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UCD Blitz Ballynahinch In Seven-Try Rout
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UCD Blitz Ballynahinch In Seven-Try Rout

UCD Blitz Ballynahinch In Seven-Try Rout

UCD were in seventh heaven at Ballymacarn Park where their evasive backs ran riot against a disappointing Ballynahinch side, carving them open for a 47-13 bonus point win in Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

Both teams were weakened through an enforced rest weekend for provincial players, as they sought to bounce back from opening round defeats. Ballynahinch head coach Derek Suffern opted to include seven new players.

UCD won the toss, opting to play towards Slieve Croob, and were instantly on the attack as they received the ball from the boot of 'Hinch's Kiwi out-half Manihera Eden. After a couple of phases of very swift attacking play, UCD scrum half Jamie Glynn made it over in the corner for an unconverted third-minute try.

Apparent from the off, the students were hungry for the ball and also resilient in defence. Ballynahinch had to defend hard from the start as the UCD backs used the fantastic pitch conditions to their advantage, but not to be outdone, the hosts showed their attacking form with Ireland Sevens international Aaron Cairns making an incisive break.

Playing on the wing, Cairns was stopped just short of the try-line and full-back David McIlwaine's subsequent penalty attempt missed the target. 'Hinch had further woes as young lock John Donnan left the pitch with a bad injury to his knee, replaced in the front five by Keith Dickson.

UCD then used their strong running and excellent ball retention through the phases to work their way towards the whitewash in the 11th minute, with former Ireland Under-20 international Peadar Timmins reaching over and centre Conall Doherty converting.

McIlwaine opened 'Hinch's account from a penalty, eight minutes later, rewarding his side for a good spell of pressure in UCD territory. After a couple of missed penalties at either end, another ex-underage international, Barry Daly, crossed for the visitors' third try with 26 minutes on the clock.

In fact, winger Daly collected a quick-fire brace as he went over again just two minutes later, taking advantage of some weak defending from 'Hinch. Doherty and out-half Bobby Holland missed both conversions, leaving the scoreline 22-3.

Ballynahinch stalwart Mike Graham worked hard in defence from the second row and the newly-signed Lorcan Dow had a notable presence in the back row alongside fit-again captain Paul Pritchard who worked hard in the loose.

The home side seemed to lack cohesion as they struggled to string together any decent phases of play, although a 37th minute penalty from the returning Richard Reaney closed the gap to 16 points.

Holland quickly cancelled out that place-kick with three points of his own, early in the second period, and Ballynahinch were once more under pressure after Cairns saw yellow for a high tackle and Pritchard was sin-binned seven minutes later for a deliberate knock-on.

Down to 13 men, 'Hinch had to work hard during this phase of play and managed to hold off the onslaught from Noel McNamara's youngsters, with only one penalty added from the boot of Doherty in the 58th minute.

With typical Ballymacarn resilience, the next 10 minutes all went the way of Suffern’s charges, but none of the ball retention and attacking play was able to breach the UCD defensive line. The students opted to bring fresh legs on, resulting in replacement scrum half Nick McCarthy darting in for an unconverted score.

The Ballynahinch bench also had an impact late on, with James McBriar injecting his usual reliable energy at out-half. He defended well and cleared his lines while under pressure, and also finished off an excellent back-line move from the struggling home side in the 75th minute. McBriar converted his own try to make it 33-13.

However, any hope of further late tries from 'Hinch were soon dashed as the fitter students ran in two more seven-pointers through winger Adam Byrne and Timmins to round off their dominant performance.

Referee: Nigel Correll (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

David McIlwaine; David Busby, Stuart Morrow, Richard Reaney, Aaron Cairns; Manihera Eden, Conor Spence; Kelvin Hamilton, Jonny Murphy, Craig Trenier, John Donnan, Michael Graham, Thomas Donnan, Paul Pritchard (capt), Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Zack McCall, Jonny Blair, Keith Dickson, James McBriar, David Nicholson.

Away Team

Billy Dardis; Adam Byrne, Stephen Murphy (capt), Conall Doherty, Barry Daly; Bobby Holland, Jamie Glynn; Andrew Porter, Sean McNulty, Jeremy Loughman, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Mark McGroarty, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Michael Moynihan, Gordon Frayne, Donagh Lawler, Nick McCarthy, Tom Fletcher.

Match Scorers

Home Team

Try: James McBriar; Con: James McBriar; Pens: Richard Reaney, David McIlwaine

Away Team

Tries: Peadar Timmins 2, Jamie Glynn, Barry Daly 2, Adam Byrne, Nick McCarthy; Cons: Conall Doherty, Billy Dardis 2; Pens: Bobby Holland, Conall Doherty