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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Title holders Clontarf are back in the top two after an exciting day’s action in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, while Cork Constitution and Dublin University claimed two big scalps in overcoming Lansdowne and Young Munster respectively.



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GARRYOWEN 10 CLONTARF 39, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Dave McCarthy; Con: Neil Cronin; Pen: Neil Cronin
Clontarf: Tries: Michael Noone, Ben Reilly, Matt D’Arcy, Jack Power, Cian O’Donoghue; Cons: David Joyce 3, Rob Keogh; Pens: David Joyce 2

HT: Garryowen 3 Clontarf 10

Clontarf cut loose at Dooradoyle on Saturday afternoon to run out 39-10 winners over Garryowen and move into second place in the Division 1A standings.

The defending champions are now in possession of a home semi-final berth after Young Munster fell to fourth following their slip-up at home to Dublin University.

In-form number 8 Michael Noone’s try just before half-time saw ‘Tarf take a 10-3 lead, with Garryowen captain Neil Cronin swapping penalties with David Joyce.

A converted effort from out-half Dave McCarthy had the Light Blues level in the 48th minute, however the north Dubliners really took over after that.

They ran in four tries in the final half an hour, beginning with talismanic centre Matt D’Arcy’s eighth of the campaign. D’Arcy is one of five ‘Tarf players in the Ireland Club International squad to play England Counties on Friday.

Out-half Joyce landed a penalty on the hour mark and converted young full-back Jack Power’s try five minutes later. Replacement Cian O’Donoghue followed up with the bonus point score and captain Ben Reilly reached over in the 74th minute to complete the rout.

Garryowen’s fifth defeat in six games leaves them in a precarious position in eighth, just four points off the bottom of the table.

GARRYOWEN: Liam Coombes; James Frawley, Andrew O’Byrne, Peadar Collins, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham; Dave McCarthy, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Diarmuid Barron, Mike O’Donnell, Barra O’Byrne, Paul McCarroll, Dara Shanahan, Johnny Keane, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Anson Thai, Jack Mullany, Mikey Wilson, Ronan O’Halloran, Jamie Heuston.

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Rob Keogh, Conor Jennings, Matt D’Arcy, Michael Browne; David Joyce, Sam Cronin; Vakhtang Abdaladze, Jason Harris-Wright, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), James Doyle, Tony Ryan, Karl Moran, Michael Noone.

Replacements: Ivan Soroka, Jonathan Larbey, Adrian D’Arcy, Andrew Feeney, Cian O’Donoghue. 

LANSDOWNE 20 CORK CONSTITUTION 25, Aviva Stadium back pitch
Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Penalty try, John O’Donnell; Cons: Scott Deasy 2; Pens: Scott Deasy 2
Cork Constitution: Tries: Rob Jermyn, Ned Hodson, Brian Hayes; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 2; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 2

HT: Lansdowne 7 Cork Constitution 5

Former Munster lock Brian Hayes scored his third try in as many games as Cork Constitution toppled Lansdowne 25-20 on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

The gap between the clubs in the Division 1A table – Constitution remain third overall – is now just four points after the Leesiders outscored the headquarters side by three tries to two.

A tightly-contested first half ended 7-5 in Lansdowne’s favour, the hosts determined to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 12-3 reversal at the hands of Clontarf.

After a penalty miss from the usually reliable Scott Deasy, Lansdowne were held up over the line before their potent scrum forced a penalty try with 25 minutes on the clock.

But the Cork Con forwards knuckled down and following a series of pick and goes, the ball was moved wide to the left for winger Rob Jermyn to run in an unconverted score.

Scoring opportunities were at a premium in the third quarter during which Tomas Quinlan sent over a penalty from the 22-metre line and his opposite number Deasy replied after another penalty-winning scrum.

Deasy, the top flight’s leading scorer with 145 points before kick-off, increased his influence with a well-struck penalty in the 63rd minute to open up a 13-8 advantage.

Crucially, last year’s runners-up replied within two minutes and in stunning fashion. Centre Ned Hodson intercepted a pass near the Lansdowne 22 and sped to the line for a morale-boosting try converted by out-half Quinlan.

The nip and tuck nature of the game continued when Ireland Sevens international John O’Donnell finished a breakaway seven-pointer – disrupting a Con attack and twice managing to dribble the ball forward – for a 20-15 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Again, though, Brian Hickey’s men were able to hit back almost immediately. That man Hayes showed his pace and power to gallop down the right wing and cut in behind the posts to score. Quinlan converted and tagged on a 75th minute penalty, and a dogged defensive stand in the dying embers saw Constitution hold fast-finishing Lansdowne at bay.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Mark O’Keefe; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Willie Earle, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Rael, Ntinga Mpiko, Barry Fitzpatrick, Matthew D’Arcy, Charlie McMickan.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, Graeme Lawler, James Murphy, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Vincent O’Brien, Greg Roche, Cian Barry, Luke Duffy, Michael Clune. 

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 18 UCD 32, Templeville Road
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Ian O’Neill, Tom O’Reilly, Conor Hogan; Pen: Dave Fanagan
UCD: Tries: Peadar Timmins, Nick McCarthy, Andy Marks, Jamie Glynn; Cons: Matthew Gilsenan 3; Pens: Matthew Gilsenan 2

HT: St. Mary’s College 8 UCD 13

Promising out-half Matthew Gilsenan had an important 12-point contribution off the kicking tee as UCD gained a 32-18 bonus point victory away to St. Mary’s.

Gilsenan got one over on his older brother Conor who came on as a replacement for Mary’s, while Peadar Timmins and Nick McCarthy – two of the seven Leinster Academy members who recently penned senior contracts with the province – both crossed the whitewash for the students.

Good hands from the Mary’s backs freed up winger Ian O’Neill for a fifth-minute try out wide, raising their hopes of claiming back-to-back victories at Templeville Road.

Gilsenan’s second successful penalty edged UCD in front at 6-5 and after some gritty defence had denied Mary’s a try, a Timmins-won turnover saw the visitors make it back up to halfway.

It got even better for Andy Skehan’s charges on the half hour mark, Leinster prop Andrew Porter winning a scrum penalty and a quick tap saw number 8 Timmins barge over for a converted try.

Despite some prolonged phases in the red zone, the try would not come for Mary’s and they had to settle for three points from the boot of Dave Fanagan, reducing the arrears to 13-8 for half-time.

The elder Gilsenan was brought on by Mary’s boss Jamie Cornett and an unconverted maul try – credited to prop Tom O’Reilly – had the hosts’ attack firing again.

UCD had a clinical edge that Mary’s just could not match, however, and an eye-catching break from Greg Jones saw scrum half McCarthy pop up on his shoulder to take the pass and notch a well-worked five-pointer.

Try number three arrived for the students in the 68th minute when a kick through saw captain Jamie Glynn beat the covering Conor Hogan to the touchdown, with Gilsenan converting.

He also added the extras to College’s bonus point score, created by Harry McNulty’s break and well-timed pass to fellow winger Andy Marks who hit the line at pace to finish in crisp fashion.

A superb solo try from Mary’s full-back Hogan brought the deficit back to 14 points, but it was only a consolation score as UCD rose to fifth in the standings – nine points outside the top four – and their hosts, who are six now six points off the bottom, slipped to seventh place.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Conor Hogan; Ian O’Neill, Darren Moroney, Marcus O’Driscoll, Ryan O’Loughlin; Dave Fanagan, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), Ciaran Ruddock, David O’Connor, Jack Dilger, Hugh Kelleher, Kevin Sheahan.

Replacements: Hugo Kean, Cathal Ryan, Nick McCarthy, Daragh Kelleher, Conor Gilsenan.

UCD: Tom Fletcher; Harry McNulty, Jamie Glynn (capt), Stephen Murphy, Andy Marks; Matthew Gilsenan, Nick McCarthy; Liam Hyland, Gordon Frayne, Andrew Porter, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Greg Jones, Will Connors, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Michael Moynihan, Rory Mulvihill, Jack Dwan, Nick Peters, Colm Mulcahy. 

Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Kevin O’Neill, Penalty try, Eoin Joyce; Cons: Jake Swaine 3; Pen: Jake Swaine
Old Belvedere: Tries: Daniel Riordan, Jonathan Slattery; Cons: Paul O’Keefe 2; Pens: Paul O’Keefe 2

HT: Terenure College 14 Old Belvedere 10

The basement battle at Lakelands went the way of Terenure College as they outscored Old Belvedere by three tries to two in a 24-20 win.

This was a gripping contest from start to finish, Terenure full-back Jake Swaine converting back rower Eoin Joyce’s 78th-minute try to secure four very hard-earned points in their bid to avoid relegation. They have pushed three points clear of Belvedere and have just one point to make up on eighth-placed Garryowen.

The home side almost got off to a blistering start, but Stephen Caffrey, who played at blindside flanker but wore the number 8 jersey, unfortunately knocked on over the try-line and injured his shoulder in the process.

It was bottom side Belvedere who opened the scoring through Daniel Riordan, the experienced full-back finishing off his own superb sidestepping break from a ruck in the 19th minute.

Paul O’Keefe converted and also sent a penalty through the uprights, however ‘Nure edged their way into a 14-10 interval lead thanks to scrum half Kevin O’Neill’s 25th-minute try – he plunged over a maul fell just short – and a late penalty try awarded following a collapsed five-metre scrum near the right corner.

‘Belvo were first on the board again when the second half got underway, their number 8 Jonathan Slattery picking from a scrum and touching down before a Swaine penalty levelled matters at 17 points apiece.

The game looked to be going the visitors’ way when another penalty from out-half O’Keefe nudged them back in front in the 57th minute. ‘Nure, who were able to bring on ex-Ireland international Isaac Boss, had other ideas and despite losing hooker Robbie Smyth to the bin, Joyce’s seven-pointer following a Marc Hiney break saw James Blaney’s men prevail in a breathless finish.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Marc Hiney, Stephen O’Neill, Robbie Carroll, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Gary Hamilton, Robbie Smyth, Oisin Heffernan, Mike Murphy, Kyle McCoy (capt), Stephen Caffrey, Harrison Brewer, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Tiarnan Creagh, Cian Madden, John Dever, Isaac Boss, Mike Haddock.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, John Kennedy (capt), Ben Woods, Sean Coughlan; Paul O’Keefe, Aaron Seehan; Adam Howard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Connor Owende, Karl Miller, Michael Oyuga, Jonathan Slattery.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, James McWilliams-Gray, Tom de Jongh, Ben Butler, Simon Killeen. 

Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Dan Walsh, Elie Mundu; Con: Alan Tynan
Dublin University: Tries: Pierce Dargan, Tom Ryan; Con: Bryan Mollen; Pen: Bryan Mollen

HT: Young Munster 7 Dublin University 12

Bryan Mollen’s brilliantly-struck 77th-minute penalty guided Dublin University to a famous 15-12 success against play-off chasing Young Munster in Greenfields.

Left winger Mollen was kicking in the absence of regular out-half Jack McDermott, who injured his shoulder against Garryowen last week, and he emerged as the students’ late hero.

Trinity stormed out of the blocks, determined to follow up on last week’s 19-3 defeat of Munsters’ Limerick rivals. They had tries inside the first 23 minutes from forwards Tom Ryan and Pierce Dargan, with Mollen landing the first conversion.

After upwards of nine phases, In-form number 8 Ryan was put into space out wide and he used a terrific ‘show and go’ to beat the cover defence and raid over by the posts with Mollen converting. Flanker Dargan’s subsequent effort saw him charge down Alan Tynan’s attempted clearance kick and score out wide, making it 12-0.

The depleted home side steadied themselves with a converted effort from young flanker Dan Walsh just before the interval, just reward after exerting plenty of pressure from a series of scrums and mauls in the visitors’ 22.

The second half was just three minutes’ old when Cookies replacement Elie Mundu scored a fine opportunist try, picking up a loose ball to dart through from 30 metres out. However, Tynan had a frustrating afternoon off the tee, missing the conversion and a couple of penalty opportunities facing into the breeze.

Munsters dominated up front for much of the second period but the final 10 minutes saw Trinity force the issue, with fast-breaking winger Tim Maupin and out-half James Fennelly both going close. Indeed, the hosts were then penalised for not releasing and Mollen, stepping up to a difficult kick from the left wing, fired over the match-winning strike three minutes from the end.

The result has sent Trinity up to sixth place and away from relegation trouble. Meanwhile, at the business end of the table, Munsters have dropped from second to fourth but they have a nine-point advantage on UCD in fifth.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; James O’Connor, Jack Harrington, Abrie Griesel, Michael Vaughan; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; David Begley, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Tom Goggin, Aaron McCloskey, Alan Kennedy, Dan Walsh, Darren Ryan.

Replacements: Mark O’Mara, Conor Bartley, Alan Ross, Elie Mundu, David O’Mahony.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Tim Maupin, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Bryan Mollen; James Fennelly, Brian Slater; Eric O’Sullivan, Paddy Finlay, Andy Keating, Jack Burke (capt), Raef Tyrrell, Pierce Dargan, Richard Dunne, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Jack Boland, Tom Collis, Cian O’Dwyer, Rowan Osborne, Seb Fromm.