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UCC Too Good For Four-Try Dungannon

UCC Too Good For Four-Try Dungannon

The Munster-capped Andrew Burke kicked 18 points to steer UCC to an encouraging opening win in All-Ireland League Division 1B, with Dungannon fighting back to bag two bonus points.

UCC and Dungannon shared out seven tries in an attack-dominated, free-flowing clash at the Mardyke, but Andrew Burke's right boot had the biggest say.

He converted tries from Olan Dennehy, Willie Walsh and John Ryan and kicked four penalty goals for an impressive 18-point haul.

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Dungannon outscored their hosts on try count, with full-back Conor Gaston's late effort, converted by out-half Paddy Jackson, netting them two bonus points. In the end, Justin Fitzpatrick's side were left to rue a heavy penalty count against them.

A high tackle on winger Craig Gilroy allowed Jackson kick them ahead, but a powerful burst down the right wing saw Dennehy dive over in the corner for the opening try. Burke converted and nailed a sixth minute penalty for a 10-3 lead.

The Tyrone men began to threaten with ball in hand, led by their team captain Paul Magee who linked well with his centre partner Glen Telford.

The pressure told when Gilroy showed a clean pair of heels to the students' defence and scooted over for an unconverted try from 50 metres out.

Burke responded with a penalty as the UCC forwards enjoyed a good spell of possession. It was end to end stuff as the first half came to a close with UCC holding a 16-15 lead at the break.

'Gannon had nipped in front when a quick turnover saw Magee hack the ball through for the lightning quick Gilroy to touch down and Jackson followed up with the conversion.

However, Burke kicked his third penalty, following Thomas Anderson's sin-binning, to see the lead change hands once again.

UCC conjured up their second try while Anderson was off the pitch. Jackson missed a drop goal attempt before UCC raided forward and created an overlap for supporting full-back Walsh to ghost over. Burke succeeded with his conversion and a 55th minute penalty to push the Cork's advantage out to 26-15.

UCC came under increasing pressure in the final quarter, losing replacement Kieran Murphy to the sin-bin and conceding a penalty try which Jackson converted to close the gap to four points.

But the home side held their nerve, winning a succession of penalties before prop Ryan was mauled over on a close range drive. Burke's conversion added some cushion, before Gaston had the final say for a valiant Dungannon side.

Referee: Alan Rogan (IRFU)