All five home teams won in the latest round of Division 2A action, the only sides making moves on the league ladder being Munster duo Dolphin and Old Crescent who have both climbed back up towards mid-table.
ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE DIVISION 2A: Saturday, December 1
ROUND 7 RESULTS –
Dolphin 20 Blackrock College 16, Irish Independent Park
Highfield 40 Galwegians 19, Woodleigh Park
Navan 24 Queen’s University 17, Balreask Old
Cashel 24 UL Bohemians 20, Spafield (played on Friday)
Old Crescent 29 Nenagh Ormond 15, Rosbrien (played on Friday)
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.
Flanker Eddie Earle scored a try against his former club as Highfield put six tries past bottom side Galwegians in a 40-19 bonus point win. The pace-setting Corkmen continued their free-scoring form and have now scored 21 tries and 141 points in the last three rounds.
Centre Dave O’Sullivan bagged a first half brace against ‘Wegians, taking his season’s haul to seven already, with Shane O’Riordan, Gavin O’Leary, Miah Cronin, who ran in a superb 60-metre intercept score, and Earle also crossing for the hosts. Out-half O’Riordan kicked five conversions to finish with 15 points.
Winger Sean O’Sullivan scored Galwegians’ lone try while playing into the wind during an opening 40 minutes which ended 28-7 in Highfield’s favour. Hard-working blindside Ronan Moore had a second half double but their first bonus point score of the campaign eluded them, leaving them with just two points at the bottom of the table.
Dolphin swapped positions with Blackrock College in the standings, moving up from ninth to seventh thanks to their 20-16 victory over the Dubliners at Irish Independent Park. Tries from Alan O’Sullivan, Conor Flanagan and Rob Reardon did most of the damage for Robbie Doyle’s charges, who led 13-10 at the interval and had a five-point contribution from captain Daryl Foley off the tee.
Third-placed Navan remain within reach of the leaders after carving out a 24-17 win over Queen’s University at Balreask Old. Full-back Paddy Fox burrowed over for the opening try, Queen’s responding with a Matthew Keane score against the base of a post as the sides turned around at half-time level-pegging at 10-all.
The Meath men turned to their scrum to restore their lead, the set piece earning them a penalty try, and experienced back rower Bryan McKeever soon put his name to try number three, finishing off some patient build-up play. Brian Haugh curled over the difficult conversion to complete his seven-point tally on his return from injury.
Despite being outmuscled at times, Queen’s made sure they took home a bonus point as captain David Whitten led a breakout up to halfway and a quick recycle saw possession transferred to centre Rory Bell who ghosted back inside and found enough space to dart clear and score the final try of a pulsating contest.
The two Limerick-Tipperary derby matches on Friday night produced home bonus point victories, with second-placed Cashel getting the better of UL Bohemians on a 24-20 scoreline, and Old Crescent coming from behind to defeat Nenagh Ormond 29-15 at Rosbrien.
Cashel scored two tries in each half, establishing a 12-6 half-time lead before pushing 18 points clear with Richard Moran, Conor Cash and Aiden McDonald crossing the whitewash and Denis Leamy’s in-form side also forcing a penalty try.
Two slick tries from Munster Academy winger James McCarthy after 66 and 70 minutes secured a battling bonus point for the Red Robins, who had a 10-point kicking contribution from out-half Robbie Bourke. They remain just outside the top four ahead of two crunch clashes with Dolphin and Old Crescent.
Crescent’s response to their 61-14 hammering by Highfield has been excellent, holding on for a narrow victory at Galwegians and then putting four tries and 29 points past Nenagh, swapping places with the Tipperary side in the process.
Tries from half-backs Nicky Irwin and Alex Ropeti had Nenagh in a good position, leading 10-3 at half-time before full-back Peter Coman ran in a third unconverted try for the visitors, just two minutes after the break. Crescent had it all to do.
The Limerick outfit hit a real purple patch in and around the hour mark, reeling off three successive tries as former captain Cathal O’Reilly (51 minutes) and backs Gary Fitzgerald (56) and Val McDermott (64) – all converted by Ronan McKenna – turned things around at 24-15. Jack Hogan’s late bonus point score was the icing on the cake.