Dublin University missed out on their maiden league triumph as UL Bohemians took the spoils 16-13 in Saturday’s all-student clash at Sydney Parade.
The result made it back-to-back wins for UL in the opening weeks of the Division 1B campaign, while their winless Trinity counterparts were left to rue their failure to convert pressure into points at crucial stages.
Tony Smeeth's youngsters came out attacking at every opportunity, but lack of composure in the visitors' cost them many opportunities, and ultimately the game.
Trinity had the upper-hand in the scrum and lineout and threatened often in the backs. However, Bohs were dogged in defence, exerted more influence at the breakdown and took the few opportunities that came their way – including converting all their kicks.
Accurate out-half Shane Airey kicked the visitors ahead following their first spell in the Trinity half. His opposite number Jack McDermott, who had missed an earlier effort on goal, replied soon after and 3-3 is how it stayed up to half-time.
Although not playing anywhere near their best, UL were in clinical form during the early period of the second half when they amassed 13 points.
Airey kicked two penalties – the first after a high tackle in front of the posts – and converted a well-taken try from Munster Academy member David Johnston which saw them capitalise on some poor Trinity defending.
The seven-pointer from man-of-the-match Johnston came slightly against the run of play and Trinity bounced back in determined fashion with two unconverted tries late on.
Hooker Richard Halpin rounded off a lively set of phases with a close range try. Out-half McDermott hit the post with his conversion attempt at 16-8.
UL then lost their new number 8 Conor Kindregan to a second yellow card and it was backs to the wall stuff. Trinity profited with a real 'team' try, backs and forwards combining to good effect before loosehead prop George Walsh was freed up to go over out wide from 10 metres out.
McDermott pulled his kick to the left of the target and there was no time for any further action, as Trinity had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Referee: Stuart Douglas (IRFU)