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Bonus Point Boost For Lansdowne

Bonus Point Boost For Lansdowne

Captain Ross McCarron struck for two tries as Lansdowne registered their third win in four Ulster Bank League games, overcoming Garryowen on their home patch.

Scrum half Fergal Lawlor kicked the Light Blues into an early lead as they dominated possession and territory, setting up the kick after a scrum infringement.

But Craig Ronaldson made and converted the opening try for Lansdowne's Cian Aherne, sidestepping through before unleashing the winger for the try-line.

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Ronaldson recently played for the Leinster Development side alongside a number of his Lansdowne colleagues, and the talented out-half had a pivotal role in this victory.

After Lawlor missed a penalty the headquarters outfit added a second try, with classy full-back Ross McCarron finishing off another well-worked move sparked by Ronaldson.

The Lansdowne number 10 landed two penalties either side of the break to move Mike Ruddock's men into a decisive-looking 18-3 lead.

The margin could have been more as the in-form Matt Healy went close to scoring before half-time, while Garryowen watched Lawlor miss a kickable penalty.

Credit to the Limerick side though they never allowed their heads to drop. Playing into a strong wind, they came back into contention with a brace of tries – replacement Ian Hanly and experienced back rower Paul Neville were the scorers.

Hanly scored while Lansdowne's Neilus Keogh was in the sin-bin, but Willie Earle, who was sprung from the home bench, sandwiched Lansdowne's third try in between those two Garryowen efforts.

Flanker Jason Kelly produced a turnover with a crunching tackle, allowing young lock Tadhg Beirne to scoop up the loose ball and break into the Garryowne half.

Quick ball was taken on by Ronaldson again and he offloaded out of a tackle to put Earle bursting through and in under the posts from 25 metres out.

Fittingly, McCarron had the final say as he sealed a five-point return for his side with another spate of loose tackling giving the Lansdowne attack enough room to strike, with replacement prop Ian Prenderville and Keogh both prominent in the build-up.

Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)