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First Half Display Set UCD On Their Way

First Half Display Set UCD On Their Way

UCD won for the first time in three league outings as they got the better of UL Bohemians. Almost all of the damage was done in the first half with Ireland underage internationals Andrew Boyle and David Doyle crossing for tries.

The hosts' out-half Niall Earls completed his 14-point tally in the second half, but UL did manage to take a losing bonus point for the trip home – Martin McPhail. Dave Kilcoyne and skipper Ed Kelly were their try scorers.

UCD's two tries, scored in a decisive ten-minute spell in the opening period, gave them a solid foundation but UL Bohs mounted a terrific comeback after the break and squeezed the gap back to 21-20 before Earls kicked a clinching penalty.

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The UCD place-kicker had opened the scoring with a third minute penalty, backed by a strong wind. But the home side's lead was a short lived one.

Three minutes later, Munster's Tommy O'Donnell barged through the heart of the UCD midfield and when the ball was spun wide, former captain Martin McPhail used his power and pace to get over for a well-taken unconverted try.

UL continued to set the pace but their missed opportunities let UCD come more into the game during the second quarter, which was preceded by Earls' second successful penalty.

Bobby Byrne's youngsters went up through the gears when some excellent handling sent full-back Andrew Boyle through for their first try, 25 minutes in. Earls added the extras.

The second touchdown came from hooker David Doyle who broke off a maul and exposed some poor defending from the Limerick men. The conversion was missing, leaving UL 21-5 adrift at the break.

Bohs responded with a try in the 47th minute, with JJ Hanrahan, Ed Torrie, McPhail and O'Donnell all getting involved before captain Kelly used quick ruck ball to cross in the corner.

UCD then suffered a sin-binning and from a David Foley-won lineout, the visitors struck for their second try. Sean Rennison barged into contact on the first phase and then replacement Kilcoyne, who was introduced despite a 'flu bug, muscled his way over from close range.

Hanrahan converted to reduce the arrears to 21-17 and followed up with a penalty from in front of the posts, making it a one-point game with just over 15 minutes remaining.

The momentum looked to be with Bohs at this stage but Hanrahan missed a subsequent penalty and UCD raised the tempo in the closing stages, forcing a penalty with two minutes left.

Earls duly knocked the ball through the posts and in a nerve-jangling climax, the home side held on despite UL being camped near their try-line in injury-time.

Referee: Michael Black (IRFU)