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All-Ireland League Division 1A: Round 10 Review

All-Ireland League Division 1A: Round 10 Review

It was business as usual on Saturday for Division 1A’s leading three clubs, Cork Constitution, Lansdowne and Clontarf, as they all posted home wins on the resumption of the All-Ireland League.


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GARRYOWEN 22 UCC 23, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Diarmuid Barron 2, Sean Rennison; Cons: Jamie Gavin, Peadar Collins; Pen: Peadar Collins
UCC: Tries: Ryan Murphy 2; Cons: James Taylor 2; Pens: James Taylor 3

HT: Garryowen 12 UCC 13

Bateman Cup finalists Garryowen returned to All-Ireland League action with a bump as talented out-half James Taylor kicked UCC to a surprise 23-22 success at Dooradoyle.

Just a week on from dethroning cup champions Lansdowne, the Light Blues were outplayed by the well-drilled student side who avenged their home defeat before Christmas when Ben Healy, who is part of the newly-announced Ireland Under-20 squad, landed a late match-winning penalty for the Limerick men.

It was Taylor’s turn on Saturday afternoon – he finished with a crucial 13-point haul in UCC’s second win of the campaign – and it was his reliable boot which also gave UCC a fifth-minute lead. A series of penalties led to Garryowen prop Niall Horan seeing yellow and a subsequent lineout maul, on the quarter hour mark, propelled the visitors’ number 8 Ryan Murphy over for a converted try.

With their own maul growing in influence and captain Dean Moore impressing as a lineout jumper, Garryowen responded with two well-worked tries from Diarmuid Barron who started in the back row. His second effort on the half hour was converted by Peadar Collins for a 12-10 lead.

The goal-kicking centre missed a penalty attempt before Taylor clipped over a close-in kick to give UCC a 13-12 buffer at the break. Collins was back on target early in the second period, only for Murphy to fire back quickly with his second converted try of the game, striking from a nice offload by replacement Brian O’Mahony.

Murphy’s opposite number Sean Rennison responded by grounding the ball in the corner from a superb lineout drive, giving Garryowen a 22-20 advantage after Collins brilliantly converted from out wide. However, UCC had more in the tank on this occasion despite the hosts having Munster’s Mike Sherry, Ronan O’Mahony and Liam Coombes on duty.

They made Garryowen pay for some error-strewn play and costly penalties – Moore was also yellow carded in the first half – as Taylor held his nerve to coolly stroke home the decisive penalty goal in the dying minutes. They remain second-from-bottom in the table but are now just a point behind Young Munster.

GARRYOWEN: Jamie Heuston; Daniel Hurley, Peadar Collins, Dave McCarthy, Cian O’Shea; Jamie Gavin, Rob Guerin; Niall Horan, Mike Sherry, Andy Keating, Kevin Seymour, Dean Moore, (capt), Tim Ferguson, Diarmuid Barron, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Mike O’Donnell, Jack Daly, Ronan O’Mahony, Liam Coombes.

UCC: Rob Hedderman; Murray Linn, Cian Bohane, Peter Sylvester, Matt Bowen; James Taylor, John Poland; Shane O’Hanlon, Travis Coomey, Bryan O’Connor, Cian Barry, Andrew Davies, Lee McSherry, Daire Feeney (capt), Ryan Murphy.

Replacements: Paidi McCarthy, Daragh Fitzgerald, Mark Bissessar, Brian O’Mahony, Michael Clune. 

UCD 20 SHANNON 24, Belfield Bowl
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Bobby Sheehan, Andy Marks; Cons: Cillian Burke 2; Pens: Cillian Burke 2
Shannon: Tries: Eathon Moloney, Jack Stafford, Pa Ryan; Cons: Ben Daly 3; Pen: Ben Daly

HT: UCD 6 Shannon 17

Eathon Moloney, Jack Stafford and Pa Ryan all crossed for tries as Shannon won 24-20 at the Belfield Bowl to complete back-to-back league victories over UCD.

Despite a spirited second half showing from the students, Shannon held on to leapfrog both UCD and Dublin University into fifth place in Division 1A. Three Jake Flannery penalties had seen Shannon prevail 9-8 when the sides met at Thomond Park last month, but he was missing on Saturday along with fellow Ireland Under-20 call-ups, Craig Casey and Luke Masters.

UCD’s Michael Milne, Scott Penny, Charlie Ryan and Aaron O’Sullivan were also absent after making the Ireland U-20 Six Nations squad, although Penny’s brother Alex captained the team from openside flanker. The early exchanges were tight and tense and dominated by the forwards, Stephen Murphy kicking for territory but Shannon responding with a scrum penalty.

The visitors took an 11th minute lead through young number 10 Ben Daly’s 30-metre penalty, rewarding his pack for a solid spell of carrying. With Penny leading by example, UCD levelled through the boot of winger Cillian Burke, and he landed a second place-kick in the 28th minute with the home forwards making an impact in the loose.

However, Shannon snapped back at the students with two tries before half-time. A delicate chip over the top played in the pacy Moloney, who beat Brian Cawley in a footrace. Senior debutant Daly converted and then his Munster-capped half-back partner Stafford found space on the right to notch try number two.

Trailing 17-6 at the turnaround, UCD kept Shannon at bay early in the second half and some impressive ball retention of them own led to the sin-binning of a Shannon forward. The numerical advantage led to hooker Bobby Sheehan scoring under a pile of bodies just shy of the hour mark. Burke converted to make it a four-point deficit.

Shannon showed no signs of panicking and after a pushover score failed to materialise in the right corner, the ball was moved into midfield where replacement Ryan dived over in style for his try. Daly converted again and Shannon did well to close out the game in control, albeit with UCD gaining a losing bonus point thanks to Andy Marks’ late try following a series of five-metre drives.

UCD: Tim Carroll; Andy Marks, Gavin Mullin, Paul Kiernan, Cillian Burke; Stephen Murphy, Nick Peters; Sam Griffin, Bobby Sheehan, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Cian Prendergast, Alex Penny (capt), Ronan Foley.

Replacements: Sean Molony, JP Phelan, Keelan McKenna, Tom Foley, James Tarrant.

SHANNON: Jamie McGarry; Stephen Fitzgerald, Robbie Deegan, Jack O’Donnell, Eathon Moloney; Ben Daly, Jack Stafford; Conor Glynn, Ty Chan, Tony Cusack, Luke Moylan, Jade Kriel (capt), Kelvin Brown, Charlie Carmody, Colm Heffernan.

Replacements: Adam Moloney, Ciaran Parker, Odhran Ring, Aran Hehir, Pa Ryan.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Ross O’Neill, Luke Cahill, Kevin O’Byrne, Alex McHenry; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 4
Terenure College: Try: Stephen O’Neill

HT: Cork Constitution 14 Terenure College 0

Munster hooker Kevin O’Byrne got amongst the tries as Division 1A leaders Cork Constitution cruised to a 28-5 bonus point win over struggling Terenure College at Temple Hill.

O’Byrne and his provincial colleagues Duncan Williams and Liam O’Connor all started for Con, getting game-time ahead of next weekend’s resumption of the GUINNESS PRO14, and two tries in each half saw the Leesiders maintain their five-point lead over Lansdowne at the top of the table.

It was the hosts’ dominance up front, coupled with the control exerted by Williams and Aidan Moynihan from half-back, which provided the platform for a crisp two-try first half. Ross O’Neill and Luke Cahill were rewarded for their busy back row play with the scores, despite the best efforts of the returning Harrison Brewer and Terenure captain Michael Melia.

Openside O’Neill charged down a clearance kick in the 22nd minute, collected the ball and cartwheeled in for the opening try, while number 8 Cahill applied the finishing touches to an attack which was sparked by Rob Jermyn’s break from his own 22. Moynihan added both conversions for a 14-0 interval lead.

Con’s maul drove O’Byrne over the line, five minutes into the second half, and their seventh try-scoring bonus point of the campaign arrived 13 minutes from time. Ireland Sevens international Alex McHenry, who partnered skipper Niall Kenneally in midfield, showed a clean pair of heels to the defence to touch down.

‘Nure salvaged some pride with Stephen O’Neill’s well-taken five-pointer but, worryingly, they are now nine points adrift at the bottom of the table following UCC’s triumph at Garryowen. Next Saturday’s home clash with UCD has a huge amount riding on it for James Blaney’s men.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Sean French; JJ O’Neill, Alex McHenry, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan, Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Kevin O’Byrne, Patrick Casey, Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan, Joe McSwiney, Ross O’Neill, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Max Abbott, Gavin Duffy, Kevin Sheahan, Richard Cassidy, Billy Crowley.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Matthew Byrne; Erik Wijten, Adam La Grue, Stephen O’Neill, Sam Coghlan Murray; James Thornton, Jamie Glynn; Conor McCormack, Robbie Smyth, Jack Aungier, Michael Melia (capt), Harrison Brewer, Adam Clarkin, Paddy Thornton, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Liam McMahon, Tiarnan Creagh, Stephen Caffrey, Conor Kelly, Mark O’Neill.

LANSDOWNE 66 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 33, Aviva Stadium back pitch
Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Peter Sullivan 3, Daniel McEvoy 3, Penalty try, Ian Prendiville, Aaron Conneely, Scott Deasy; Cons: Scott Deasy 7, Pen try con
Dublin University: Tries: Jack Dunne, Johnny McKeown, Giuseppe Coyne, Colm Hogan, Ryan Baird; Cons: James Fennelly 3, Colm Hogan

HT: Lansdowne 42 Dublin University 12

Hat-tricks from wingers Peter Sullivan and Daniel McEvoy were the highlights of a stunning 66-33 bonus point win for Lansdowne over Dublin University as they began the New Year’s league schedule with a bang.

Defensive strategies went out the window as the crowd gathered at the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch were treated to 15 tries in all, ten from the home side as they took out the frustration of their Bateman Cup semi-final exit on the students. Trinity, who defeated Durham University 54-31 last week, are certainly racking up the high-scoring encounters.

Lansdowne had three tries on the board, including Sullivan’s fifth-minute intercept score, before lock Jack Dunne got the visitors off the mark with an excellent 12th-minute try off the back of a scrum on the 22-metre line. But Mike Ruddock’s men, who included Connacht newcomer Tom Daly, were at their clinical best as they burst into a 42-12 half-time lead.

Their glut of first half tries included the double whammy of James Fennelly’s sin-binning and a penalty try, with McEvoy, one of Lansdowne’s six-strong contingent in the Ireland Club International squad, quickly getting in on the act. Another one of their international representatives, Ian Prendiville, also touched down just a few weeks on from scoring his first ever league try away to Trinity.

The defending champions were past the half-century mark and out of sight with Aaron Conneely and Scott Deasy notching tries, the latter finishing with 19 points which included seven conversions, before Trinity rallied late on to earn their own bonus point.

Smart finishes from Ireland Under-20 squad members Giuseppe Coyne and Ryan Baird, coupled with a closing effort from winger and captain Colm Hogan, keeps them within reach of the top four ahead of next week’s duel with Clontarf at College Park.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills (capt); Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Tom Daly, Peter Sullivan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Martin Mulhall, Ronan Kelleher, Ian Prendiville, Oisin Dowling, Willie Earle, Jack O’Sullivan, Tom Murphy, Aaron Conneely.

Replacements: James Rael, Denis Coulson, Jack Dwan. Tim Murphy, Tom Roche.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Donal Liddy, James Hickey, Philip Murphy, Colm Hogan (capt); James Fennelly, Rowan Osborne; Giuseppe Coyne, Dan Sheehan, Dylan Doyle, Arthur Greene, Jack Dunne, Johnny McKeown, Max Kearney, Niall O’Riordan.

Replacements: Joe Horan, Bart Vermeulen, Ryan Baird, Patrick Nulty, Conor Lowndes.

Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Declan Adamson, Matt D’Arcy, Sean O’Brien; Cons: David Joyce 3; Pen: David Joyce
Young Munster: Tries: Dan Walsh, Penalty try; Cons: Alan Tynan, Pen try con; Pens: Shane Airey 2

HT: Clontarf 7 Young Munster 6

Clontarf outscored Young Munster by three tries to two in an entertaining 24-20 Division 1A triumph at Castle Avenue where David Joyce had the final say with a late match-winning penalty.

Third-placed ‘Tarf looked out out of reach when centre Matt D’Arcy’s fourth try of the campaign had them 21-6 to the good, but Munsters bounced back in impressive fashion with two tries – one from young flanker Dan Walsh, converted by Alan Tynan, and a penalty try. Even after Joyce’s subsequent penalty, a cross-field kick almost conjured up another try for the never-say-die Cookies.

They also suffered a near miss early on, full-back Tynan drawing a penalty attempt wide after Clontarf had lost D’Arcy to the sin-bin. Out-half Shane Airey did boot the visitors in front soon after, but their promising start was undone by an intercept try run in from halfway by ‘Tarf’s Under-20 hooker Sean Adamson. Joyce converted before Airey’s second penalty made it a one-point game at half-time – 7-6.

Playing on their all-weather pitch, Clontarf began to open up on the resumption, building pressure and picking off a terrific second try. Scrum half Angus Lloyd, a recent debutant with Connacht, was first to his own grubber kick near the left touchline and deftly offloaded for young centre Sean O’Brien to finish off to the left of the posts. The extras from Joyce made it 14-6.

Munsters leaked a third try when D’Arcy gritted his teeth and grounded the ball for a quality finish despite the presence of three defenders. Hugely frustrated by that concession, the Cookies, who had lost 17-11 to the same opposition before Christmas, bounced back to set up a nail-biting conclusion, only for the experienced Joyce to make sure of ‘Tarf’s eighth win in ten rounds.

The result keeps Andy Wood’s men just three points behind Lansdowne in the battle for a home semi-final berth. Notably, the north Dubliners have also opened up a nine-point lead on Garryowen in fourth, while eighth-placed Munsters are now feeling increasing heat from UCC below them.

CLONTARF: Michael Brown; Michael Courtney, Sean O’Brien, Matt D’Arcy, Cian O’Donoghue; David Joyce, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Declan Adamson, Martin Kelly, Cormac Daly, Ben Reilly, Tony Ryan, Adrian D’Arcy, Michael Noone (capt).

Replacements: Paddy Finlay, Brian Deeny, Niall Carson, Peter Hoy, Conor Kelly.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Alan Tynan; Calvin Nash, Derek Corcoran, Evan O’Gorman, Jack Harrington; Shane Airey, Jack Lyons; Conor Bartley, Mark O’Mara, Keynan Knox, Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy (capt), Conor Mitchell, Dan Walsh, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Shane Fenton, Mikey Doran, Alan Ross, John Foley, Conor Hayes, Luke Fitzgerald. 

– Photos from Colbert O’Sullivan (Cork Constitution v Terenure), Laszlo Geczo/Inpho Photography (Lansdowne v Dublin University), Sam O’Byrne (Clontarf v Young Munster)