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All-Ireland League Division 1A: Round 3 Review

All-Ireland League Division 1A: Round 3 Review

Lansdowne got their title defence back on track with a two-try victory over UCD under the Belfield Bowl floodlights on Friday, while Tom Hayes’ Shannon side were in superb form this afternoon as they came away from Terenure College with a six-try 41-14 win.


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Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Matthew Byrne 2; Cons: James Thornton 2
Shannon: Tries: Nathan Randles, Aran Hehir, Penalty try, Eathon Moloney, Jake Flannery, Pa Ryan; Cons: Jake Flannery 3, Pen try con; Pen: Jake Flannery

HT: Terenure College 7 Shannon 22

Shannon sent out a serious statement of intent today with a six-try 41-14 success against Terenure College at Lakelands Park where teenage out-half Jake Flannery caught the eye with a 14-point personal haul.

Tom Hayes’ youngsters made it back-to-back victories in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League, with Flannery, Nathan Randles, Aran Hehir, Eathon Moloney and replacement Pa Ryan touching down, in addition to a penalty try. Former Ireland Under-20 international Matthew Byrne bagged a brace for Terenure who have now lost three on the bounce at the start of the new season.

Underage internationals Eoghan Clarke and Luke Clohessy featured in the Shannon pack alongside long-serving captain Lee Nicholas and Munster tighthead Ciaran Parker. Nicholas provided the assist for winger Randles to open the scoring in the right corner after just two minutes.

Terenure had to cope with a malfunctioning lineout, and after their number 10 James Thornton missed a penalty, Shannon regained a foothold thanks to their influential centre pairing of Will Leonard and Ger Finucane. Flannery nailed a 29th minute penalty but ‘Nure hit back with a confidence-boosting try.

Sam Coghlan Murray released Byrne for a lung-bursting sprint up the left wing and he jinked inside the plentiful Shannon cover for a superb solo try, converted by Thornton. However, Shannon landed two significant blows before the break, moving 22-7 ahead thanks to a penalty try – via a series of punishing Shannon drives – and scrum half Hehir’s late effort which saw him capitalise on some slack defending.

Shannon were struggling to make their third quarter dominance count until Flannery intercepted a pass to run in the bonus point score. Byrne dotted down from a neat offload by Thornton, though, and suddenly ‘Nure were right back in the hunt with Shannon replacement Luke Moylan sin-binned in the 60th minute.

However, the home side were unable to add to their tally and Shannon put the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute, Flannery delivering an excellent cross-field kick over to the left where waiting winger Moloney raced over unopposed.

There was still time for Ryan to stake his claim for a starting spot with a tremendous individual try, five minutes from the end, and Flannery’s touchline conversion was the perfect way to cap off a memorable day for resurgent Shannon.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Matthew Byrne; Sam Coghlan Murray, Stephen O’Neill, Marc Hiney, Sam Dardis; James Thornton, Jamie Glynn; Tiarnan Creagh, Adam Clarkin, Conor McCormack, Michael Melia (capt), Aaron Ryan, Kyle McCoy, Stephen Caffrey, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Robbie Smyth, Karl O’Brien, Risteard Byrne, Kevin O’Neill, Harry Moore.

SHANNON: Jamie McGarry; Nathan Randles, Will Leonard, Ger Finucane, Eathon Moloney; Jake Flannery, Aran Hehir; Conor Glynn, Eoghan Clarke, Ciaran Parker, Ronan Coffey, Jade Kriel, Lee Nicholas (capt), Charlie Carmody, Luke Clohessy.

Replacements: Jordan Prenderville, Cronan Gleeson, Luke Moylan, Keith Kavanagh, Pa Ryan.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Rob Jermyn, Sonny Dwyer, JJ O’Neill 2; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 2
Dublin University: Tries: Thomas Clarkson, Robert Russell; Pen: James Fennelly

HT: Cork Constitution 19 Dublin University 3

A three-try first half salvo set Division 1A leaders Cork Constitution on the way to a 24-13 bonus point victory over Dublin University in the All-Ireland League at Temple Hill this afternoon.

Trinity, who are still searching for their first win, had purple patches at the start and finish of this third round fixture, but Cork Con took their chances when they presented themselves to stay top of the table, a point clear of fellow unbeaten side Clontarf.

The Con defence soaked up the early pressure, leaking a lone penalty which the students’ out-half James Fennelly landed from 30 metres out for the lead score. The hosts’ maul got them into position for Aidan Moynihan to break and he passed to Greg Higgins who sent winger Rob Jermyn over for a 19th-minute converted try.

Trinity loosehead Bart Vermeulen saw yellow for a late tackle on Con scrum half Jason Higgins, and the league leaders took advantage with flanker Sonny Dwyer touching down in the 28th minute following a series of pick-and-goes at close range. Winger JJ O’Neill nipped over for two tries, either side of half-time, to push the margin out to 24-3.

Constitution had the bonus point in the bag, but Tony Smeeth’s youngsters fought their way back with a 49th minute try against the run of play. A quickly-taken free-kick caught out the home side and some excellent angles of running led to replacement prop Thomas Clarkson crossing in the corner for a five-pointer.

There was further pressure on Cork Con after the visitors manufactured a terrific team try with eight points remaining. Promising full-back Robert Russell finished it off for his third score of the new league season, but the gap remained at 11 points as Brian Hickey’s men wrestled back control of possession.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Greg Higgins, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan, Jason Higgins; Gavin Duffy, Vincent O’Brien, Dylan Murphy, Darren O’Shea, Sean Duffy, Joe McSwiney, Sonny Dwyer, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Brendan Quinlan, Gregory Roche, Conor Kindregan, Gary Bradley, Jack Costigan.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Robert Russell; Hugh Twomey, James Hickey, James Moriarty, Colm Hogan (capt); James Fennelly, Rowan Osborne; Bart Vermeulen, Joe Horan, Dylan Doyle, Alex MacDonald, Arthur Greene, Paddy Nulty, Max Kearney, Niall O’Riordan.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Thomas Clarkson, Cian O’Dwyer, Tomas Killeen, Conor Dunne, Jonathan McKeown, Liam Turner.

CLONTARF 28 GARRYOWEN 10, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Mick McGrath, Declan Adamson, Conor Jennings; Cons: David Joyce 2; Pens: David Joyce 3
Garryowen: Try: Peadar Collins; Con: Peadar Collins; Pen: Peadar Collins

HT: Clontarf 0 Garryowen 7

Mick McGrath opened his try-scoring account for the new league season as Clontarf came good in the second half to defeat Division 1A rivals Garryowen 28-10 on the all-weather pitch at Castle Avenue.

The hirsute Ireland Sevens international brought ‘Tarf level at 10 points apiece before further tries from Declan Adamson and replacement Conor Jennings, coupled with David Joyce’s 13 points from the tee, kept Andy Wood’s men in winning form.

Garryowen did the double on Clontarf last season and returned to the north Dublin venue in confident mood after wins over Dublin University and defending champions Lansdowne in the past fortnight. They built a 7-0 half-time lead with their centres David McCarthy and Peadar Collins working well in tandem again, this time with Munster ‘A’ starlet Ben Healy inside them at out-half.

Liam Cronin and Connacht Eagles flanker Mikey Wilson also stood out for their work-rate up front, which paved the way for Collins’ converted towards the end of the first quarter. ‘Tarf turned around with the wind at their backs, Joyce and Collins swapping penalties before right winger McGrath’s well-taken try brought the best out of the home side.

Joyce’s conversion and subsequent penalty put the two-time champions ahead for the first time, and with the exchanges so tight and both defences giving very little away, the Tullamore man’s right boot became even more important. He added a third successful penalty to make it 16-10 before a power-packed drive from the forwards set up Adamson’s converted try.

Fresh legs off the bench led to ‘Tarf settling the issue with a late third try, grounded by young back Jennings, which gave a flattering look to the final scoreline given Garryowen’s contribution to what was a very competitive encounter throughout. ‘Tarf will head to Thomond Park next Saturday in search of a quick-fire Limerick double.

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Mick McGrath, Michael Courtney, Conor Kelly, Cian O’Donoghue; David Joyce, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Declan Adamson, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Reilly, Cormac Daly, Tony Ryan, Adrian D’Arcy, Michael Noone (capt).

Replacements: Connor Johnston, Tom Ryan, Niall Carson, Andrew Feeney, Conor Jennings.

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; Jamie Heuston, Peadar Collins, David McCarthy, Cian O’Shea; Ben Healy, Rob Guerin; Ben Rowley, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating, Kevin Seymour, Tim Ferguson, Mikey Wilson, Darren Ryan, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Jeremy Loughman, Alan Fitzgerald, Evan Maher, Dave O’Mahony, Scott Leahy, Mike O’Donnell, Dean Moore.

UCD 6 LANSDOWNE 20, Belfield Bowl (played on Friday)
Scorers: UCD: Pens: Cillian Burke 2
Lansdowne: Tries: Eamonn Mills, Daniel McEvoy; Cons: Scott Deasy 2; Pens: Scott Deasy 2

HT: UCD 6 Lansdowne 14

First half tries from Eamonn Mills and Daniel McEvoy fired Lansdowne to their opening win in All-Ireland League Division 1A as they finished 20-6 clear of hosts UCD at the Belfield Bowl on Friday night.

Out-half Scott Deasy also contributed 10 points from the tee for Mike Ruddock’s charges whose title defence had begun in frustrating fashion over the past fortnight with defeats to Clontarf and Garryowen. Unbeaten up to this third round clash, UCD could only muster two penalties from full-back Cillian Burke.

Dan Leavy’s younger brother Adam and scrum half Tim Murphy carried strongly before Lansdowne full-back and captain Mills finished off a sweeping attack for a stunning try with just 40 seconds on the clock. Deasy converted and the visitors mostly dominated the first quarter, although a knock-on denied them following a penalty kick to touch.

Nearing the half hour mark, the impressive Murphy, who had his best game yet for the club, broke off a lineout maul and linked with winger McEvoy who successfully juggled the pass behind his back and crossed unopposed for Deasy to convert.

However, two well-struck left-footed penalties from Burke – the second one from an awkward angle – reduced the arrears for the students to 14-6 for half-time. They could have been closer after Lansdowne failed to clear their lines and were penalised. This led to a series of attack from the students but they were eventually penalised for crossing.

Chasing their sixth league win on the trot over UCD, the headquarters club responded with a 46th minute penalty from Deasy following some powerful carrying from locks Willie Earle and David O’Connor, with the latter making his belated league debut for the club following injury. Corkman Deasy nailed another place-kick, seven minutes later, to put 14 points between the sides.

A calm and measured Lansdowne continued to probe for more scores but a third try never materialised and UCD pushed hard for a losing bonus point late on. Nonetheless, Lansdowne’s defence was superb on the night – Tyrone Moran, Joe O’Brien and Aaron Conneely impressed in this department – and they held off the students’ late attempts to score, which included a miscued lineout in the final minutes.

Giving his reaction afterwards to Irish Rugby TV, Lansdowne head coach Ruddock said: “Tough start for us with three away matches to start with, so it was never going to be easy. A couple of fine margins in the first two. Tonight I thought we were very comfortable.

“We had control of the football, control of the tempo of the game. We dictated matters because of it and then UCD, as we know, are a very skilful team so it was important we close them down when they had the ball and I thought we did that really well.

“I thought the referee (Jonathan Peak) was excellent, very consistent for both teams. That made for a good game even though I thought we dictated matters and were comfortable winners, if not so much on the scoreboard in terms of territory and the way the game was played out.”

UCD: Cillian Burke; Tim Carroll, Andy Marks, Paul Kiernan, Rob Keenan; Matthew Gilsenan, Tom Foley; Sam Griffin, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Charlie Ryan, Tom Treacy, Stephen McVeigh, Alex Penny (capt), Ronan Foley.

Replacements: Richie Bergin, Evin Coyle, Jonny Guy, Nick Peters, Ian O’Kelly.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills (capt); Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Tom Roche, Adam Leavy; Scott Deasy, Tim Murphy; Denis Coulson, Tyrone Moran, Greg McGrath, Willie Earle, David O’Connor, Joe O’Brien, Aaron Conneely, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements: James Rael, Ian Prendiville, Tom Murphy, Gareth Molloy, Peter Sullivan.

YOUNG MUNSTER 23 UCC 17, Tom Clifford Park (played on Friday)
Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Colm Skehan, Dan Walsh, Evan O’Gorman; Con: Clayton Stewart; Pens: Clayton Stewart 2
UCC: Tries: John Poland, Murray Linn, Peter Sylvester; Con: James Taylor

HT: Young Munster 15 UCC 10

Young Munster rebounded from their derby defeat to Shannon with a well-judged 23-17 victory over a lively UCC side at Tom Clifford Park on Friday night.

The Cork students matched Munsters’ three-try haul but could not generate the scoring return from their long spells of possession. They appear to be getting closer to their first win in the top flight, having been very competitive so far, particularly against Cork Constitution last week.

The Cookies fell behind to an eighth-minute try from UCC scrum half John Poland, who showed his experience in nipping over in a sliver of space. The build-up featured some bulky carries from Darragh Moloney and Lee McSherry, and the visitors ended the first quarter seven points to the good – 10-3.

Following a Clayton Stewart penalty for Munsters, UCC neatly worked the ball wide for winger Murray Linn to score his second try in the space of a week with another high-quality finish. Both conversions were missed by young out-half James Taylor and the hosts made sure the momentum swung in their favour with a much-improved second quarter showing.

Stewart kicked Munsters level after tighthead Colm Skehan had barrelled over at the end of a punishing set of phases from the forwards. The home pack starred again on the stroke of half-time as they forced UCC backwards in a scrum and won a penalty, setting up a late lineout maul which propelled flanker Dan Walsh over the line for a try and a 15-10 lead.

The Cookies’ player-backs coach Derek Corcoran exposed the UCC defence with a slashing break on the resumption, and once more the forwards were quickly in to secure possession and tee up Corcoran’s young centre partner Evan O’Gorman for a well-finished try which saw him spin over near the right corner. Kiwi out-half Stewart tagged on a penalty, just a few minutes later, to make it 23-10.

Cian Bohane, the former Young Munster and Munster player, drove UCC back downfield with an impressive break. The quick-tapping Poland was held up from a resulting penalty, five metres out, but Cookies loosehead Conor Bartley saw yellow for what could have been a penalty try infringement. The try eventually came five minutes from time when centre Peter Sylvester sliced through from Taylor’s inviting pass. The latter added the conversion.

With their running game, there was always a danger that UCC could strike for a match-winning seven-pointer, but Munsters defended smartly and were able to wind down the clock despite losing replacement Shane Airey to the bin for a high tackle on Bohane. A second home win of the campaign was their reward, while UCC headed home with their third bonus point – a second successive losing one.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Conor Hayes; Conor Phillips, Derek Corcoran, Evan O’Gorman, Darragh O’Neill; Clayton Stewart, Stephen Kerins; Conor Bartley, Mark O’Mara, Colm Skehan, John Foley, Alan Kennedy (capt), Conor Mitchell, Dan Walsh, Diarmaid Dee.

Replacements: Shane Fenton, Gavin Ryan, Tom Goggin, Jason Kiely, Shane Airey.

UCC: Cian Bohane; Adam O’Connor, Michael Clune, Peter Sylvester, Murray Linn; James Taylor, John Poland; Bryan O’Connor, Tadhg McCarthy, Darragh Fitzgerald, Andrew Davies, Mark Bissessar, Darragh Moloney, Lee McSherry, Brian O’Mahony.

Replacements: Travis Coomey, OJ Onolememem, Cian Barry, Colin Sisk, Rob Hedderman.

– Photos from Philip Duke, Inpho Photography, Liam Coughlan & M Lee Media