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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Lansdowne took advantage of Young Munster’s slip-up at home to Garryowen to climb back to the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A last night.



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ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 21 LANSDOWNE 45, Templeville Road
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: David O’Connor, Caelan Doris; Con: Conor Dean; Pens: Conor Dean 3
Lansdowne: Tries: Marc O’Keefe 2, Daniel McEvoy, Eamonn Mills, Barry Fitzpatrick; Cons: Scott Deasy 4; Pens: Scott Deasy 4

HT: St. Mary’s College 14 Lansdowne 19.

Mike Ruddock’s men ran in five tries against injury-hit hosts St. Mary’s at Templeville Road, but arguably the most important contribution in the 45-21 bonus point win was from goal-kicker Scott Deasy.

The former Munster player booted four conversions and four penalties for a 20-point haul, his accuracy off the tee proving crucial as Caelan Doris’ 50th-minute try had Mary’s back within striking distance at 29-21 down.

However, three successive penalties from out-half Deasy, allied to replacement Barry Fitzpatrick’s 76th-minute touchdown, made certain of the five points for the in-form visitors.

Mary’s were stung by a first-minute breakaway try from young Lansdowne winger Marc O’Keefe, but two Conor Dean penalties had the margin down to the minimum by the 10th minute.

Good angles of running, combined with some soft Mary’s tackling, allowed Lansdowne to strengthen their grip on proceedings, as O’Keefe completed his well-taken brace and winger Daniel McEvoy followed him over the whitewash just three minutes later.

A third Dean penalty and second row David O’Connor’s 36th-minute try meant Mary’s were only 19-14 behind for half-time. Lansdowne had all the answers, though, a Deasy penalty early on the resumption being swiftly followed by the bonus point score – full-back Eamonn Mills put his name to it in the 46th minute.

Mary’s battled on gamely, industrious number 8 Doris getting over for a deserved try, but their third defeat on the trot sees them drop into the bottom two with one round remaining before the Christmas break.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Ian O’Neill, Darren Moroney, Paddy Lavelle, Conor Hogan; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), David O’Connor, Cathal O’Flaherty, Kevin Sheahan, David Aspil, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Stephen O’Brien, Emmet Ferron, Ciaran Ruddock, Nick McCarthy, Zach O’Hagan, Peter Starrett.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Marc O’Keefe; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Philip Donnellan, Stephen Gardiner, Willie Earle, Charlie Butterworth, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Ntinga Mpiko, Jack O’Sullivan, Gareth Molloy, Charlie McMickan, Barry Fitzpatrick.

Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: John Dever, Kevin O’Neill; Pen: Jake Swaine
Clontarf: Tries: Matt D’Arcy 2; Con: Rob Keogh; Pens: Rob Keogh 3

HT: Terenure College 8 Clontarf 11

Defending champions Clontarf ended their three-match losing run with a determined 21-13 dismissal of bottom side Terenure at Lakelands Park.

Tries in each half from Ireland Club international captain Matt D’Arcy – taking his haul for the season to six – got ‘Tarf over the line, with ‘Nure’s late touchdown from scrum half Kevin O’Neill not even enough for a losing bonus point.

Former Ireland Under-20 international Harrison Brewer, who is back from a spell in New Zealand, featured in the back row for the hosts, while the Clontarf pack was back-boned by powerful young prop Vakh Abdaladze and Leinster lock Mick Kearney.

Full-backs Rob Keogh and Jake Swaine swapped penalties before D’Arcy burst through for his opening try early in the second quarter, following some neat interplay with his centre partner Michael Brown.

Keogh, who surprisingly missed the conversion, made amends with a 35-metre penalty on the half hour mark. However, Clontarf lost both Kearney and hooker Jonathan Larbey to the sin-bin in the closing stages of the first half and Terenure duly struck back.

A late lineout maul was finished off by lock John Dever out wide, reducing the deficit to 11-8 for half-time. James Blaney’s charges failed to fully stretch ‘Tarf, though, and they then lost their number 8 Eoin Joyce to a yellow card.

The scoreboard was untroubled apart from a Mick McGrath chance, before a powerful ‘Tarf scrum set up a 63rd minute penalty which Keogh brilliantly landed from long range.

He dropped another place-kick short of the posts, but D’Arcy came up trumps with his second try, diving over on the right for a well-worked 73rd minute score.

Terenure, who currently have Dublin Gaelic football star Kevin McManamon as part of their backroom team, had the final say when clever work by scrum half O’Neill from a maul on the right wing saw him touch down. However, summing up ‘Nure’s current struggles, Swaine was short with his conversion attempt and the hosts missed out on a losing bonus point.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Niall Thornton, Conor Finn, Marc Hiney, Robbie Murphy; James O’Donoghue, Kevin O’Neill; Kieran Moloney, Robbie Smyth, Conor McCormack, John Dever, Kyle McCoy, Harrison Brewer, James O’Neill, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Cian Madden, Stephen Caffrey, Thomas Burke.

CLONTARF: Rob Keogh; Rob McGrath, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Mick McGrath; Mark Sutton, Peter du Toit; Vakh Abdaladze, Jonathan Larbey, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Mick Kearney, Michael Nooney, Adrian D’Arcy, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Niall Carson, Karl Moran, Dylan Doyle, Sam Cronin, Jack Power.

UCD 23 OLD BELVEDERE 11, Belfield Bowl
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Jonny Guy, Tommy O’Brien; Cons: Ciaran Frawley 2; Pens: Ciaran Frawley 3
Old Belvedere: Try: Paul Pritchard; Pens: Charlie Rock, Willie Staunton

HT: UCD 14 Old Belvedere 8

Impressive teenage centre Tommy O’Brien crossed for the third try of his fledgling league career as UCD gained a much-needed 23-11 victory over near neighbours Old Belvedere.

Young number 10 Ciaran Frawley also caught the eye, converting first half tries from flanker Jonny Guy and O’Brien and then kicking ‘Belvo into submission with a hat-trick of second half penalties.

In very cold conditions, UCD warmed up the eager home crowd with the opening try from Guy, spreading the ball wide from a Belvedere knock-on and Guy reacted the quickest to a chip through.

Frawley converted and Belvedere scrum half Charlie Rock watched his first penalty attempt of the night fall short of the target, with both sides’ progress stilted by poor individual errors.

The visitors looked to have scored from a concerted spell of pressure but full-back Daniel Riordan was held up over the line. The students could not hold out a second time, though, and very good ball retention led to flanker Paul Pritchard scoring an unconverted effort in the corner.

Frustratingly for head coach Paul Cunningham, ‘Belvo coughed up a seven-pointer to O’Brien as UCD flooded forward almost straight from the restart. A late penalty from Rock, following a sin-binning for ‘College, left it at 14-8 for half-time.

Belvedere’s discipline let them down in the third quarter, a series of penalties allowing Frawley to push the margin out to 15 points. His second successive strike – probably his best kick of the night – came after a Greg Jones lineout steal and a strong run by hooker Sean McNulty.

‘Belvo recovered from Jonathan Slattery’s yellow card to heap the pressure back on the UCD defence in the final quarter. However, a lone penalty from replacement Willie Staunton was all they could muster as they fell to their third straight defeat.

UCD: Andy Marks; Hugo Keenan, Stephen Murphy, Tommy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher; Ciaran Frawley, Jamie Glynn (capt); Mikey Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Emmet MacMahon, Brian Cawley, Jonny Guy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Stephen McGivern, Jack Dwan, Nick Peters, Matthew Gilsenan.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, Rob Cruess Callaghan, Sean Coughlan, David Brandon; Aaron Sheehan, Charlie Rock; Adam Howard, Cathal O’Flynn, Declan Lavery (capt), Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Tom de Jongh, Paul Pritchard, Jonathan Slattery.

Replacements: James McWilliams-Grey, Ed Rossiter, Matt Ritani, Willie Staunton, Simon Killeen.

YOUNG MUNSTER 11 GARRYOWEN 13, Tom Clifford Park
Scorers: Young Munster: Try: Tom Goggin; Pens: David O’Mahony, Jack Harrington
Garryowen: Try: Liam Coombes; Con: Neil Cronin; Pens: Neil Cronin 2

HT: Young Munster 6 Garryowen 3

Garryowen surprised round 7 leaders Young Munster by overcoming the Cookies 13-11 in a typically tense and thrilling Limerick derby at Tom Clifford Park.

Captain Neil Cronin, who had Munster prospect Bill Johnston alongside him at half-back, kicked a levelling 73rd-minute penalty and then converted winger Liam Coombes’ second try in as many games.

Munsters, who had led 6-3 at half-time, did hit back in the very last passage of play, second row Tom Goggin getting over following a series of close-in scrums. However, the conversion was narrowly missed, leaving the Light Blues to celebrate only their second win in five outings.

The hosts were chasing their fourth successive victory and an initial penalty from full-back David O’Mahony gave them a deserved lead, four minutes in.

Scoring chances were few and far between during a rather dour first half, scrum half Cronin missing his opening shot at the posts with 18 minutes on the clock.

Munsters could not turn pressure into points, although a Jack Harrington penalty cancelled out a successful Cronin kick to maintain their three-point advantage up to the interval.

Either side of half-time, Garryowen suffered a couple of setbacks when lock Paul McCarroll was sin-binned for collapsing a maul and there was a 10-minute delay, early in the second period, while injured flanker Johnny Keane was tended to.

An update from the Garryowen camp confirmed that Keane was cleared of a suspected broken jaw. Following concussion, he stayed in hospital overnight and would no doubt have been cheered by the result of the game.

When the match got back underway, Munsters turned down a kick at the posts in favour of a five-metre scrum and the decision backfired as stubborn Garryowen just about held out. A subsequent penalty shot was also missed.

The growing frustration was obvious as Munsters flanker Alan Kennedy saw yellow and Cronin mopped up with the levelling three points, setting up a nail-biting finish at six-all.

Then, very much against the run of play, Coombes showed his pace off the mark to gobble up a kick through and score a vital try which Cronin coolly converted, opening up a seven-point gap.

The injury-enforced departure of Garryowen prop Niall Horan led to uncontested scrums in the final minutes and although Goggin eventually broke the visitors’ resistance, the conversion attempt went inches wide of the left hand post.

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Craig O’Hanlon, Jack Harrington, Dan Goggin, Calvin Nash; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Fineen Wycherly, Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy, Dan Walsh, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Shane Airey, Conor Bartley, David Begley, Darren Ryan, Abrie Griesel.

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; Steve McMahon, David Johnston, Dave McCarthy, Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, John Mark Griffin, Barry McNamara, Paul McCarroll, Barra O’Byrne, Johnny Keane, Elliott Fitzgerald, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Michael O’Donnell, Ger Horan, Caolan Moloney, Dara Shanahan, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham.

Scorers: Dublin University: Try: Colm Hogan; Con: James Fennelly; Pen: James Fennelly
Cork Constitution: Tries: Ross O’Neill, Brian Hayes, Niall Kenneally; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 3; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 3

HT: Dublin University 7 Cork Constitution 9

It proved to be another memorable visit to the capital for Cork Constitution as they ran out comprehensive 30-10 winners over a disappointing Dublin University side at College Park.

There was little to separate the teams during the first half, but a scoring blitz over the closing 40 minutes, which was capped off by an excellent individual try from captain Niall Kenneally, has moved Constitution up to third in the Division 1A table.

Con’s ever-dependable out-half Tomas Quinlan split the posts with a routine 30-metre penalty in the fourth minute, while the visitors held firm after Trinity twice opted for touch rather than kick at goal.

Strong carries from Rob Jermyn and Conor Kindregan forced the students onto the back foot, and just past the 20-minute mark, Quinlan doubled the lead from a tricky right hand angle.

The students’ decision to kick for touch from a third offensive penalty finally paid off in the 26th minute when pacy winger Colm Hogan squeezed through for a try in the left corner under severe pressure.

James Fennelly’s superb touchline conversion edged Trinity in front, but even though it looked like they might hold out until half-time, a late Quinlan three-pointer gave the Leesiders a 9-7 interval cushion.

With four consecutive wins under their belts heading into this contest, Constitution were confident of pushing on when play resumed. Quinlan kicked to the corner from a 46th minute penalty, and a strong maul on the right flank was finished off by Graeme Lawler’s replacement Ross O’Neill for a converted score.

With influential Cork Con lock Kindregan serving time in the sin-bin for a high-tackle, Trinity reduced their deficit with a Fennelly penalty. However, they could not make their numerical advantage count to any significant degree, and Kindregan’s second row partner Brian Hayes powering over the line from another enterprising attack, sparked by John Poland’s break from a lineout, with 14 minutes remaining.

Quinlan added to his tally from his second conversion attempt of the day, and when Kenneally broke free for a spectacular touchdown on the stroke of 70 minutes, he once again split the posts with relative ease.

This brought his personal tally up to 15 points, and although Brian Hickey’s men had to contend with a number of injuries throughout the course of a physical encounter, they found themselves in a commanding position as the final whistle approached.

With Sam Pim and skipper Jack Burke leading by example, Trinity almost claimed a consolation try in the dying moments, but the watertight Cork Con rearguard secured turnover possession before closing out the game.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; James Fennelly, Daniel Joyce; Eric O’Sullivan, Paddy Finlay, Andrew Keating, Jack Burke (capt), Pierce Dargan, Sam Pim, Dermot O’Flynn, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Fintan Murphy, Cian O’Dwyer, Tommy Whittle, Evan Dixon.

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

Replacements: Ger Sweeney, Gavin Duffy, Ross O’Neill, Billy Pope, Michael Clune.