

Scorers: Terenure College: Try: James O’Neill; Con: Jake Swaine; Pens: Jake Swaine 2
St. Mary’s College: Tries: David Fanagan, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Larmour; Con: Conor Kearns

HT: Terenure College 7 St. Mary’s College 5

Second half tries from wingers Terry Kennedy and Jordan Larmour gave St. Mary’s College the Dublin 6W bragging rights in a tight 17-13 victory at Lakelands Park today.

Roared on by the large home support, Terenure College led 7-5 at half-time, a break from scrum half Kevin O’Neill leading to the opening try from industrious flanker James O’Neill.

Compared to the side that lost 18-15 at Old Belvedere, Terenure showed four changes with Kevin O’Neill slotting back in at half-back and key front rowers Robbie Smyth and Oisin Heffernan and captain Kyle McCoy all starting.

The lightning quick Kennedy and Larmour returned on the wings for the visitors, with Richard Halpin, David O’Connor and Jack Dilger also coming back into a pack which is coached by Leinster’s Hayden Triggs.

St. Mary’s, who had made a promising start before conceding the try, answered back just before the break, some crisp, well-timed passing releasing full-back David Fanagan for a really well taken score out wide.

Entering the final quarter, Terenure were 10-5 to the good, a penalty from their goal-kicking winger Jake Swaine keeping them on course for a much-needed home win.

However, with tighthead and captain Brian McGovern to the fore, Mary’s forced their second try, pressing from a lineout maul before Kennedy got over for his seven-pointer, converted by young out-half Conor Deans who deputised for the injured Sean Kearns.

Although Swaine held his nerve superbly to land a penalty for 13-12 with five minutes remaining, man-of-the-match Larmour then showed a clean pair of heels to the home defence to decide this tense encounter in Mary’s favour.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Stephen O’Neill, Conor Finn, James O’Donoghue, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Kieran Moloney, Robbie Smyth, Oisin Heffernan, Cathal Deans, John Dever, Robert Duke, James O’Neill, Kyle McCoy (capt).

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Silvio Borza, Stephen Caffrey, Robbie Carroll, Marc Hiney.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Terry Kennedy, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O’Loughlin, Jordan Larmour; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), Cathal O’Flaherty, Ciaran Ruddock, David O’Connor, David Aspil, Nick McCarthy.

Replacements: Hugh Kelleher, Emmet Ferron, Stephen O’Brien, Darren Moroney, Conor Hogan.

LANSDOWNE 33 CLONTARF 31, Aviva Stadium back pitch (played on Friday)
Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Joe McSwiney, Tadgh McElroy, John O’Donnell, Charlie Butterworth, Foster Horan; Cons: Scott Deasy 4
Clontarf: Tries: Bryan Byrne, Matt D’Arcy 2, Sam Cronin; Cons: Rob Keogh 4; Pen: Rob Keogh

HT: Lansdowne 21 Clontarf 14

Lansdowne roared back temporarily to the top of the table – and third overall following today’s action – with a confidence-boosting 33-31 bonus point win over defending champions Clontarf on Friday night.

In a sparkling nine-try thriller played on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch, Mike Ruddock’s men are now unbeaten in seven league meetings with ‘Tarf since April 2014, a galling statistic for the northsiders who are now down to seventh in the standings.

Lansdowne bounced back from two recent defeats with a much-improved performance, especially in attack. They laid the foundations with three first half tries from forwards Joe McSwiney, Tadgh McElroy and Ireland Sevens international John O’Donnell.

‘Tarf’s Leinster hooker Bryan Byrne and McSwiney swapped tries inside a pacey opening ten minutes, before McElroy scored from a lineout drive and centre O’Donnell finished off Scott Deasy’s 38th-minute break, cancelling out a Matt D’Arcy effort at the other end.

That had Lansdowne 21-14 to the good at the end of an absorbing first half which saw David Keane replace the injured Nigel Correll as referee and both place-kickers, Deasy and Rob Keogh, land every conversion.

After leaking a Keogh penalty early in the second period, the hosts’ powerful scrum earned the bonus point with a pushover score from flanker Charlie Butterworth. D’Arcy completed his brace and scrum half Sam Cronin scampered through for ‘Tarf’s fourth of the night, but in between Foster Horan touched down for the headquarters club who finished strongly to seal a narrow but deserved triumph.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Matthew D’Arcy; Jacob Walshe, Tadgh McElroy, Ian Prendiville (capt), Josh O’Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.

Replacements: Tyrone Moran, Ntinga Mpiko, Paul Boyle, Alan Bennie, Charlie McMickan.

CLONTARF: Rob Keogh; Conor Jennings, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Rob McGrath; Evan Ryan, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdaladze, Bryan Byrne, Royce Burke Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Eoghan Browne, Michael Noone, Karl Moran, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jonathan Larbey, Neil Reilly, Dylan Doyle, Mark Sutton, Jimmy Hawkshaw.