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Young Munster and Cork Con heading to Dublin for UBL semi-finals

Trinity battled clear of relegation trouble with a dramatic late try against Terenure.

TABLE TOPPERS LANSDOWNE and defending champions Clontarf will have home advantage in the Division 1A semi-finals after a tumultuous final day in the Ulster Bank League.

Next weekend’s semi-final clashes will pit Lansdowne against Cork Constitution, who will defend their Bateman Cup title at Old Belvedere the following Saturday, and Clontarf will host Young Munster at Castle Avenue.

Clontarf practice line-outs before the game Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

CLONTARF 37 UCD 28, Castle Avenue

Former Ireland Under-20 international Conor O’Brien, who recently returned from injury, bagged two tries in Clontarf’s action-packed 37-28 home win over UCD.

The north Dubliners were 21-15 down at half-time, with Josh Murphy, Ciaran Frawley and Andy Marks notching tries for the students who were brimming with confidence after last week’s Colours success.

Mick McGrath is tackled by Rob Byrne Mick McGrath on the attack. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

‘Tarf got on top in the third quarter, moving ahead thanks to converted tries from centre O’Brien and out-half David Joyce who also kicked 12 points. A deserved try for workhorse flanker Tony Ryan, coupled with a Joyce penalty, make it 27 points without reply, before UCD’s Leinster-capped prop Andrew Porter had a late consolation score.

Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Conor O’Brien 2, Michael Brown, Tony Ryan, David Joyce; Cons: David Joyce 3; Pens: David Joyce 2.

UCD: Tries: Josh Murphy, Ciaran Frawley, Andy Marks, Andrew Porter; Cons: Ciaran Frawley 4

CORK CONSTITUTION 34 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 27, Temple Hill

There were tries aplenty at Temple Hill as Cork Con got the better of St. Mary’s College on a 34-27 scoreline. Backs Ned Hodson and Michael Clune bagged braces for the victors.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan, Ned Hodson 2, Michael Clune 2; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 2

St. Mary’s College: Tries: David O’Connor, Tom O’Reilly, Darren Moroney, Penalty try; Cons: Sean Kearns 2; Pen: Sean Kearns

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 27 TERENURE COLLEGE 25, College Park

Dublin University clawed clear of the relegation zone with a stunning last-minute try from Tim Maupin who saw them overcome Terenure 27-25 at College Park.

Tim Maupin File photo of Tim Maupin. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The students, who were bidding to stay up at the end of their first season in Division 1A, were turned over in the dying minutes and saw ‘Nure kick clear downfield. However, the Trinity backs had other ideas, countering at pace from their own 22 and putting USA international Maupin into space out wide for the game’s decisive score.

Trinity director of rugby Tony Smeeth, whose young side finished sixth in the table, beamed afterwards: “It was just unbelievable. I can’t describe it really. I didn’t think we were going to win. That was the try of the year that last one. You won’t see many tries better than that in College Park.”

Despite going down to that late try, Terenure also maintained their top flight status by finishing eighth overall – just a point above relegation-threatened Garryowen. Former Leinster winger Sam Coghlan Murray was one of their three try scorers.

Scorers: Dublin University: Tries: Bryan Mollen, Paddy Finlay, Tim Maupin; Cons: Bryan Mollen, James Fennelly 2; Pens: Bryan Mollen 2

Terenure College: Tries: Robbie Smyth, Stephen O’Neill, Sam Coghlan Murray; Cons: Jake Swaine 2; Pens: Jake Swaine 2

LANSDOWNE 40 GARRYOWEN 17, Aviva Stadium back pitch

Lansdowne finished top of the pile on scoring difference following their 40-17 bonus point dismissal of Garryowen whose top flight survival rests on the upcoming promotion/relegation play-offs.

The headquarters club were winless in the last four rounds but with Scott Deasy back at out-half, they led from the second minute onwards thanks to flanker Charlie Butterworth’s early try on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

Lansdowne had the bonus point secured by half-time, current Ireland Under-20 hooker Tadgh McElroy touching down as the hosts built a 28-3 lead.

Tries from Ireland Students international Bailey Faloon (43 minutes) and Munster Academy member Steven McMahon (50) lifted the Light Blues’ spirits – their second-from-bottom finish means they will host Old Wesley in next Saturday’s play-offs.

inpho_01175218 Tadhg McElroy on Ireland duty in March. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Lansdowne made sure they had the final say with two closing tries from back-three regulars Daniel McEvoy – the division’s top try scorer with 11 touchdowns – and Eamonn Mills.

Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Ntinga Mpiko, Tadgh McElroy, Charlie Butterworth, Marc O’Keefe, Daniel McEvoy, Eamonn Mills; Cons: Scott Deasy 5

Garryowen: Tries: Bailey Faloon, Steven McMahon; Cons: Neil Cronin 2; Pen: Neil Cronin

OLD BELVEDERE 12 YOUNG MUNSTER 33, Anglesea Road

Munster centre Dan Goggin touched down twice in Young Munster’s runaway 33-12 bonus point victory at relegated Old Belvedere. The third-placed Cookies were coasting by half-time, armed with a 21-0 buffer. Teenage out-half Alan Tynan crossed the whitewash in between Goggin’s well-taken brace.

James McWilliams Gray is tackled by Jack Lyons and Gavin Ryan James McWilliams Gray is tackled by Young Munster's Jack Lyons and Gavin Ryan Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Tynan kicked four conversions to add to a try double from prop Paul Allen in the second half, but their efforts were not enough to snatch home advantage in the play-offs. ‘Belvo bowed out of the top flight with tries from scrum half Kyle McCarthy and replacement Eddie Weaver.

Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Kyle McCarthy, Eddie Weaver; Con: Paul O’Keefe

Young Munster: Tries: Dan Goggin 2, Alan Tynan, Paul Allen 2; Cons: Alan Tynan 4.

In division 1B…

Buccaneers ended their title-winning campaign with a bang as they hammered Ballynahinch 40-10 at Dubarry Park.

Their talismanic number 8 and captain Kolo Kiripati, who is bowing out after almost a decade with the Athlone club, even chipped in with a conversion in the six-try success.

One of the real success stories of Buccs’ season is young winger Jordan Conroy who has shone in the try-scoring stakes. The Ireland Sevens flyer ran in his 18th league try against ‘Hinch, giving him a perfect one try per game ratio.

Jordan Conroy 10/12//2016 Jordan Conroy in action with Connacht Eagles last year. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Ballymena and Shannon were both under some pressure to secure their places in Division 1B for next season. In the end, Rodger McBurney’s first half try guided the Braidmen to a 13-10 home win, while the losing bonus point ensured an eighth place finish for the Limerick men.

There were no last day heroics from Galwegians who will make the drop down to Division 2A after losing 27-16 at home to Naas. Two second half tries from Rory Parata and Adam Leavy were not enough.

The Johne Murphy-coached Naas side are in the hunt for back-to-back promotions, the final round working out in their favour as they climbed into second spot to secure home advantage in next week’s promotion play-offs.

Johne Murphy Johne Murphy coaching St MAry's during the Leinster Schools Cup this year. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Former Cill Dara and Ireland U-18 Clubs winger Peter Howard, who made his league debut in January, is a player who has really stood out for the Kildare men. He scored his sixth try in five games today.

A second half brace from Paul Harte saw Old Wesley run out 19-5 winners over UCC at Donnybrook and lock down fourth place. They will travel to Garryowen in next week’s play-offs.

The result of the day in the second tier came at the University of Limerick where play-off-bound Bohemians were beaten 16-10 by resurgent Dolphin.

Flanker Kevin Allen’s 12th-minute try was converted by league veteran Barry Keeshan who also kicked three penalties. Chris Rowe’s men ended the regular season with four wins on the trot, it was enough to avoid the drop but their divisional status now results on the play-offs – they host Malone, Division 2A’s fourth-placed team – next week.

In division 2A…

Banbridge were crowned champions and secured promotion in some style with a 40-12 triumph at Sunday’s Well. It is their first league title since their Ulster Qualifying League 1 success of 1998.

In division 2B…

Greystones, the league’s leading scorers with 663 points, took the Division 2B honours with a 45-10 win at home to Old Crescent. Paudie Geoghegan and Eoin Marmion scored two tries apiece.

In division 2C…

There was a straight shootout for silverware at Balreask Old where Navan prevailed 15-5 against second-placed Sligo. Fittingly, former captain and club centurion Simon Hogan ran in the clinching try for Alan Kingsley’s first-time league champions, just six days on from the Navan Under-20s’ historic Fraser McMullen Cup win.

Malahide will be a new name in the Ulster Bank League next September after they won the All-Ireland Provincial League Championship a round earlier.

The 50th league place will be claimed by either Boyne, the ninth-placed finishers in Division 2C, or the Round Robin runners-up – likely to be Omagh or Clonmel.

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