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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Leaders Lansdowne and resurgent Terenure both won away from home in the latest round of Ulster Bank League Division 1A action, with the headquarters club now six points clear at the top of the table.



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ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 27 GARRYOWEN 7, Templeville Road
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Conor Hogan, Richard Halpin, Darren Moroney; Cons: Cathal Marsh 3; Pens: Cathal Marsh 2
Garryowen: Try: Liam Coombes; Con: Neil Cronin

HT: St. Mary’s College 13 Garryowen 7

Leinster out-half Cathal Marsh kicked 12 points as St. Mary’s ran out convincing 27-7 winners over Garryowen in Ulster Bank League Division 1A on Saturday.

Conor Hogan, Richard Halpin and Darren Moroney all crossed for tries at Templeville Road to see the Dubliners climb into fifth place in the table and lift the Shay Deering Memorial trophy.

There was a lot of tactical kicking early on in the wet conditions. Marsh opened the scoring with two close range penalties as Mary’s attempted to avenge November’s 43-38 defeat to the Light Blues.

Just when it looked like Garryowen might be getting a grip on proceedings with a converted try from winger Liam Coombes, the latter’s direct opponent Hogan hit back in the 24th minute for Marsh to convert and make it 13-7.

The presence of the Johnston brothers, David and Bill, in the visitors’ back-line ensured that Mary’s had to be on their toes throughout, but the Mary’s pack made a telling impact early in the second half, driving through for hooker Halpin to touch down from a 49th minute maul.

Garryowen tried to score the same way but Mary’s maul defence worked a treat and forced turnover possession. The disciplined defensive work of Jamie Cornett’s side continued to frustrate the Limerick men and fittingly, Mary’s had the final say when centre Moroney made it over in injury-time.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Terry Kennedy, Darren Moroney, Ryan O’Loughlin, Conor Hogan; Cathal Marsh, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern, Ciaran Ruddock, Cathal O’Flaherty, David O’Connor, Hugh Kelleher, Jack Dilger.

Replacements: Stephen O’Brien, Cathal Ryan, Gus Jones, Ian O’Neill, Conor Gilsenan.

GARRYOWEN: Steve McMahon; Peadar Collins, Dave Johnson, Dave McCarthy, Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston, Neil Cronin; Jack Mullany, Niall Horan, Michael O’Donnell, Barra O’Byrne, Tim Ferguson, Caolan Moloney, Johnny Keane, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: John Mark Griffin, Paul McCarroll, Alwyn van Vuuren, Anthony Kavanagh, Andrew O’Byrne.

Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Alan Tynan, Penalty try; Cons: Alan Tynan 2; Pen: Alan Tynan
Terenure College: Tries: Kyle McCoy, Robbie Murphy, Mike Murphy, Harrison Brewer; Con: Mark O’Neill; Pens: Mark O’Neill 2

HT: Young Munster 10 Terenure College 13

Flanker Harrison Brewer was Terenure’s late hero as his try sealed a vital 28-17 bonus point victory for them away to high-flying Young Munster on Saturday.

Second-placed Munsters suffered a rare defeat at Greenfields as the 21-year-old Brewer struck in the very final play of this absorbing top flight clash.

It looked like the Cookies would continue their rich vein of firm when teenage out-half Alan Tynan crossed for a second minute try from an interception, however ‘Nure centre Robbie Murphy responded within six minutes.

The visitors’ hard-working captain Kyle McCoy, who played in the second row, added their second try to cancel out a Tynan penalty, and a well-struck three-pointer from Mark O’Neill had the Dubliners 13-10 ahead at half-time.

The gap was out to 10 points after McCoy’s fellow lock Mike Murphy reached over just two minutes after the restart. Munsters made a real fight of it with their ever impressive pack earning a penalty try from a maul which Tynan converted for 20-17.

However, James Blaney’s men have got used to winning games of late and they should great composure in the closing stages with out-half O’Neill coolly landing another penalty and Brewer touching down right at the death.

‘Nure remain bottom of the league despite their third straight win, although the gap between themselves and the mid-table sides is now just four points. Munsters have lost ground on leaders Lansdowne who are six points clear.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; Craig O’Hanlon, Jack Harrington, Cian Bohane, Michael Vaughan; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; David Begley, Shane Fenton, Colm Skehan, Tom Goggin, Sean Duggan (capt), Alan Ross, Dan Walsh, Darren Ryan.

Replacements: Mark O’Meara, Gavin Ryan, Aaron McCloskey, Abrie Griesel, David O’Mahony.

TERENURE COLLEGE: James O’Donoghue; Sam Coghlan Murray, Conor Finn, Robbie Carroll, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Cian Madden, Robbie Smyth, Oisin Heffernan, Mike Murphy, Kyle McCoy (capt), Stephen Caffrey, Harrison Brewer, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Conor McCormack, John Dever, Conor Weakliam, Stephen O’Neill.

Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Rob Keogh 2, Mick McGrath; Cons: David Joyce 2; Pen: David Joyce
Cork Constitution: Tries: Conor Kindregan, Rob Jermyn; Pen: Tomas Quinlan

HT: Clontarf 12 Cork Constitution 8

Mick McGrath was on the mark again as Clontarf overcame Cork Constitution 22-13 in a repeat of last year’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A final.

It was a vital win for the defending champions who had fallen to bottom side Terenure last week. They remain fourth in the table but could yet chase down a home semi-final over the final six rounds.

Andy Wood’s charges took a 12-8 half-time lead, two-try full-back Rob Keogh twice finishing well out wide on the right before Cork Con lock Conor Kindregan crashed over from a robust lineout maul.

With worsening weather conditions at Castle Avenue, the second half was a real mud bath. Crucially, ‘Tarf were first out of the blocks thanks to winger McGrath’s fifth try in three games and a David Joyce penalty.

That gave them enough of a buffer to see out the result, Constitution responding with a Rob Jermyn try but falling short of a losing bonus point.

Photos by Laurent Coudeur

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Rob Keogh, Michael Browne, Matt D’Arcy, Mick McGrath; David Joyce, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdalabze, Jason Harris-Wright, Royce Burke Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Eoghan Browne, Karl Moran, Adrian D’Arcy, Michael Noone.

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

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; Alex McHenry, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, John Poland; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, Graeme Lawlor, James Murphy, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Vincent O’Brien, Rory Burke, Cian Barry, Jason Higgins, JJ O’Neill.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 26 OLD BELVEDERE 15, College Park (played on Friday)
Scorers: Dublin University: Tries: Penalty try, Billy O’Hora; Cons: Jack McDermott, Bryan Mollen; Pens: Jack McDermott 4
Old Belvedere: Tries: Paul Pritchard, Shane McDonald; Con: Shane McDonald; Pen: Shane McDonald

HT: Dublin University 6 Old Belvedere 8

It finished two tries apiece between Dublin University and Old Belvedere but out-half Jack McDermott’s 16-point kicking haul proved decisive in the students’ 26-15 home win.

Much of the pre-match talk was about the addition of Eddie O’Sullivan to the Belvedere coaching team for the rest of the season, and the visitors did enough to warrant their 8-6 half-time lead.

The College Park crowd watched ‘Belvo run in an excellent opening try, their forwards producing some brilliant interplay to release flanker Paul Pritchard for the corner.

Trinity out-half McDermott had a two-out-of-three kicking return from his first half penalty efforts, while Belvedere full-back Shane McDonald landed an initial penalty before missing two more shots at the posts.

Paul Cunningham’s side had Daniel Riordan shifted in to the play-making role at number 10, but they kept things tight for the most part and were content to soak up Trinity pressure.

The hosts edged ahead for the first time thanks to a McDermott penalty on the resumption, and the Trinity pack forced a penalty try at scrum time to make it 16-8.

With play congested in and around the two 10-metre lines, there were very few openings in a defence-dominated second period. However, McDonald sniped through – taking advantage of a mix-up in the home rearguard – and converted his own try to make it a one-point game.

Trinity proved resilient through McDermott’s sin-binning and when he returned, Tony Smeeth’s youngsters showed the necessary coolness under pressure and desire to end their four-match losing streak.

Winger Billy O’Hora’s converted try, which saw him run a textbook ‘in-and-out’ line, gave them some much-needed breathing space on the scoreboard and increasingly influential flanker Brian du Toit won another breakdown decision, teeing up McDermott’s clinching penalty with two minutes remaining.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Bryan Mollen; Tim Maupin, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Billy O’Hora; Jack McDermott, Brian Slater (capt); Eric O’Sullivan, Paddy Finlay, Andy Keating, Jack Burke (capt), Pierce Dargan, Raef Tyrrell, Brian du Toit, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Jack Boland, Darragh Higgins, Niall O’Riordan, Daniel Joyce, Philip Murphy.

OLD BELVEDERE: Shane McDonald; Sean Coughlan, John Kennedy (capt), James Kearns, David Brandon; Daniel Riordan, Charlie Rock; Adam Howard, Cathal O’Flynn, Daryl Ryan, Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Jonathan Slattery, Paul Pritchard, David Sherry.

Replacements: Eddie Rossiter, Jonathan Inglis, Matt Ritani, Willie Staunton, Aaron Sheehan.

UCD 8 LANSDOWNE 45, Belfield Bowl (played on Friday)
Scorers: UCD: Try: Tom Fletcher; Pen: Billy Dardis
Lansdowne: Tries: Tyrone Moran, Barry Fitzpatrick, John O’Donnell, Daniel McEvoy 3; Cons: Scott Deasy 3; Pens: Scott Deasy, Charlie McMickan 2

HT: UCD 8 Lansdowne 25

Daniel McEvoy’s hat-trick of tries was the highlight of Lansdowne’s Friday Night Lights win over UCD at the Belfield Bowl.

The crisp-finishing winger took his league tally to nine tries in all, as Mike Ruddock’s men made it back-to-back bonus point victories and pushed six points clear at the summit.

An intercept by Mark Roche set up McEvoy’s first score in the 14th minute, adding to an earlier penalty by Scott Deasy. Lansdowne’s lead was out to 13-0 after flanker Barry Fitzpatrick reached over in the corner with 22 minutes gone.

UCD had no reward for some promising build-up play until winger Tom Fletcher used his footballing skills to dribble through and dot down, five minutes before the break.

However, the visitors secured their bonus point by half-time as McEvoy profited from a pinpoint Deasy cross-field kick and centre John O’Donnell followed up with a well-taken intercept score.

A late Billy Dardis penalty closed the gap to 25-8, but the students had it all to do in the second half. Their young number 8 Greg Jones was their standout player, tackling to a near standstill and disrupting the Lansdowne lineout.

There was nothing he could do in the 45th minute when the headquarters club sent a penalty towards corner, won the lineout and drove hooker Tyrone Moran over to widen the margin to 24 points.

McEvoy darted through midfield for his third try of the night just on the hour mark, and with College suffering a late yellow card, Lansdowne replacement Charlie McMickan knocked over two closing penalties to complete the scoring at 45-8.

UCD: Billy Dardis; Harry McNulty, Colm Mulcahy, Stephen Murphy, Tom Fletcher; Jamie Glynn (capt), Nick McCarthy; Michael Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Stephen McGivern, Jack Dwan, Nick Peters, Andy Marks.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Josh O’Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Charlie Butterworth, Barry Fitzpatrick, Willie Earle.

Replacements: James Rael, Ntinga Mpiko, Philip Donnellan, Daragh Henry, Charlie McMickan.