The scoring rate increased noticeably compared to last week’s rain-affected opening round, as the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A clubs tallied up 35 tries across today’s five fixtures.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: Saturday, October 12
CLONTARF 25 CORK CONSTITUTION 28, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Cian O’Donoghue, Jack Power, Cian Walsh, Seni Reilly Ashiru; Con: Gearoid Lyons; Pen: Gearoid Lyons
Cork Constitution: Tries: Niall Kenneally, Dylan Murphy, Greg Higgins, JJ O’Neill; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 4
HT: Clontarf 12 Cork Constitution 14
Out-half Aidan Moynihan converted all four of Cork Constitution’s tries as they edged out Clontarf 28-25 in a heavyweight Division 1A clash on Castle Avenue’s all-weather pitch.
The defending league champions secured their second successive narrow win of the new season, staving off a flying finish from the hosts who matched Constitution’s four-try tally on the day.
It was two tries apiece at half-time, Moynihan’s second conversion giving Constitution a 14-12 advantage. In a repeat of last season’s final, early pressure from the Clontarf forwards saw the ball spun wide for flanker Cian Walsh to touch down.
The nip-and-tuck nature of the game developed as Cork Con used a scrum in their own 22 to break downfield, their strong running and precise passing resulting in a seven-pointer from centre Greg Higgins. ‘Tarf hit back with Cian O’Donoghue grounding the ball from a kick through.
Nonetheless, Brian Hickey’s men made sure they led at the turnaround, prop Dylan Murphy getting the ball down in the corner with Moynihan pinging over the resulting conversion.
Moynihan suffered a rare penalty miss in the 54th minute, but by that stage Cork Con were 21-15 to the good. Captain Niall Kenneally marked his return with a well-taken try through the middle, before ‘Tarf attacked the scrum and earned a penalty which Gearoid Lyons fired over.
Ireland Under-20 starlet Sean French started at full-back and made an impression against the tiring home defence. He got a chance to stretch his legs down the right wing and slip a well-timed offload away for the supporting JJ O’Neill to run in Con’s bonus point score.
There was still time for ‘Tarf to launch a stirring fight-back, some impressive build-up play setting up full-back Jack Power for a smart finish. Seni Reilly Ashiru also made it over in the corner soon after, but a late turnover allowed Con to hold onto their slim winning margin.
CLONTARF: Jack Power; Seni Reilly Ashiru, Fiachra Smith, Matt D’Arcy, Cian O’Donoghue; Gearoid Lyons, Andrew Feeney; Ivan Soroka, Dylan Donnellan, JP Phelan, Cormac Daly, Ben Reilly, Tom Ryan, Cian Walsh, Michael Noone (capt).
Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Sam Garvey, Ruadhan Byron, Angus Lloyd, David Joyce.
CORK CONSTITUTION: Sean French; JJ O’Neill, Greg Higgins, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan, Duncan Williams; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Dylan Murphy, Brian Hayes, Sean Duffy, Joe McSwiney, Ross O’Neill, Evan Mintern.
Replacements: John Sutton, Ger Sweeney, James Murphy, Richard Cassidy, Jack Costigan.
GARRYOWEN 25 LANSDOWNE 24, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Tommy O’Hora, Jamie Heuston, Jack Stafford; Cons: Jamie Heuston 2; Pens: David McCarthy, Jamie Heuston
Lansdowne: Tries: Adam Leavy 3, James Reynolds; Cons: Tim Foley 2
HT: Garryowen 8 Lansdowne 24
Garryowen racked up 17 unanswered second half points, including a decisive late penalty from Jamie Heuston, as they overcame Lansdowne 25-24 in a thrilling top-flight encounter at Dooradoyle.
Full-back Heuston swept over a close-range place-kick with five minutes remaining, capping off a tremendous comeback from the Light Blues who had trailed an Adam Leavy-inspired Lansdowne 24-8 at half-time.
Ireland Sevens international Leavy crossed for a third-minute try as the visitors, who had only won once on their last five visits to Dooradoyle, connected with some slick offloads. He added his second just four minutes later and fellow winger James Reynolds made it 17-0 with an intercept from 40 metres out.
A 22-metre penalty from David McCarthy got Garryowen off the mark, before Leavy completed his hat-trick with another pacy finish in the 30th minute. However, Conan Doyle’s side got a timely try just before the break as Tommy O’Hora crossed for the second week running, getting over in the corner.
Centre Bryan Fitzgerald outfoxed the Lansdowne defence with a classy sidestep and offload, which played in Heuston for a 47th-minute try. The pressure was increasing on Mike Ruddock’s men, Munster ‘A’ scrum half Jack Stafford sniping over from a scrum while Lansdowne were down to 14 men.
Another of the hosts’ provincial players, flanker Jack Daly, saw yellow but Garryowen managed to hold up a promising Lansdowne maul. They cleared their lines with a penalty and a late bout of pressure earned them Heuston’s match-winning strike from straight in front.
GARRYOWEN: Jamie Heuston; Paul Clancy, Bryan Fitzgerald, John Hurley, Tommy O’Hora; David McCarthy, Jack Stafford; Conor Fitzgerald, Liam Cronin, Andrew Keating, Roy Whelan, Kevin Seymour, Johnny Keane, Jack Daly, Sean Rennison.
Replacements: Derry Gleeson, Corrie Barrett, Scott Leahy, Rob Guerin, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham.
LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Adam Leavy, Harry Brennan, Fergal Cleary, James Reynolds; Tim Foley, Tim Murphy; Martin Mulhall, James Rael, Adam Boland, Mark Flanagan, Jack Dwan (capt), Jack O’Sullivan, Joey Szpara, Neal Moylett.
Replacements: Jack Dinneen, Greg McGrath, Darragh Murphy, Ross Barron, Conor Murphy.
TERENURE COLLEGE 30 YOUNG MUNSTER 23, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Robbie Deegan, Tim Schmidt, Jamie Glynn, Sam Dardis; Cons: Mark O’Neill 2; Pens: Mark O’Neill 2
Young Munster: Tries: Jordan Stewart, Alan Kennedy; Cons: Evan Cusack 2; Pens: Evan Cusack 2, Charlie O’Doherty
HT: Terenure College 22 Young Munster 7
Joe Schmidt’s 23-year-old son Tim got among the tries as Terenure College withstood a spirited second half performance from Young Munster to secure a 30-23 bonus point win in a compelling Division 1A clash.
Continuing where they left off against newly-promoted Ballynahinch last week, Terenure had scores from Robbie Deegan, Schmidt, Jamie Glynn and replacement Sam Dardis. A late Charlie O’Doherty penalty saw Munsters emerge with a losing bonus point for the second game running.
‘Nure broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when centre Deegan cut through in fine style from the right flank. Schmidt, who has been deployed as a full-back of late, sidestepped his way over in the 17th minute, making it 12-0.
Out-half Mark O’Neill extended the lead with a penalty during the second quarter, and the Cookies fell further adrift near the half hour mark. The hosts worked the ball towards the right wing again where scrum half Glynn bagged the third try of the game.
The introduction of Paul Allen and his robust approach helped to galvanise Young Munster’s challenge. They pressed from a series of five-metre scrums close to the posts, leading to the sin-binning of Terenure tighthead Liam Hyland.
The visitors’ persistence finally paid off when number 8 Jordan Stewart peeled off the back of a scrum for a converted score. The gap was down to 22-7 at half-time, and with Munsters increasing the tempo on the restart, an Evan Cusack penalty made it a 12-point contest.
An O’Neill close-range kick cancelled that out, but a ‘Nure clearance was charged down straight into the arms of Munsters captain Alan Kennedy who sprinted over for a clinically-taken try. Cusack’s conversion reduced the arrears to eight points with half-an-hour remaining.
The Limerick men bombarded the ‘Nure line with a succession of driving mauls, the hosts holding firm until second row Mike Murphy was sin-binned. Cusack landed a 71st-minute penalty to set up a grandstand finish.
To Terenure’s credit, they wrestled back control with replacement Dardis touching down in the left corner. James Thornton’s missed conversion left the door open for Munsters to take a point back home, though, with scrum half O’Doherty knocking over a cracking penalty from the 10-metre line.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Tim Schmidt; Matthew Byrne, Robbie Deegan, Stephen O’Neill, Jake Swaine; Mark O’Neill, Jamie Glynn; Campbell Classen, Robbie Smyth, Liam Hyland, Mike Murphy, Michael Melia, Niall O’Sullivan, Paddy Thornton (capt), Eoin Joyce.
Replacements: Dewald Bernard, Tiernan Creagh, Niall Lalor, James Thornton, Sam Dardis.
YOUNG MUNSTER: Jason Kiely; Derek Corcoran, Harry Fleming, Luke Fitzgerald, Nicky Irwin; Evan Cusack, Charlie O’Doherty; Eoin O’Neill, Mark O’Mara, Conor Bartley, Alan Kennedy (capt), John Foley, Fintan Coleman, Darren Ryan, Jordan Stewart.
Replacements: Ger Slattery, Paul Allen, Mike Madden, Evan O’Gorman, Keelan Stephenson.
UCC 39 BALLYNAHINCH 6, the Mardyke
Scorers: UCC: Tries: Murray Linn 2, Matt Bowen 2, Daire Feeney, Ryan Murphy 2; Cons: James Taylor, John Poland
Ballynahinch: Pens: Sean O’Hagan 2
HT: UCC 22 Ballynahinch 6
It took just 38 minutes for UCC to chalk up their try-scoring bonus point against Ballynahinch as the Cork students triumphed 39-6 to retain their leadership of Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A.
The Mardyke faithful lapped up a sparkling seven-try performance from Brian Walsh’s youngsters, with wingers Murray Linn and Matt Bowen notching two tries each, and former captain Ryan Murphy bagging a second half brace off the bench.
After Sean O’Hagan had kicked ‘Hinch in front, UCC regrouped and set Linn free for an 11th-minute response, the try originating from John Hodnett’s impressive offload which put hooker Fergus Hennessy charging into space.
It was the same scoring pattern on the quarter hour mark as an O’Hagan penalty was cancelled out by Bowen’s third try in two league games, the product of some excellent handling from James Taylor and new Australian flanker Rory Suttor.
Leading 12-6, the hosts began the second quarter with Linn getting over in the corner again. Bowen then closed out the first half’s scoring with a 38th-minute effort, following a slashing break by Cian Bohane whose afternoon was unfortunately ended prematurely by injury.
It was 22-6 as an under-pressure ‘Hinch side paused for breath, and the tries kept coming after the restart. UCC needed only seven minutes for Murphy to cross the whitewash, and at the other end, Brian McLaughlin’s men continued to be frustrated by the resolute home defence.
Walsh’s in-form charges reeled off two late tries – more good work by Hodnett preceded fellow back rower Daire Feeney’s drive over the line, and Murphy then profited from a Cian Barry break to wrap up a runaway victory.
UCC: Rob Hedderman; Murray Linn, Cian Bohane, Peter Sylvester, Matt Bowen; James Taylor, John Poland; Robert Loftus, Fergus Hennessy, Bryan O’Connor, Cian Barry, Richard Thompson, Rory Suttor, Daire Feeney (capt), John Hodnett.
Replacements: Tadgh McCarthy, Shane O’Hanlon, Ryan Murphy, Aiden Brien, Brian Slater.
BALLYNAHINCH: Conor Rankin; George Pringle, Aaron Cairns, Ryan Wilson, Connor Phillips; Sean O’Hagan, Rhys O’Donnell; Ben Cullen, Connor Piper, Jonny Blair, James Simpson, John Donnan (capt), Aaron Hall, Ollie Loughead, Bradley Luney.
Replacements: David Cooper, Nacho Cladera Crespo, Adam Keed, Paddy Wright, Gregg Hutley.
UCD 30 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 19, Belfield Bowl
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Jonny Guy, Andy Marks 2, Tom Treacy; Cons: David Moran 2; Pens: David Moran 2
Dublin University: Tries: Max Kearney, Johnny McKeown, James Hickey; Cons: Micheal O’Kennedy 2
HT: UCD 12 Dublin University 12
Centre Andy Marks’ two-try salvo steered UCD to a hard-fought 30-19 bonus point defeat of Dublin University at the Belfield Bowl.
Back in the starting XV, Marks was a key figure as the home side pulled clear of Trinity during the final quarter. Tony Smeeth’s men scored three tries of their own but came away with nothing to show for their efforts.
Captain Jonny Guy led by example for UCD with an early try, although they failed to build on it with a missed penalty from new out-half David Moran, who was a late withdrawal last week at Lansdowne, and a disallowed try.
Trinity’s back row soon took centre stage, picking up two tries in quick succession. Max Kearney’s well-timed run and offload sent Johnny McKeown in under the posts in the 26th minute, before Kearney went over in the corner following a well-worked move from a lineout.
Marks slipped through for a levelling try right on half-time, leaving it tantalisingly poised at 12-all. And it was UCD who were quickest out of the blocks on the resumption with Moran threading over two penalty goals.
James Fennelly had the desired impact off the Trinity bench, saving a certain try by plucking down a cross-field kick, and the hirsute out-half was just as effective in attack. It was his deftly-released pass which played in captain James Hickey to make it 19-18.
Unfortunately for last season’s beaten semi-finalists, they were unable to stay ahead. UCD lock Tom Treacy dotted down to move his side back in front, and with 77 minutes elapsed, Marks tore through midfield to settle the issue with a brilliant bonus point score.
UCD: Tim Carroll; Jack Ringrose, Andy Marks, David Ryan, Eoin Barr; David Moran, Thomas Foley; Emmet Burns, Sean McNulty, Evin Coyle, Tom Treacy, Cian Prendergast, Jonny Guy (capt), Alex Penny, Stephen McVeigh.
Replacements: Richie Bergin, Rory Mulvihill, Lorcan Feighery, Harry Donnelly, Colm Mulcahy.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Colm Hogan; Ronan Quinn, Luis Faria, James Hickey (capt), Hugh Twomey; Micheal O’Kennedy, Louis O’Reilly; Bart Vermeulen, Mark Nicholson, Aziz Nasar, Arthur Greene, Joseph McCarthy, Johnny McKeown, Max Kearney, Paddy Nulty.
Replacements: George Downey, Giuseppe Coyne, Reuben Pim, Tomas Killeen, James Fennelly.