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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Review

Joe Schmidt’s young son Tim bagged the bonus point try for Terenure College as they won their Dublin 6W derby with St. Mary’s College to continue their excellent start to the new Ulster Bank League season.



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This season sees the introduction of the #UBLTry of the Month award with a prize of 250 euro for each monthly winner and entry into the Try of the Year award.

Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Tries: Tim Maupin, Ciaran Ruddock, Craig Kennedy; Cons: Sean Kearns 3
Terenure College: Tries: Ted O’Donoghue, Niall Lalor, Robbie Smyth, Tim Schmidt; Cons: Mark O’Neill 3; Pens: Mark O’Neill 2

HT: St. Mary’s College 14 Terenure College 7

Terenure College moved back to the top of Division 1A following their third straight bonus point victory, scoring 25 second half points to overcome their local rivals at a packed Templeville Road yesterday.

St. Mary’s had done the double on ‘Nure last season and held a 14-7 at half-time, their American international full-back Tim Maupin jinking over for a 14th-minute opening try from a neat pass by Sean Kearns.

Terenure failed to capitalise on a strong break by winger Marc Hiney, before the hosts manufactured their second converted try on the half hour mark. Although flanker Hugh Kelleher was initially held up shy of the try-line, captain Ciaran Ruddock managed to power through some heavy traffic for an excellent score.

However, Terenure had a timely response before the break, their inside centre Ted O’Donoghue spotting a gap in the home defence and sprinting in under the posts for a confidence-boosting seven-pointer. Try number two followed in the 47th minute when in-form openside Niall Lalor’s lung-bursting run earned him his third try of the campaign, which went unconverted.

With their tails now up, James Blaney’s men were soon in the ascendancy. Their decision to turn down a kickable 52nd-minute penalty paid off when the subsequent lineout maul was finished off by hooker and captain Robbie Smyth. Out-half Mark O’Neill converted for a 19-14 lead.

With both coaches looking to their benches for fresh legs, O’Neill nailed a 35-metre penalty entering the final quarter. His 21-year-old half-back partner Tim Schmidt, who was a scrum half in the Toulouse Espoirs squad last season, made it 29 points without reply when he dived over at the end of another pacy and power-packed move, 12 minutes from time.

Mary’s showed signs of a late revival with a snappy try from winger Craig Kennedy, who broke free on the left with two minutes remaining. But Terenure closed the door on the hosts’ bonus point bid as O’Neill closed out this entertaining ‘Battle of the Parishes’ with an injury-time penalty, bringing his own haul to 12 points.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Tim Maupin; Myles Carey, Ryan O’Loughlin, Paddy Lavelle, Craig Kennedy; Sean Kearns, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Adam Coyle, Ciaran Ruddock (capt), David O’Connor, Caelan Doris, Hugh Kelleher, Jack Dilger.

Replacements: Stephen O’Brien, Jack Aungier, Daragh McDonnell, Nick McCarthy, Matthew Timmons.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Marc Hiney, Stephen O’Neill, Ted O’Donoghue, Sam Coghlan Murray; Mark O’Neill, Tim Schmidt; Schalk Jooste, Robbie Smyth (capt), Oisin Heffernan, Michael Melia, Alex Thompson, Kyle McCoy, Niall Lalor, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Adam Clarkin, Cian Madden, Paddy Thornton, Kaleikaumaka Konrad, Willie Devane.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Pens: Tomas Quinlan 6
UCD: Try: Ciaran Frawley

HT: Cork Constitution 15 UCD 0

UCD’s unbeaten start to the Division 1A campaign was ended by Cork Constitution whose dead-eye kicker Tomas Quinlan guided them to an 18-5 win at Temple Hill yesterday.

The students slid off the top of the table as Con’s talismanic out-half Quinlan swept six penalty goals through the posts, five of them in the opening half.

His metronomic left boot opened the scoring in the 12th minute following a scrum infringement, with returning loosehead prop Gavin Duffy also standing out for his hard work in the loose.

The defending champions, who lost a thrilling game at Terenure last week, continued to come away with points from visits to UCD territory. Quinlan knocked over kicks after 19, 25, 31 and 39 minutes, the closing stages of the first half marked by a terrific turnover by home hooker Max Abbott and a yellow card for UCD flanker Alex Penny.

The visitors, who had an early first half penalty miss from Ciaran Frawley, could not get their attack going with continuing pressure on their defence. Quinlan booted his sixth and final penalty in the 47th minute after UCD suffered their second sin-binnings – scrum half Nick Peters was carded for a dangerous challenge.

In a notable feat, Sean Duffy’s introduction off the Leesiders’ bench saw him make it three Duffy brothers on the field, joining his siblings Gavin and Luke.

A high tackle by scrum half Jason Higgins left Con down to 14 men in the final 10 minutes, and UCD avoided a shutout thanks to a late consolation try from Ireland Under-20 international Frawley, who forced his way over following a series of mauls in scoring range.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Ned Hodson, Greg Higgins, Luke Duffy; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan (capt), Evan Mintern, Graeme Lawler, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dylan Murphy, Sean Duffy, Aidan Moynihan, Michael Clune.

UCD: Tom Fletcher; Stephen Kilgallen, Jamie Glynn (capt), Stephen Murphy, Tommy O’Brien; Ciaran Frawley, Nick Peters; Rory Mulvihill, Gordon Frayne, Jeremy Loughman, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Alex Penny, Ronan Foley.

Replacements: Matthew O’Donovan, Liam Hyland, Keelan McKenna, Matthew Gilsenan, Colm Mulcahy.   

Scorers: Buccaneers: Tries: Frankie Hopkins 2, Rory O’Connor; Cons: Luke Carty 3; Pen: Luke Carty
Young Munster: Tries: Ben Kilkenny 2, Daniel Hurley, Gavin Coombes, Jack Lyons; Cons: Conor Hayes 2; Pen: Conor Hayes

HT: Buccaneers 10 Young Munster 13

Ben Kilkenny’s brace of first half tries set Young Munster on their way to a 32-24 bonus point victory over hosts Buccaneers.The 22-year-old flanker, whose time in the Munster Academy was marred by a neck injury, led by example with two well-taken scores in this fiercely-contested tie at Dubarry Park.

Out-half Luke Carty opened the scoring with a third minute penalty for the hosts in near-perfect conditions, and following a long period of advantage, Munsters’ teenage full-back Conor Hayes stroked over his first successful kick to tie things up four minutes later.

Weak home tackling contributed to the Cookies making ground in the build-up to their opening try by captain Ben Kilkenny on 13 minutes. The visitors enjoyed a slice of good fortune in securing their next score, another unconverted Kilkenny try in the 28th minute. Buccs centre Corey Reid lost possession in his own half, with an apparent high tackle going unpunished, and the Limerick side’s skipper did really well to finish off a counter attack along the right flank to make it 13-3.
A powerful charge by Peter Claffey down the left five minutes later was finished in determined fashion by scrum half Frankie Hopkins for a try which Carty converted. Soon after, a rousing Martin Staunton surge followed as Buccs now took the game to the visitors but they suffered a setback in the closing stages of the half when injury forced influential back rower Dan Law off. The Pirates trailed 13-10 at the break.

Three minutes after the change of ends, in-form winger Rory O’Connor perfectly read Young Munster’s intentions to swoop on a midfield pass and race away for an intercept try between the posts. Carty duly converted but was then short with a 49th minute penalty from the 10-metre line.

However, Buccs now had the bit between their teeth and Paul Boyle, Reid and Ronan Farrell were all involved in a tremendous 50th-minute move that should have earned O’Connor his second try but referee Joy Neville instead awarded a five-metre scrum to the hosts. It merely delayed the score as, after fine work by the pack, Hopkins bravely dived through a tangle of bodies for a try. Carty’s excellent conversion from the left put Darin Claasen’s charges 24-13 ahead and on course for a maiden victory.
Frustratingly for the home support, the Pirates’ final quarter travails persisted as Peter Meyer was allowed far too much latitude in getting close to the home line where Young Munster earned a penalty. They opted for a scrum from which they earned a second penalty and replacement Jack Lyons’ quick tap and go caught Buccs napping as he darted in for a 58th minute try which Hayes converted.

The Limerick side were rejuvenated by this score and they followed it up with good handling and awareness to edge ahead when young winger Daniel Hurley finished off cross-field passing with an unconverted 64th-minute try that guaranteed Munsters a bonus point.

It was still anyone’s game with the scoreboard showing 25-24. The decisive try came four minutes from the end when 20-year-old Munster Academy forward Gavin Coombes, who was sprung from the visitors’ bench, ripped the ball free in a tackle and galloped clear to go in under the posts. Hayes, another promising young player, tapped over the conversion to complete his seven-point haul.

BUCCANEERS: Will O’Brien; Thomas McGann, Shane Layden (capt), Corey Reid, Rory O’Connor; Luke Carty, Frankie Hopkins; Martin Staunton, John Sutton, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Cian Romaine, Dan Law, Simon Meagher, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Eoghan Maher, Conan O’Donnell, Ronan Farrell, Ruairi Byrne, Eoin O’Reilly.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Conor Hayes; Daniel Hurley, Calvin Nash, Ben Swindlehurst, Craig O’Hanlon; Shane Airey, Rob Guerin; Peter Meyer, Ger Slattery, Colm Skehan, Marc Kelly, Alan Kennedy, Ben Kilkenny (capt), Diarmaid Dee, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Mark O’Mara, Evan Ryan, Gavin Coombes, Evan O’Gorman, Jack Lyons.

Scorers: Dublin University: Tries: Michael Courtney, Michael Silvester; Con: Tommy Whittle
Lansdowne: Tries: Harry Brennan 2, Eamonn Mills 2, Penalty try, Willie Earle, Daniel McEvoy, Jack O’Sullivan; Cons: Scott Deasy 5, Pen try con

HT: Dublin University 0 Lansdowne 19

An injury-hit and under-strength Dublin University side were no match for rampant Lansdowne as the students fell to an eight-try 52-12 defeat at College Park.

Lansdowne were already 33 points to the good when Trinity got on the scoreboard with a 63rd minute try. They added another one six minutes later with captain Michael Courtney, who worked tirelessly in an overrun back-line, joined on the scoresheet by Ireland Under-20 international Michael Silvester.

Mike Ruddock’s men were in control right from the off, scoring a second minute try and their powerful pack, which included Leinster prop Peter Dooley, forcing a penalty try on the quarter hour mark. It must be pleasing for Ruddock and assistant coach Mark McHugh to see the club’s underage players graduating to senior club rugby and looking right at home.

One such player is centre Harry Brennan who followed up on his man-of-the-match debut performance last week against Young Munster with a two-try salvo today. For a player who was lining out for Gonzaga College in the Leinster Schools Cup in 2016, it has been a dream start to his Ulster Bank League career.

Corkman Eamonn Mills continued his electric early season form with a brace from full-back, making it three tries in three starts, while Willie Earle, Daniel McEvoy and replacement back rower Jack O’Sullivan, Lansdowne’s Under-20 captain in 2015/16, also touched down. Scott Deasy was successful with five conversions at the city centre venue to take his season’s haul to 34 points.

Second-placed Lansdowne will host defending champions Cork Constitution in round 4 next Sunday, a day after the Leinster v Munster derby in the GUINNESS PRO14 at headquarters. Meanwhile, Tony Smeeth’s Trinity, who remain bottom of the table, will have to regroup quickly for a trip to Young Munster.

– Photos by Lansdowne FC

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Jack Fitzpatrick, Michael Courtney (capt), Kyle Dixon, Billy O’Hora; James Fennelly, Angus Lloyd; James Bollard, Joe Horan, Darragh Higgins, Jack Burke, Jack Dunne, Sam Pim, Richard Dunne, David St Leger.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Joe Byrne, Niall O’Riordan, Rowan Osborne, Tommy Whittle.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Fergal Cleary, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Charlie Rock; Peter Dooley, Tyrone Moran, Adam Boland, Oisin Dowling, Josh O’Rourke, Jack Dwan, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.

Replacements: Jack Dinneen, Ntinga Mpiko, Jack O’Sullivan, Alan Bennie, Mark O’Keefe.

GARRYOWEN 51 CLONTARF 17, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Neil Cronin, Liam Coombes 2, Sean Rennison, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Peadar Collins; Cons: Neil Cronin 6; Pens: Neil Cronin 3
Clontarf: Tries: Penalty try, Vakh Abdaladze; Cons: David Joyce, Pen try con; Pen: David Joyce

HT: Garryowen 30 Clontarf 3

Goal-kicking scrum half Neil Cronin accumulated more points on his own than an out-of-sorts Clontarf as Garryowen romped to a 51-17 win over the north Dubliners at Dooradoyle.

Cronin was in brilliant form with the boot, converting all six of Garryowen’s tries, kicking three penalties and also crossing the whitewash himself for a handsome 26-point haul. Recent Munster Academy recruit Liam Coombes also chipped in with a brace of tries as the Light Blues climbed to third in the Division 1A table.

‘Tarf looked a shell of the team that defeated St. Mary’s in the previous round, Garryowen seizing the early initiative and not looking back as they powered into a 30-3 interval lead. 20-year-old winger Coombes was over for the first try inside four minutes, with Cronin converting and tagging on two penalties.

A penalty from Tullamore man David Joyce, who was back in the number 10 shirt for Clontarf, closed the gap to 13-3 but Garryowen were at their free-scoring best, applying the pressure through their forwards, who included Munster hooker Mike Sherry, with Cronin kicking a penalty, converting his own try from the touchline and adding the extras to Coombes’ second effort.

Although Clontarf were first out of the blocks on the restart, notching a penalty try to pull it back to 30-10, Garryowen always seemed to have the answers with the Johnston brothers, David and Bill, and fellow Munster back Sam Arnold making some key plays in both attack and defence.

Conan Doyle’s charges pocketed their bonus point, adding three more converted tries to sandwich a Vakh Abdaladze effort at the other end. Sean Rennison, Peadar Collins, who dovetailed well again with Arnold, and Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham were the scorers as Garryowen passed the half-century mark ahead of a scoreless final 15 minutes.

The six-try performance and dream result against the 2016 champions was a fitting tribute to Garryowen stalwart and former Ireland international Neville Furlong, the popular player, coach and former Garryowen underage chairman who sadly passed away on Tuesday.

GARRYOWEN: David Johnston; Liam Coombes, Sam Arnold, Peadar Collins, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham; Bill Johnston, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Mike Sherry, Andy Keating, Aaron McCloskey, Dean Moore, Tim Ferguson, Darren Ryan, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Barry McNamara, JP Phelan, Mikey Wilson, Jamie Gavin.

CLONTARF: Max McFarland; Rob McGrath, Sean O’Brien, Matt D’Arcy, Cian O’Donoghue; David Joyce, Sam Cronin; Ivan Soroka, Dylan Donnellan, Royce Burke-Flynn, Cormac Daly, Ben Reilly (capt), Tony Ryan, Neil Reilly, Michael Noone.

Replacements: Andrew Feeney, Joe Roe, Mark Sutton, Vakh Abdaladze, Vincent Gavin.