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All-Ireland League Division 2C: Round 4 Review

All-Ireland League Division 2C: Round 4 Review

Midleton, who remain five points clear at the summit, were the only team to win away from home in All-Ireland League Division 2C last Saturday. It was a round to remember for Malahide and Seapoint who recorded their first victories, while Bruff ended promoted side Ballina’s winning start to the season.

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE DIVISION 2C: Saturday, October 27

ROUND 4 RESULTS –

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Bangor 27 City of Derry 10, Upritchard Park
Bruff 26 Ballina 18, Kilballyowen Park
Malahide 24 Thomond 22, Estuary Road
Omagh 7 Midleton 29, Thomas Mellon Playing Fields
Seapoint 24 Tullamore 7, Kilbogget Park

Clubs are invited to post the best tries from their All-Ireland League fixtures on the club’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages using the hashtag #AILTry and tag @irishrugby. The scorer of #AILTry of the Month will receive a voucher for €;250 and each of the monthly winners will be entered into the #AILTry of the Season competition.

After giving City of Derry a two-try head-start, Bangor seized the initiative in the final quarter as they went on to post a 27-10 bonus point win. Some of the worst elements of last week’s defeat to Midleton were on display again when Michael Ferguson’s men fell behind to a fired-up Derry side.

The Derry forwards, who included Letterkenny native Conor McMenamin on his league debut, set the tone with a bright start and a second minute try from second row Adam Bratton. They added a second five-pointer in the 13th minute, electing to tap a penalty after a long-range missed place-kick from Conall Gill, and his half-back partner Simon Logue was afforded plenty of space to run into and score.

Full-back Phil Broderick hit back for Bangor to halve the deficit to 10-5 nearing half-time. He was up in support to take the scoring pass from flanker Stephen Moore who had broken out of the hosts’ half. Nonetheless, injuries sidelined both Moore, whose knee took the brunt of a clumsy tackle, and Bangor scrum half Liam Preston.

The Seasiders had to absorb another promising spell from Derry on the resumption, although Gill missed a straightforward penalty. It was right on the hour mark when the hosts turned the screw. They pinned Derry back before their reinforced scrum forced a collapse near the whitewash and a penalty try. 

With the Bangor pack providing a much better platform, the ball was soon moved wide for Desi Fusco to show his strength and speed in notching try number three. Fellow winger Nathan Graham landed a penalty from distance to stretch the lead to 20-10, and it was his searing run through a tiring Derry defence that netted the bonus point score, converted by Mark Widdowson.

Bangor are back up to second in the standings, a point clear of Ballina who suffered their first reversal when going down 26-18 to Bruff at Kilballyowen Park. Bruff winger Liam Treacy scored a try in each half, lock Tom O’Dwyer crossed from a powerful maul, and a tremendous closing try from centre Jack O’Grady wrapped up the bonus point.

Kevin McManus’ conversion from out wide took a losing bonus point away from Ballina who more than played their part in what was a splendid advertisement for Division 2C rugby. Full-back Chris O’Neill’s try kept the Moy men on Bruff’s coattails at 12-8, and they even nipped ahead when teenage replacement Billy McVann was released by Darragh Whyte to squeeze over in the corner.

McVann, the promising Connacht age-grade hooker, then responded to Treacy’s second try by completing his own brace, but it was O’Grady’s finishing skills which won it for Bruff in the end. Ballina return to their Heffernan Park home next Saturday to host Bruff’s Limerick rivals Thomond, who were edged out 24-22 by Malahide last Saturday.

Brendan Guilfoyle got one over on his former club Thomond as he gained his first league win as Malahide’s player-coach. Flying wingers Marcus McAllister and Dave Mongan both scored tries, adding to an early maul score, to give the Dubliners a 19-0 buffer in sunny conditions at Estuary Road.

Former Connacht player Danie Poolman was back at outside centre and making his mark, but Thomond dug in deep and made sure they took home two bonus points thanks to tries from young out-half Evan Cusack (2) and fellow backs Korey Brown and Richie Ryan. Cusack’s tally for the season so far now stands at 48 points.

Midleton’s lynchpin number 10 Stuart Lee boosted his tally to 44 points after kicking three conversions and a penalty in their 29-7 triumph away to Omagh. The Red Devils made it four bonus point wins on the trot with Kiwi centre Benji Cottle registering his fourth try of the campaign and Daniel Murray, Jon Gardiner and Rob Carey also breaching the Accies’ line.

Seapoint climbed one place up to eighth after breaking their duck with a 24-7 success against Tullamore at Kilbogget Park. Tries from centre Dave O’Reilly, via a turnover, and replacement Steve Carroll, who sniped over from a close-in ruck, sealed the result for Eric Miller’s outfit. They led 10-7 at half-time thanks to out-half Bain Champion slicing in between two defenders for his converted score.

– Photos from Malahide RFC & Bangor RFC