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Trinity Enjoy Successful College Park Return

Trinity Enjoy Successful College Park Return

Dublin University were back at their spiritual home on Saturday afternoon, playing on the newly upgraded College Park pitch, and they marked their return with a well-judged 26-17 win over Malone in Division 1B.

AER TV: DUBLIN UNIVERSITY v MALONE MATCH REPLAY

It was Trinity's first victory of the Ulster Bank League season and owed much to the place-kicking accuracy of Conor Kearns and Jack McDermott, who both kicked two penalties with the latter also scoring a try and two conversions.

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Excellent out-half McDermott and flanker Brian du Toit scored second half tries for the students as they recovered from a 7-6 half-time deficit, watched by a partisan home crowd.

Rory Campbell – making the switch from full-back to the left wing this week – took his try haul for the campaign to four, but it was not enough to prevent red-shirted Malone from slipping to their third straight loss.

In front of the largest College Park attendance in recent times, Tony Smeeth's Trinity youngsters played good solid rugby without actually breaking open the game.

They took Malone through several phases and McDermott gave them an early with a penalty from close range.

The visitors came back hard though and following a yellow card for Trinity winger Tim Maupin for what was deemed a dangerous tackle, Malone took Trinity through several attacking phases in their 22 and the pressure eventually told.

Second row Michael Ferguson burst onto a ruck pass from John Creighton, building enough momentum to crash over past two defenders just to the right of the posts.

Centre Josh Pentland converted the try for a 7-3 scoreline, but Trinity hit back with a second McDermott penalty to make it a one-point game at the interval.

Into the second half, the home side had the breeze at their backs and after heavy pressure on the Malone line, du Toit capped a great game by scoring close to the posts. Prop Tom Collis carried well in the lead up to the try. McDermott converted and soon added a penalty.

The elusive Campbell responded for Malone with a 55th minute try, coming in off his left wing to step past the final defender and score with aplomb, with Pentland's conversion reducing the arrears to 16-14.

But Trinity, whose back row put in some crucial tackles, used quick turnover ball to score a try out of nothing on the hour mark, as McDermott ran in from 50 metres out.

Malone lost possession near halfway, with replacement hooker Jack Boland's big hit producing the turnover, and McDermott raced onto a pass to break the defensive line and charge clear with covering full-back Andy Bryans unable to prevent him from scoring.

McDermott added the extras for a 23-14 advantage, before a Pentland penalty – with just over a quarter of an hour left – brought Malone back into contention.

However, McDermott won a penalty for a high tackle and he held his nerve to land the resulting left-sided kick. Despite attacking hard in the dying minutes, Malone could not claw back the losing bonus point as Trinity deservedly won out on a nine-point margin.

Referee: Richard Kerr (IRFU)