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Deely Try Proves Decisive As Blackrock End Belvedere’s Winning Run

Deely Try Proves Decisive As Blackrock End Belvedere’s Winning Run

Blackrock College scored two closing tries to edged out Old Belvedere in a keenly-contested Dublin derby ©INPHO/Nick Elliott

A three-try second half salvo ensured Blackrock College won the battle of the unbeaten teams as they overhauled Old Belvedere to win 19-10 at Ollie Campbell Park.


Scorers: Old Belvedere: Try: Dannah O’Brien; Con: Dannah O’Brien; Pen: Dannah O’Brien
Blackrock College: Tries: Natasja Behan, Mairead Holohan, Méabh Deely; Cons: Méabh Deely 2
HT: Old Belvedere 7 Blackrock College 0

Ben Martin’s charges trailed 7-0 at half-time at Ollie Campbell Park, a dummying Dannah O’Brien, the league’s top points scorer, sniping over for a try midway through the first half.

O’Brien kicked a penalty in response to a Natasja Behan try, but Blackrock crossed through Mairead Holohan (60 minutes) and Méabh Deely (75) to secure a hard-fought victory which puts them within a point of the summit.

There was some long ball-in-play time early on, both sides building phases and Jenny Murphy cutting a nice line up into the Blackrock 22 before Laura Feely repelled the hosts with a well-won turnover penalty.

When the ball fell off the tee at her first penalty attempt, Old Belvedere starlet O’Brien showed her quick thinking to embark on a run and almost create a try out wide for fellow Ireland cap Emma Tilly.

Blackrock’s defence stood firm, but an Elaine Anthony lineout steal and a subsequent break by Aoife Dalton had Belvedere hunting down the opening score once again.

Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird was a real livewire, taking a quick tap and also doing well to secure possession a couple of phases later. O’Brien spotted her chance, slashing through to touch down from close range after dummying a pass to Murphy.

Following the conversion from the Tullow youngster, Blackrock began to get more ball with Enya Breen ripping it back in a tackle. A Tatum Bird interception led to replacement Maeve Liston being put into some space out wide.

However, it was Old Belvedere who should have been further in front. O’Brien knocked a penalty wide but continued to impress in open play, throwing a superb one-handed offload behind her back to Niamh O’Dowd.

Belvedere’s aggressive defending kept the seven-point gap in place, a Nic a Bhaird turnover penalty closing out of a breathless first half. O’Brien began the second period with a narrow penalty miss.

Eimear Corri, who had stolen an earlier lineout, ignited the Blackrock attack with a break from deep. Six minutes in, Belvedere lost flanker Lesley Ring to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Suddenly, ‘Rock flooded forward, Breen charging up into the 22 via Lisa Mullen’s inside pass. Quick recycling paved the way for captain Michelle Claffey to send out a long skip pass and Behan finished smartly in the left corner.

Belvedere scrambled well to smother out a Holohan break and just before Ring returned to the pitch, Blackrock suffered a yellow of their own when busy hooker Emma Hooban was guilty of a late no-arms tackle on O’Brien.

‘Belvo’s teenage out-half punished some hands in the ruck to make it 10-5, but Blackrock began the final quarter with a terrific surge. It all started with Ali Coleman’s show-and-go and her releasing of Liston from halfway.

Despite being brought down by a combination of O’Brien and Aine Donnelly, the Ireland Sevens international popped up a peach of an offload for the supporting Holohan to go in under the posts.

Deely tapped over the conversion to put the visitors ahead for the first time at 12-10. Although Ring pinched lineout possession for ‘Belvo, the injury-enforced departure of skipper Murphy was a big loss.

Prop O’Dowd was central to earning turnover ball from a Blackrock maul, and the ferocious scrap for possession continued past the 70-minute mark with Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony and Beth Cregan trading turnovers.

Replacement Jackie Shiels then pinned Belvedere back with a well-placed kick, a knock-on giving ‘Rock a scrum in the opposition 22 and they were clinical through the next five phases.

The home defence was sucked in sufficiently enough, a neat line of passes from Bird, Corri, Shiels and Liston sending Deely sliding over in the right corner. The Ballinasloe native added a classy conversion as the rain came down heavily.

Old Belvedere still had time to strike back in the dying embers, but they were left to rue a crooked lineout throw from Dabanovich O’Mahony, in worsening conditions, and a final knock-on from the otherwise impressive Nic a Bhaird.

OLD BELVEDERE: Aine Donnelly; Elise O’Byrne-White, Aoife Dalton, Jenny Murphy (capt), Emma Tilly; Dannah O’Brien, Jemma Farrell; Niamh O’Dowd, Vic Dabanovich O’Mahony, Aine Rutley, Caoimhe Guinan, Elaine Anthony, Fiona Tuite, Lesley Ring, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird.

Replacements: Melissa Hayden, Katie Layde, Jane Neill, Clodagh Dunne, Katie Whelan, Emma Kelly, Éadaoin Murtagh.

BLACKROCK COLLEGE: Ella Durkan; Méabh Deely, Michelle Claffey (capt), Enya Breen, Natasja Behan; Lisa Mullen, Tatum Bird; Laura Feely, Emma Hooban, Shannon Heapes, Eimear Corri, Mairead Holohan, Aoife Moore, Beth Cregan, Ali Coleman.

Replacements: Niamh Tester, Mya Alcorn, Jackie Shiels, Ciara Scanlan, Maeve Liston, Roisin Crowe, Abby Moyles.