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Garryowen Stay Third Thanks To Belfast Triumph

Garryowen Stay Third Thanks To Belfast Triumph

Garryowen finished the first four-week run of Ulster Bank League matches with their third win, a 24-13 success away to Belfast Harlequins.

Head coach Conan Doyle featured at inside centre as the Light Blues built a 14-8 interval lead courtesy of three Jamie Gavin penalties and a Neil Cronin try.

In breezy conditions at Deramore Park, 'Quins replied with an unconverted score from Ulster prop Ricky Lutton to make it a one-point game.

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The visitors produced the stronger finish, though, to stay third in the Division 1B table. Out-half Gavin kicked another penalty and converted a late try from replacement prop Ben Rowley.

Adam Larkin's home side had burst ahead in the opening minutes, helped on their way by a well-taken unconverted try from full-back David McMaster (pictured below).

By the quarter hour mark, 'Quins continued to make the most of the possession with out-half Mark Best knocking over a drop goal to make it 8-0.

However, a couple of penalties from Best's opposite number Gavin, who split the posts in the 22nd and 25th minutes, got Garryowen up and running.

Gavin ended the day with an excellent five-out-of-six place-kicking return, and his third successful penalty had the Limerick club 9-8 ahead approaching the interval.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Garryowen scrum half Cronin conjured up an excellent solo try following a fantastic foot rush inspired and finished by the player himself. The conversion was missed by Gavin.

Inspired by Larkin's half-time words, 'Quins opened well on the resumption and Lutton's five-pointer in the 49th minute brought it back to 14-13.

However, Doyle's charges were increasingly dominant in terms of possession and territory and a Gavin penalty on the hour mark kept his side on course.

The issue was settled by Rowley's try three minutes from time, allowing Garryowen to celebrate their first victory away from Dooradoyle this season.

David Sherry's return as a 39th minute replacement was another plus in a solid and combative performance from the Garryowen squad, who have accumulated 11 tries in four league starts to date.

Referee: Eddie Hogan O'Connell (IRFU)