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Terenure trounce Lansdowne as UBL 1A gets tight for the tail end of the season

Meanwhile, UCD claimed the Colours bragging rights and Young Munster managed the only score in a terribly tight tussle with Cork Con.

Division 1A

UCD 32 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 19, Belfield Bowl

UCD held off a brave second half surge from Dublin University before securing the spoils, 32-19, in Friday’s 65th annual Colours match.

Leinster duo Andrew Porter and Barry Daly both touched down for the victors at sunny Belfield, with lively winger Tommy O’Brien bagging a brace and fellow Ireland U20 international Ciaran Frawley kicking 12 points.

Gavin Mullen, Tommy O'Brien and Ciaran Frawley celebrate after the game Gavin Mullen, Tommy O'Brien and Ciaran Frawley celebrate. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Bryan Mollen, who starred for the Ireland Students team against England, converted his own try as Trinity trailed 17-7 at half-time, and although their scrum forced a penalty try and Ireland Under-19 call-up Michael Silvester also touched down, Tony Smeeth’s youngsters relinquished their grip on the Colours trophy.

Mollen, one of seven ex-Blackrock College students in the Trinity starting line-up, drifted a 30-metre penalty past the left hand post in the fifth, and from their very first attack, UCD duly opened the scoring as prop Porter, who is getting game-time at tighthead lately, powered over the line at the end of a multi-phase move. Fullback Frawley converted from close range and he then tagged on a penalty for a 10-0 lead.

Trinity hit back in the 29th minute as good work from captain Brian Slater got them into scoring range and Colm Hogan’s audacious pass put Mollen over for a try in the left which he converted with aplomb.

UCD responded in the final minute of the half, though, as O’Brien grounded the ball over the whitewash after racing onto his own kick towards the Trinity line. Frawley added the extras to reopen a 10-point gap – 17-7.

12 minutes into the second period provincial winger Daly got over for a breakaway try after out-half Matthew Gilsenan had increased his influence. Mollen almost broke free at the end of the third quarter but UCD scrambled to deny him.

A view of a scrum at the game Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

With Andy ‘Panda’ Keating to the fore, Trinity put the pressure on at a series of scrums and referee Kieran Barry rewarded them with a penalty try which Mollen converted to cut the gap to eight points (22-14), and a losing bonus point – at the very least – was there to aim for.

Smeeth’s charges look re-energised and despite missing out on a try when number 8 Tom Ryan went close, teenage replacement Silvester exploited some space in behind the UCD cover to notch an unconverted try, making it a three-point game.

After Mollen’s missed conversion, UCD got on the front foot again and spread the ball effectively. With six minutes remaining, a slick offload from Gavin Mullin, whose father Brendan is part of Trinity’s great Colours history, put O’Brien through for UCD’s clinching try which Frawley converted.

Tommy O'Brien celebrates scoring a try with teammates UCD celebrate a try for O'Brien. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Skerries man, who was one of Ireland’s leading backs during the recent U-20 Six Nations, completed his kicking haul with an 80th minute penalty success as UCD secured their 39th Colours title. Trinity have 22 wins and four matches have been drawn.

Scorers

UCD: Tries: Andrew Porter, Tommy O’Brien 2, Barry Daly; Cons: Ciaran Frawley 3; Pens: Ciaran Frawley 2

Dublin University: Tries: Bryan Mollen, penalty try, Michael Silvester; Cons: Bryan Mollen 2

UCD: Ciaran Frawley; Tommy O’Brien, Stephen Murphy, Jamie Glynn (capt), Barry Daly; Matthew Gilsenan, Nick Peters; Liam Hyland, Sean McNulty, Andrew Porter, Josh Murphy, Emmet MacMahon, Greg Jones, Sean McKeon, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Robert Byrne, Brian Cawley, Alex Penny, Gavin Mullin, Tom Fletcher, Andy Marks.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Colm Hogan; Tim Maupin, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Bryan Mollen; James Fennelly, Brian Slater (capt); Eric O’Sullivan, Paddy Finlay, Andy Keating, Jack Burke, Raef Tyrrell, Pierce Dargan, Richard Dunne, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Jack Boland, James Bollard, Charlie Connolly, Rowan Osborne, Dermot O’Flynn, Cian O’Dwyer, Michael Silvester.

Referee: Kieran Barry (IRFU).

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 12 CLONTARF 31, Templeville Road

Clontarf ran out comfortable 31-12 bonus point winners over St. Mary’s College in the second Friday night fixture to join Lansdowne on 53 points at the top of UBL 1A.

‘Tarf’s leading try scorer Matt D’Arcy turned provider early on at Templeville Road, playing in prop Royce Burke Flynn for the opening try and then making the break that led to try number three from winger Rob McGrath at the end of the first quarter. In between, D’Arcy’s centre partner Michael Brown also touched down.

Royce Burke-Flynn dejected after his side concedes a try 28/10//2016 File photo of Royce Burke-Flynn Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Trailing by 17 points and still not completely clear of relegation trouble, St. Mary’s really had it all to do. However, their pack, which contained Ireland Under 20 international Caelan Doris at number 8, took up the challenge with relish, while Doris’ international colleague Jordan Larmour and Conor Hogan were ever-willing runners from deep.

David O’Connor, a brother of Ulster lock Alan, muscled his way over for a 27th minute try and with stand-in captain Burke Flynn seeing yellow late on the half, some Brian McGovern-inspired scrum pressure led to a late penalty try which reduced the arrears to 17-12 by half-time.

Crucially, Clontarf wasted little time in responding on the resumption, Brown cutting through for his second try of the night, which David Joyce converted, before Mary’s lost talismanic flanker Kevin Sheahan to injury in his last home league game in the famous blue jersey.

Jordan Larmour Larmour excelled in Ireland U20's final Six Nations game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Referee Joy Neville soon sent Mary’s out-half Sean Kearns to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and although ‘Tarf turned the screw in the scrum and the visitors introduced dangerous winger Mick McGrath, a combination of handling errors and gritty Mary’s defence kept the margin at 12 points.

That was until the closing stages when ‘Tarf scrum half Sam Cronin scampered over for a try which right winger Rob Keogh converted following Joyce’s departure. It was a revenge mission for Andy Wood’s men who had lost 23-20 at home to Mary’s in September, a game in which Burke Flynn also crossed the whitewash.

Scorers

St. Mary’s College: Tries: David O’Connor, Penalty try; Con: Sean Kearns

Clontarf: Tries: Royce Burke Flynn, Michael Brown 2, Rob McGrath, Sam Cronin; Cons: David Joyce 2, Rob Keogh

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Jordan Larmour; Ian O’Neill, Darren Moroney, Paddy Lavelle, Conor Hogan; Sean Kearns, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Hugo Kean, Brian McGovern (capt), Cathal O’Flaherty, David O’Connor, Kevin Sheahan, Gus Jones, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Stephen O’Brien, Cathal Ryan, Ciaran Ruddock, Nick McCarthy, Ryan O’Loughlin.

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Rob Keogh, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Rob McGrath; David Joyce, Sam Cronin; Ivan Soroka, Jonathan Larbey, Royce Burke Flynn (capt), Karl Moran, Eoghan Browne, Michael Noone, Adrian D’Arcy, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Vakh Abdaladze, Andrew Hynes, James Doyle, Mark Sutton, Mick McGrath.

GARRYOWEN 26 OLD BELVEDERE 19, Dooradoyle

Alex Wootton’s late try proved hugely significant as Garryowen outgunned Old Belvedere 26-19 in this afternoon’s battle of the bottom two sides at sun-kissed Dooradoyle.

The defeat has condemned Belvedere to relegation with one round still left to play, while Wootton’s precious bonus point score had given the Light Blues a shot at avoiding the relegation play-off spot.

Tempers flare between the sides Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Garryowen, Dublin University and Terenure College are all level on 35 points – now seven clear of ‘Belvo – with next Saturday’sfinal round set to decide who ends up in the play-offs alongside three promotion hopefuls from Division 1B.

Trailing Garryowen by three points, the pressure was on Belvedere to deliver a vital victory in Limerick and the omens were not good when Steve McMahon crossed for the hosts’ opening try after 15 minutes.

Garryowen had a disrupted start with rising Munster star David Johnston going off injured after barely a minute, while opposing opensides Mikey Wilson and Paul Pritchard both saw yellow for a bout of fisticuffs in the ninth minute.

Conan Doyle’s men ended the first quarter with a 14-0 lead, their scrum half and captain Neil Cronin converting his own try, but an unconverted Jonathan Slattery effort and two penalties from full-back Shane McDonald saw resilient ‘Belvo cut the gap to 14-11 by the break.

Eddie O'Sullivan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A third successful penalty from McDonald had the Dubliners level in the 63rd minute, and a superb comeback win was on the cards when lock Jack Kelly touched down in the 75th minute following a mammoth 16 phases of pick-and-goes.

However, the home side had been saving their best for last and they left ‘Belvo reeling with two closing tries. They were undone by the pace of winger Liam Coombes, who notched his sixth league try on the 80-minute mark, and match winner Wootton who had returned for Munster ‘A’ last week following a shoulder injury.

Scorers

Garryowen: Tries: Steve McMahon, Neil Cronin, Liam Coombes, Alex Wootton; Cons: Neil Cronin 3

Old Belvedere: Tries: Jack Kelly, Jonathan Slattery; Pens: Shane McDonald 3

GARRYOWEN: Alex Wootton; Steve McMahon, Andrew O’Byrne, Peadar Collins, Liam Coombes; David Johnston, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costelloe, JP Phelan, Sean O’Connor, Barra O’Byrne, Dara Shanahan, Mikey Wilson, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Anson Thai, Mike O’Donnell, Tim Ferguson, Jamie Heuston, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham.

OLD BELVEDERE: Shane McDonald; Sean Coughlan, John Kennedy (capt), Ben Woods, Simon Killeen; Daniel Riordan, Aaron Sheehan; James McWilliams-Grey, Ed Rossiter, Adam Howard, Jack Kelly, Connor Owende, Karl Miller, Paul Pritchard, Jonathan Slattery.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, Darrell Ryan, Matt Ritani, Paul O’Keefe, Ben Butler.

TERENURE COLLEGE 36 LANSDOWNE 17, Lakelands Park

Terenure College turned on the style to give Division 1A leaders Lansdowne a 36-17 beating in sunny conditions at Lakelands.

The bonus point win keeps ‘Nure on course to finish outside of the bottom two, but with Garryowen also securing maximum points today, James Blaney’s men might still need to win away to Dublin University next Saturday.

They flew out of the blocks against a Lansdowne side that badly missed the influence of sidelined out-half Scott Deasy. ‘Nure number 10 Mark O’Neill nipped over for the opening try after just 90 seconds.

The hosts’ tails were up as they exploited a number of gaps in a breathless start, young centre Ted O’Donoghue crossing for a second converted try and Jake Swaine adding a penalty.

Ted O'Donoghue Ted O'Donoghue in schools action last year. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

However, Lansdowne showed just why they are challenging for the title with a much-improved second quarter, levelling matters at 17-all with a Josh O’Rourke touchdown and a penalty try. Deasy’s replacement Fergal Cleary, who was part of the Ireland Students squad that drew with England last Sunday, converted both tries and also kicked a penalty.

Nonetheless, Terenure wrestled back control with a timely third try from full-back Swaine and were denied a bonus point score, just before half-time, by crossing.

Lansdowne, who were winless in the last three rounds, fell out of contention in the third quarter as Terenure put the result beyond doubt. A 49th-minute penalty try, followed ten minutes later by a Robbie Smyth five-pointer, sealed the home win.

It leaves a really congested top four with just a single point separating the leading quartet. Lansdowne are still top of the pile but they will likely need a bonus point win at home to Garryowen in order to confirm a home semi-final.

Scorers:

Terenure College: Tries: Mark O’Neill, Ted O’Donoghue, Jake Swaine, Robbie Smyth, Penalty try; Cons: Jake Swaine 4; Pen: Jake Swaine

Lansdowne: Tries: Josh O’Rourke, Penalty try; Cons: Fergal Cleary 2; Pen: Fergal Cleary

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Robbie Murphy, Ted O’Donoghue, Marc Hiney, Sam Coghlan Murray; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Gary Hamilton, Robbie Smyth, Oisin Heffernan, Cathal Deans, Mike Murphy, Robert Duke, Harrison Brewer, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Adam Clarkin, Cian Madden, John Dever, Gary Clarkin, Niall Thornton.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Mark O’Keefe; Fergal Cleary, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tadgh McElroy, Ian Prendiville (capt), Stephen Gardiner, Josh O’Rourke, Colm Joyce-Ahearne, Barry Fitzpatrick, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Tyrone Moran, Ntinga Mpiko, Philip Donnellan, Matthew D’Arcy, Ferdia Doherty.

YOUNG MUNSTER 3 CORK CONSTITUTION 0, Tom Clifford Park

 An old-school Munster scoreline for two of the province’s oldest club rivals, as teenager Alan Tynan kicked Young Munster to a hard-earned 3-0 win over Cork Constitution at Tom Clifford Park.

Munsters were 37-15 winners when they visited Con in the early rounds of the league in September, but while all around them in Division 1A were running in tries today, the semi-final-bound pair could not muster a try between them in Greenfields.

Alan Tynan Alan Tynan in action last month. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Tipperary native Tynan landed a penalty two minutes before the break, moving Young Munster in front, but few in the very big crowd would have anticipated that it would be the only score of an absorbing 80-plus minutes.

The Cookies thought that replacement James O’Connor had touched down in the final quarter, yet referee Nigel Correll decided otherwise. However, in a game where both defences were superb throughout, Munsters deservedly got one over on a team that have thwarted them so often in recent times.

The Leesiders, who were held up over the try-line twice in the closing stages, have fallen to fourth in the table but are only a point behind Munsters, Clontarf and Lansdowne – all on 53 points – ahead of a mouth-watering final round on Easter Saturday.

Scorers

Young Munster: Pen: Alan Tynan

YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; Craig O’Hanlon, Calvin Nash, Cian Bohane, Jack Harrington; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Paul Allen, Alan Kennedy, Fineen Wycherley, Elie Mundu, Dan Walsh, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: James O’Connor, Rory Hannon, Gavin Coombes, Mark O’Mara, Jack Lyons.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Shane Daly, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Liam O’Connor, Vincent O’Brien, Rory Burke, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, Graeme Lawler, Ross O’Neill, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Gavin Duffy, Ger Sweeney, Sean O’Leary, John Poland, Michael Clune.

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