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Clontarf Win Floodlit Clash With Lansdowne

Clontarf Win Floodlit Clash With Lansdowne

A hat-trick of first half tries proved crucial at Castle Avenue as Division 1A leaders Clontarf maintained their 100% record at the expense of Dublin rivals Lansdowne.

This was a competitive clash played as part of the Ulster Bank League's Friday Night Lights series, with the visitors hoping to upset the form book.

Lansdowne started the game brightly, and even though out-half Craig Ronaldson narrowly missed a penalty two minutes in, he showed great awareness to put winger Matt Healy through for the first try of the evening five minutes later.

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This was exactly the kind of opening that Andy Wood's 'Tarf side would have been hoping to avoid. But they responded well as Richie Lane successfully converted a 35-metre penalty.

This helped to settle the home side down and they added to their tally after 22 minutes when towering second row Jamie Chipman touched down in the left corner at the end of a sweeping move.

Lane was on target with the subsequent conversion, and their lead soon increased to 10 points thanks a try from Noel Reid, set up brilliantly by centre Killian Lett in the 27th minute.

A Ronaldson penalty with six minutes of the first half remaining helped reduce the gap, but a third Clontarf try from bustling prop Ben Barclay handed the north Dubliners a comfortable 22-8 interval advantage.

Lansdowne had threatened to get a try just before the break though, and they finally managed to breach the stern Clontarf defence four minutes after the restart, as the elusive Healy got in for his second try.

Lansdowne continued to control possession for a time after this, but they failed to capitalise during this crucial juncture as a second penalty from Lane helped to calm down the nerves of last season's beaten semi-finalists.

Mike Ruddock's charges did their best to force the issue towards the finish, but Clontarf had just enough to hold out for four valuable league points.

Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)