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Dublin: 6°C Monday 18 January 2021

Garryowen edge opening day shoot-out, UCD burn off UCC challenge and all your AIL Div 1a reports

The AIL returned to a club ground near you this weekend.



Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: JJ O’Neill, Niall Kenneally 2, Rob Jermyn; Cons: Aidan Moynihan 2; Pen: Aidan Moynihan
Shannon: Try: Ty Chan; Con: Jake Flannery
HT: Cork Constitution 3 Shannon 7

Shannon were unable to mark their return to All-Ireland League Division 1A after a five-year absence with a win as last season’s beaten finalists Cork Constitution won yesterday’s Munster derby 27-7 at Temple Hill.

Four second half tries, including a brace from Cork Con’s powerful centre and captain Niall Kenneally, saw Brian Hickey’s men head straight to the top of the table. It was a game effort from Tom Hayes’ young Shannon side but Con were clinical in their finishing as the game wore on.

Play swung between both halves in a fast-paced and very competitive first half. Constitution were quicker out of the blocks, winning a 21st-minute penalty which out-half Aidan Moynihan stuck over from 30 metres out. They failed to capitalise on a Joe McSwiney break, though, and Shannon struck back before the break.

Con flanker Evan Mintern saw yellow for a pull-back after Shannon’s Conor Glynn got a boot to the ball, and although the hosts stole the subsequent line-out, a charge-down led to Shannon captain Lee Nicholas sending hooker Ty Chan over for a 32nd-minute try, converted by teenage out-half Jake Flannery.

Constitution were down to 13 men after their number 8 Luke Cahill was sin-binned as Shannon went wide in a dangerous late attack. However, Hickey’s side held out to keep the deficit at 7-3 for the interval. The Leesiders duly regrouped and landed a crucial blow six minutes into the second period, moving possession wide from a lineout for winger JJ O’Neill to finish off a brilliant try in the corner.

Moynihan converted and Con’s lead was soon out to 17-7, a penalty at the breakdown launching them forward in the 49th minute and a switch off a lineout between scrum half Gary Bradley, son of former Ireland international Michael Bradley, saw Kenneally cut back in and use the forwards to propel himself over the line.

A costly turnover in the 71st minute saw Shannon leak a third try as winger Rob Jermyn darted over on the blindside. Last year’s Division 1B champions pressed for a late consolation score, led by their talismanic captain Lee Nicholas, but a maul broke down and Kenneally used an interception to charge clear out of his 22 and all the way to the whitewash for an 80th-minute bonus point.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Greg Higgins, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan, Gary Bradley; Gavin Duffy, Vincent O’Brien, Dylan Murphy, Brian Hayes, Joe McSwiney, Evan Mintern, Ross O’Neill, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Douglas Abbott, Gregory Roche, Sonny Dwyer, Richard Cassidy, Jack Costigan.

SHANNON: Jamie McGarry; Nathan Randles, Robbie Deegan, Will Leonard, Eathon Moloney; Jake Flannery, Aran hehir; Ruairi Karlsen, Ty Chan, Tony Cusack, Ronan Coffey, Jade Kriel, Lee Nicholas (capt), Kelvin Brown, Luke Clohessy.

Replacements: Luke O’Halloran, Conor Glynn, Odhran Ring, Keith Kavanagh, Ger Finucane.

UCD 39 UCC 28, Belfield Bowl

Cian Bohane with Andy Marks Cian Bohane with Andy Marks Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Scorers: UCD: Tries: Sean McNulty, Ronan Foley, Sam Griffin, Stephen McVeigh, Penalty try; Cons: Conall Doherty 3, Pen try con; Pens: Conall Doherty 2
UCC: Tries: Ryan Murphy, James Taylor, Cian Barry, John Poland; Cons: James Taylor 4
HT: UCD 13 UCC 7

UCD produced a strong second half performance to finally get the better of newly-promoted UCC on a 39-28 scoreline at the Belfield Bowl.

Nine tries were scored in a pulsating Division 1A derby between the student sides, who were also competing to be this season’s first holders of the Dudley Cup in the long-standing University competition’s new Ranfurly Shield-style format.

Adding to the intrigue surrounding this game was Paul Kiernan’s debut in the UCD midfield. A son of former Munster and Ireland legend Michael Kiernan, Paul captained UCC to their historic promotion from Division 1B last season and has since switched colleges to study in Dublin for his Masters degree.

James Taylor celebrates scoring a try James Taylor celebrates. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

UCC enjoyed a bright start with former Munster centre Cian Bohane and highly-rated out-half James Taylor breaking forward at pace. Handling errors prevented them from building sustained momentum in attack, and some excellent set piece work in the 17th minute saw UCD full-back Conall Doherty open the scoring with a well-struck penalty.

Taylor narrowly missed his first two shots at the posts after the Cork side’s powerful pack had secured successive penalties. Their attack clicked soon after as Bohane went close at the end of a lung-bursting surge and the recycled ball was moved left for number 8 Ryan Murphy to touch down.

After Taylor’s superb touchline conversion made it 7-3, UCD turned down a kickable penalty and the ensuing lineout maul sent hooker Sean McNulty over for Doherty to convert. The latter added a 25-metre penalty for a 13-7 half-time lead, but Taylor responded with a classy 49th-minute try, sidestepping a final defender to go in under the posts.

Travis Cooney tackles Stephen McVeigh Travis Cooney tackles Stephen McVeigh Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The play began to open up even more, UCD number 8 Ronan Foley showing his engine to make the line for their second try with Doherty again converting. Andy Skehan’s charges then pressed from a 56th-minute lineout, working the ball back infield for prop Sam Griffin to supply the finishing touches to a patient move.

UCC lock Cian Barry used one of their own lineout drives to get on the scoresheet, with Taylor kicking them back into losing bonus point territory at 27-21 down. It was then UCD’s turn to settle the issue, a well-executed maul drawing a penalty try before flanker Stephen McVeigh added try number five, reaching over at the end of a sweeping attack.

Nonetheless, UCC’s hard work was deservedly rewarded with a late try-scoring bonus point – their first point in the top flight – when scrum half John Poland, who was on the Munster ‘A’ bench on Friday night, nipped over at the end of a pacy move out towards the right wing.

UCD: Conall Doherty; Tim Carroll, Andy Marks, Paul Kiernan, Rob Keenan; Matthew Gilsenan, Nick Peters; Sam Griffin, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Emmet MacMahon, Tom Treacy, Stephen McVeigh, Alex Penny (capt), Ronan Foley.

Replacements: Richie Bergin, Evin Coyle, Jonny Guy, Tom Foley, Ian O’Kelly.

UCC: Richard Walsh; Adam O’Connor, Cian Bohane, Peter Sylvester, Murray Linn; James Taylor, John Poland; Cathal Dennehy, Travis Coomey, Bryan O’Connor, Mark Bissessar, Cian Barry, Darragh Moloney, Cian Fitzgerald, Ryan Murphy.

Replacements: Darragh Fitzgerald, Paidi McCarthy, Brian O’Mahony, Daire Feeney, Michael Clune.


Scorers: Young Munster: Try: Darragh O’Neill; Con: Clayton Stewart; Pens: Clayton Stewart 5
Terenure College: Try: Mark O’Neill
HT: Young Munster 6 Terenure College 5

Division 1A debutant Clayton Stewart kicked Young Munster to a well-judged 22-5 first round victory over Terenure College, who were top-four finishers and beaten semi-finalists in Division 1A last season.

New Zealander Stewart, who transferred from Nenagh Ormond in the summer, donned the Cookies number 10 jersey for the first time in league action and immediately drew the admiration of the Greenfields faithful with a handsome 17-point haul – five penalties and the conversion of Darragh O’Neill’s second half try.

Led by captain Alan Kennedy, Munsters’ dominance in the forwards paved the way for Stewart’s place-kicking opportunities and he had them 6-0 up after 16 minutes, and with Terenure down to 14 men. Try-scoring chances were few and far between but out-half Mark O’Neill lifted ‘Nure with a neatly-taken unconverted effort to close the gap to 6-5 for half-time.

However, the Dubliners, who included former UCD scrum half Jamie Glynn on the bench, continued to be punished for their indiscipline as the workmanlike Cookies ground out the result. Stewart right-footed penalties through the posts after 48, 64 and 72 minutes to give his new team a 10-point cushion entering the closing stages.

It was left to fleet-footed winger O’Neill, who has returned to Tom Clifford Park this season after playing for Thomond, to have the final say when running in a 76th minute try which Stewart topped off with his sixth successful kick of the afternoon.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; Ed O’Keeffe, Derek Corcoran, Evan O’Gorman, Darragh O’Neill; Clayton Stewart, Mark Edwards; Conor Bartley, Mark O’Mara, Colm Skehan, Oisin Walsh, Alan Kennedy (capt), Diarmaid Dee, Dan Walsh, John Foley.

Replacements: Billy Scannell, Gavin Ryan, Conor Mitchell, Luke Fitzgerald, Jason Kiely.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Matthew Byrne; Sam Dardis, Stephen O’Neill, Marc Hiney, Harry Moore; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Cian Madden, Adam Clarkin, Conor McCormack, Aaron Ryan, Michael Melia (capt), Kyle McCoy, Paddy Thornton, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Liam McMahon, Karl O’Brien, Risteard Byrne, James Thornton, Jamie Glynn.


Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Darren Ryan, Jamie Gavin, David McCarthy; Cons: Peadar Collins 3; Pens: Peadar Collins 2
Dublin University: Tries: Robert Russell, Colm Hogan, Hugh Twomey; Cons: James Fennelly 2; Pens: James Fennelly 2
HT: Garryowen 10 Dublin University 13

A six-try shootout went Garryowen’s way – but only just – as they triumphed 27-25 over a new-look Dublin University side on the opening Saturday of the new All-Ireland League campaign.

There was a big sigh of relief for the Light Blues following a tense conclusion at Dooradoyle. Trinity winger Hugh Twomey scored a try right on the 80-minute mark, leaving James Fennelly with a difficult conversion for the draw. The otherwise-impressive out-half sent his kick short, leaving Garryowen to celebrate a hard-earned victory.

Garryowen players react to a play made by Lansdowne File photo: Garryowen celebrate. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Conan Doyle’s men trailed 13-3 early on as the students, who had lost a dozen players over the summer, got off to an encouraging start. Fennelly sandwiched a Peadar Collins penalty with two of his own before former Leinster Under-19 representative Robert Russell gobbled up the metres from full-back to score his first league try.

Garryowen hit back with a 33rd minute try when they stole a Trinity lineout, five metres out, and flanker Darren Ryan touched down for centre Collins to convert, reducing the arrears to 13-10 ahead of referee Mark Patton’s half-time whistle.

The momentum was swinging towards the Limerick men when out-half Jamie Gavin crossed the whitewash just five minutes after the restart. Collins’ bonus kick made it 17-13 and with former Trinity favourite Andy Keating continuing to help the hosts win scrum penalties, Garryowen looked well set to kick on.

Showing no signs of wavering, the students’ hard running and clever angles exposed some gaps in the home defence and a terrific team try – finished off by new captain Colm Hogan, the former Ireland Under-20 international – edged Tony Smeeth’s youngster back in front in the 65th minute. Collins kicked Garryowen level three minutes later, setting up a grandstand finish.

The scrum penalties caught up with Trinity who lost tighthead Dylan Doyle to the sin-bin at a crucial stage. Garryowen duly heaped pressure on at a lineout maul before young centre David McCarthy found a way through the overworked defence, five minutes from time. Collins’ conversion proved all-important as the 14-man visitors, who can take much from this performance, narrowly missed out on a last-gasp draw.

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; Jamie Heuston, Peadar Collins, David McCarthy, Cian O’Shea; Jamie Gavin, Rob Guerin; Ben Rowley, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating, Kevin Seymour, Dean Moore (capt), Tim Ferguson, Darren Ryan, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Anson Thai, Mike O’Donnell, Bailey Faloon, Evan Maher, Ben Swindlehirst, Jack Mullany, Daniel Hurley.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Robert Russell; Hugh Twomey, James Hickey, Philip Murphy, Colm Hogan (capt); James Fennelly, Rowan Osborne; Bart Vermeulen, Joe Horan, Dylan Doyle, Alexander MacDonald, Arthur Greene, Patrick Nulty, Max Kearney, Niall O’Riordan.

Replacements: William Jennings, Aziz Naser, Rory Clarke, Tomas Killeen, James Moriarty, Liam Turner, Jonathan McKeown.

AIL Division 1b

Ballymena 0 Malone 27

Buccaneers 13 Naas 36

City of Armagh 17 Old Wesley 22

Old Belvedere 42 Banbridge 28

St Mary’s 37 Ballynahinch 27

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