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Second Half Push Nets Big Reward For ‘Belvo

Second Half Push Nets Big Reward For ‘Belvo

Dynamic centre Ben Woods struck for two tries as Old Belvedere downed recently-crowned Ulster Bank League champions Lansdowne to greatly ease their relegation worries.

After tonight's heroics on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch, Old Belvedere are now nine points clear of second-from-bottom Shannon – who face Young Munster on Saturday afternoon – and it should be enough for them to maintain their top flight status.

In a lively opening to the contest, when both sides had their fair share of possession, it was hosts Lansdowne who eventually opened the scoring with a 16th minute penalty from recent Connacht recruit Craig Ronaldson.

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However, with the Anglesea Road men desperately in need of a win – and Lansdowne using the game as an opportunity to give some fringe players a run-out – it came as no surprise when they crossed the whitewash for the first time on 23 minutes.

It was the influential Ben Woods who managed to touch down at the end of a fine move across the defensive line. The score came a major boost for 'Belvo.

Mike Ruddock's charges were quick to respond though, flanker Conor O'Donnell driving over for an unconverted try following a spell of relentless pressure in the 'Belvo 22.

Ronaldson was wide of the mark with his conversion attempt, but with outside centre Sean Carey notching a magnificent drop goal, Lansdowne took an 11-7 cushion into the second half.

Their local rivals were in a determined mood after the restart though, and 'Belvo made it a one-point game with a 46th minute penalty from winger Josh Glynn.

As 'Belvo continued to press Lansdowne dealt effectively with a succession of attacks until 13 minutes from the end when Glynn finished clinically in the left corner after Aidan Wynne had initiated the move with a clever cross-field kick.

Glynn landed the conversion and with replacement Fergal Lawlor adding a well-taken drop goal six minutes later, a much-needed win was well within the reach of the 2011 champions.

Woods was a real thorn in Lansdowne's side throughout the game and it was his incisive break that paved the way for Leinster's Leo Auva'a to go over unopposed for his team's third try.

Willie Earle did reduce the arrears for Lansdowne with a pushover try in the 80th minute, but 'Belvo were not finished there.

Woods pounced on a loose ball in the dying moments for his second try of the night as Andy Dunne's side came away with five hard-earned points from Lansdowne's final home game of the 2012/13 campaign.

Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)