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Dunne Drives St. Mary’s To Fourth League Victory

Dunne Drives St. Mary’s To Fourth League Victory

Full-back Gavin Dunne was the star of the show for St. Mary’s College on Friday as his 15-point haul saw them account for Old Belvedere under the Templeville Road floodlights.

This represented the fifth defeat in six league encounters for defending champions 'Belvo, though they did at least come away with a losing bonus point thanks to a well-worked 78th minute try from Peter Woods.

Playing into a strong breeze in the first half, 'Belvo were dealing well with the pressure that the home side were applying, though they eventually fell behind 14 minutes in when Gavin Dunne easily converted a close range penalty.

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The visitors did respond well to level matters up with a penalty of their own four minutes later from full-back Daniel Riordan, who was kicking in the absence of Andy Dunne and Conal Keane.

But Peter Smyth's men were back in the lead thanks to a second Dunne penalty after 22 minutes. 'Belvo were showing great tenacity in their efforts to force their way back into the contest, but St. Mary's always seemed more likely to add to the scoreboard before the interval.

And so it proved as another well-struck penalty from the deadly accurate Dunne gave them a 9-3 half-time advantage, with Old Belvedere losing their captain Richie Leyden to the sin-bin in injury-time.

They did make a bright start to the second period, but Riordan was off target with two early kicks at goal, and the Anglesea Road brigade were left to rue these missed opportunities when Dunne split the posts with further efforts in the 56th and 63rd minutes.

This helped to ease St. Mary's back into the game, and even though the title holders secured a bonus point with a try from in-from winger Woods, converted brilliantly by Riordan, Smyth's charges held firm to secure their fourth victory of the Division 1A campaign.

Referee: Paul Haycock (IRFU)