UCD and Clontarf are locked together on 31 points at the top of the Division 1A standings, with an eight-point gap between them and third-placed Old Belvedere. ‘Tarf picked up only their second try-scoring bonus point of the campaign with a 39-25 triumph over Garryowen.
The north Dubliners' new all-weather pitch at Castle Avenue showed its worth on a day when Storm Desmond claimed eight league fixtures around the country, including two top flight games – Cork Constitution v Terenure College and Young Munster v Galwegians.
Leinster winger Mick McGrath was in dominant form for 'Tarf, helping himself to a hat-trick of tries with fellow backs Conor O'Brien and Dermot O'Meara also touching down.
A terrific individual score from young centre O'Brien was added to by the bulldozing McGrath to give the hosts a 15-8 half-time advantage, cancelling out an earlier try from Garryowen winger James McInerney.
McGrath and Munster Academy recruit Conor Oliver swapped tries before the former followed up on an excellent Evan Ryan break to complete his hat-trick and secure Clontarf's bonus point at 29-15.
The Light Blues produced a strong finish, though, battling their way to a try-scoring bonus point as replacement Ronan O'Halloran and impressive scrum half Neil Cronin both crossed the whitewash.
In between, 'Tarf gave themselves enough of a cushion thanks to O'Meara's seven-pointer and a penalty from his half-back partner Joey Carbery, who kicked 14 points to take his season's tally to 93.
Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)