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Dublin University reach summit with impressive Garryowen victory

There were also wins today for Cork Con, Young Munster and St Mary’s College.
Oct 29th 2016, 7:45 PM 13,082 4

Division 1A

Garryowen 14-27 Dublin University

Dooradoyle

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY HAVE hit the dizzying heights of top spot in Ulster Bank League Division 1A after downing Garryowen 27-14 at Dooradoyle this afternoon.

The students showed composure beyond their years to see out their fourth win in five top-flight games, aided by 10 unanswered second-half points and some resolute defending late on.

Sam Arnold made an appearance for Garryowen. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The pre-match talk centered around Sam Arnold’s involvement for Garryowen, the Munster centre making his return from a knee injury as a second-half replacement. He was introduced in the 55th minute and came through with no problems.

David Johnston moved to fullback to cover the absence of Alex Wootton, who played for Munster in Belfast last night, with Peadar Collins joining Andrew O’Byrne in the centre and the Light Blues’ pack was unchanged from their 16-14 defeat at Clontarf.

Dermot O’Flynn’s inclusion at openside flanker was Trinity’s only change, but Tony Smeeth’s side had to play catch-up after leaking two early tries.

Garryowen loosehead Niall Horan rumbled over in the corner and centre Collins touched down from an interception, with captain Neil Cronin nailing both conversions.

Number 8 Tom Ryan hit back for the visitors, scoring by the posts after impressive breaks by Colm Hogan and Pierce Dargan. Jack McDermott converted and added a penalty soon after for 14-10.

Second row Dargan, who had another excellent game, then turned try scorer to move Trinity three points ahead for half-time, and a 43rd-minute penalty from out-half McDermott made it 20-14 as they continued to turn the screw.

Garryowen’s defence gave way again when winger Hogan beat a couple of would-be tacklers and scampered over for his fourth try of the campaign, converted by McDermott.

The Limerick men, including an eager Arnold, tried desperately to end their scoreless spell, but Trinity managed to hold them up over the try-line and complete a notably Limerick double, following their late heroics against Young Munster in round 4.

Garryowen scorers:Tries: Niall Horan, Peadar CollinsCons: Neil Cronin x2Dublin University scorers:

Tries: Tom Ryan, Pierce Dargan, Colm Hogan;

Cons: Jack McDermott x3

Pens: Jack McDermott x2

GARRYOWEN: David Johnston; James Frawley, Peadar Collins, Andrew O’Byrne, Liam Coombes; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costello, Mike O’Donnell; Barra O’Byrne, Sean O’Connor; Elliot Fitzgerald, Conor Oliver, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Caolan Moloney, Jack Mullany, Dara Shanahan, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Sam Arnold.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; Jack McDermott, Daniel Joyce; Eric O’Sullivan, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating; Jack Burke (capt), Pierce Dargan; Sam Pim, Dermot O’Flynn, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Paddy Finlay, Tom Collis, Ross Todd, Evan Dixon, James O’Donovan.

Old Belvedere 14-20 Cork Constitution

Anglesea Road

Tomas Quinlan kicks a penalty Cork Constitution’s Tomas Quinlan kicks a penalty. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Old Belvedere have fallen from first to fourth in the table after Tomas Quinlan’s ever-accurate left boot set up a 20-14 win for Cork Constitution at Anglesea Road.

Quinlan landed five penalties, including three for a 9-0 interval lead, as Brian Hickey’s charges made it two victories on the bounce, leaving them fifth and just four points off the summit.

‘Belvo’s backline was significantly strengthened by fullback Daniel Riordan’s return from injury and recent Munster recruit Steve Crosbie’s selection at inside centre.

Kiwi lock Mat Ritani and ex-Ballynahinch flanker Paul Pritchard also started, with Karl Miller moving to number 8, while Sonny Dwyer’s inclusion at blindside was Constitution’s only change from their excellent 31-13 victory over Lansdowne.

Quinlan split the posts with a 35m penalty with barely a minute on the clock, ‘Belvo struggling to gain a foothold as Cork Con made use of possession in dangerous areas. Their skipper Niall Kenneally carried very effectively from his inside centre position.

Winger Rob Jermyn knocked on just shy of the try-line on the quarter-hour mark, but the Con scrum was making a serious impact and Belvedere were down to 14 men after winger Sean Coughlan was sin-binned for a high tackle on the rampaging Kenneally.

Quinlan fired over the subsequent penalty, 24 minutes in, and despite the best defensive efforts of Miller in particular, 14-man ‘Belvo fell further behind when the visitors’ young out-half had his third penalty success.

Four minutes into the second half, scrum-half Jason Higgins exploited some space in the Belvedere half and offloaded for half-time replacement Graeme Lawler to drive over the whitewash in clinical fashion. Quinlan missed the conversion but made amends with a 59th-minute penalty for 17-0.

The introduction of Simon Killeen and Leinster ‘A’ scrum half Charlie Rock brought some fresh impetus to ‘Belvo’s play. Following a yellow card for Jermyn, the hosts opened their account when Coughlan grabbed a converted score.

The dependable Quinlan answered back with another penalty 10 minutes from time, but the Dubliners continued their try search and their persistence was rewarded with a penalty try in injury-time, converted by Crosbie for a hard-earned losing bonus point.

Old Belvedere scorers:Tries: Sean Coughlan, penalty tryCons: Steve Crosbie x2Cork Constitution scorers:

Try: Graeme Lawler

Pens: Tomas Quinlan x5

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, John Kennedy (capt), Steve Crosbie, Sean Coughlan; Willie Staunton, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Edward Rossiter, Declan Lavery; Jack Kelly, Matt Ritani; Michael Oyuga, Paul Pritchard, Karl Miller.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, Daryl Ryan, Tom de Jongh, Simon Killeen, Charlie Rock.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Shane Daly; Liam O’Connell, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke; Conor Kindergan, Brian Hayes; Sonny Dwyer, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Greg Roche, Gavin Duffy, Graeme Lawler, Michael Clune, John Poland.

Young Munster 37 -31 UCD

Tom Clifford Park

Young Munster got back to winning ways with a fantastic four-try second half display in seeing off UCD 37-31 at Tom Clifford Park.

The Cookies turned this game in their favour in the third quarter, tries from influential lock Alan Ross (44 minutes) and out-half Alan Tynan (53) seeing them bounce back from a 12-9 interval deficit.

Alan Ross Young Munster's Alan Ross. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Centre Colm Mulcahy came into a rejigged UCD back-line that contained three positional switches, while lock Jack Dwan and back rowers Jonny Guy and Greg Jones were the only survivors up front from their recent home loss to St Mary’s.

The versatile Jamie Glynn, who reverted to scrum-half, played the captain’s role to a tee with a smartly-taken opening try, evading two defenders wide on the right after a neat link-up with lock Brian Cawley off a lineout maul.

Two penalties from David O’Mahony, allied to a Tynan drop goal, moved Munsters ahead (9-5), but flanker Josh Murphy touched down for College on the stroke of half-time.

This round 5 fixture really began to open up on the resumption, those scores from Ross and Tynan igniting the home attack, before UCD winger Rob Keenan and his opposite number Jack Harrington both crossed by the hour mark.

An Andy Marks effort closed the gap for the visitors to 30-26, but Ross’ second row partner Kennedy reached over to seal the Cookies’ bonus point and ultimately the victory.

Credit to UCD, despite falling to their fourth defeat in five league games, Keenan’s second try of the afternoon collected two bonus points for the battling students.

Young Munster scorers:Tries: Alan Ross, Alan Tynan, Jack Harrington, Alan KennedyCons: David O’Mahony x4Pens: David O’Mahony x2

Drop goals: Alan Tynan

Scorers for UCD:

Tries: Jamie Glynn, Josh Murphy, Rob Keenan x2, Andy Marks

Cons: Matthew Gilsenan, Cillian Burke x2

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Jack Harrington, Dan Goggin, Mark Doyle, David Gleeson; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan; Alan Ross, Alan Kennedy; Darren Ryan, Daniel Walsh, Gavin Coombs.

Replacements: Mark O’Mara, Evan Ryan, Sean Rennison, Shane Airey, Abrie Griesel.

UCD: Andy Marks; Rob Keenan, Colm Mulcahy, Stephen Murphy, Tom Fletcher; Matthew Gilsenan, Jamie Glynn (capt); Mikey Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Jeremy Loughman; Brian Cawley, Jack Dwan; Jonny Guy, Josh Murphy, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Gordan Frayne, Liam Hyland, Keelan McKenna, Ciaran Frawley, Cillian Burke, Tommy O’Brien.

Terenure College 13-17 St Mary’s College

Lakelands Park

Terry Kennedy scored for St Mary's College today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Second-half tries from wingers Terry Kennedy and Jordan Larmour gave St Mary’s College the Dublin 6W bragging rights in a tight 17-13 victory at Lakelands Park today.

Roared on by the large home support, Terenure College led 7-5 at half-time, a break from scrum-half Kevin O’Neill leading to the opening try from industrious flanker James O’Neill.

Compared to the side that lost 18-15 at Old Belvedere, Terenure showed four changes with Kevin O’Neill slotting back in at half-back and key front rowers Robbie Smyth and Oisin Heffernan and captain Kyle McCoy starting.

The lightning quick Kennedy and Larmour returned on the wings for the visitors, with Richard Halpin, David O’Connor and Jack Dilger also coming into a pack which is coached by Leinster’s Hayden Triggs.

St Mary’s, who had made a promising start before conceding the try, answered back just before the break, some crisp passing releasing fullback David Fanagan for a well-taken score out wide.

Entering the final quarter, Terenure were 10-5 to the good, a penalty from their goal-kicking winger Jake Swaine keeping them on course for a much-needed home win.

However, with tighthead and captain Brian McGovern to the fore, Mary’s forced their second try, pressing from a lineout maul before Kennedy got over for his seven-pointer.

Although Swaine held his nerve superbly to land a penalty for 13-12 with five minutes remaining, man-of-the-match Larmour then showed a clean pair of heels to the home defence to decide this tense encounter in Mary’s favour.

Terenure College scorers:Try: James O’NeillCon: Jake SwainePens: Jake Swaine x2

St Mary’s College scorers:

Tries: David Fanagan, Jordan Larmour, Terry Kennedy

Con: Sean Kearns

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Stephen O’Neill, Conor Finn, James O’Donoghue, Robbie Murphy; Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill; Kieran Moloney, Robbie Smyth, Oisin Heffernan; Cathal Deans, John Dever; Robert Duke, James O’Neill, Kyle McCoy (capt).

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Silvio Borza, Stephen Caffrey, Robbie Carroll, Marc Hiney.

ST MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Terry Kennedy, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O’Loughlin, Jordan Larmour; Sean Kearns, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt); Cathal O’Flaherty, David O’Connor; Jack Dilger, David Aspil, Nick McCarthy.

Replacements: Hugh Kelleher, Emmet Ferron, Ciaran Ruddock, Darren Moroney, Conor Hogan.​

Lansdowne 33-31 Clontarf

Aviva Stadium back pitch (Friday)

Scott Deasy and Joe McSwiney celebrate at the final whistle 28/10//2016 Lansdowne's Scott Deasy and Joe McSwiney celebrate their win. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Lansdowne roared back to the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A with a confidence-boosting 33-31 bonus-point win over defending champions Clontarf tonight.

In a sparkling nine-try thriller played on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch, Mike Ruddock’s men are now unbeaten in seven league meetings with ‘Tarf since April 2014, a galling statistic for the northsiders who are set to fall into the bottom half of the table.

Lansdowne bounced back from two recent defeats with a much-improved performance, especially in attack. They laid the foundations with three first half tries from forwards Joe McSwiney, Tadgh McElroy and Ireland Sevens international John O’Donnell.

‘Tarf’s Leinster hooker Bryan Byrne and McSwiney swapped tries inside a pacey opening ten minutes, before McElroy scored from a lineout drive and centre O’Donnell finished off Scott Deasy’s 38th-minute break, cancelling out a Matt D’Arcy effort at the other end.
That had Lansdowne 21-14 to the good at the end of an absorbing first half which saw David Keane replace the injured Nigel Correll as referee and both place-kickers, Deasy and Rob Keogh, land every conversion.

After leaking a Keogh penalty early in the second period, the hosts’ powerful scrum earned the bonus point with a pushover score from flanker Charlie Butterworth. D’Arcy completed his brace and scrum half Sam Cronin scampered through for ‘Tarf’s fourth of the night, but in between Foster Horan touched down for the HQ club who finished strongly to seal a narrow but deserved victory.

Scorers for Lansdowne: Tries: Joe McSwiney, Tadgh McElroy, John O’Donnell, Charlie Butterworth, Foster HoranCons: Scott Deasy x4Scorers for Clontarf:

Tries: Bryan Byrne, Matt D’Arcy x2, Sam Cronin

Cons: Rob Keogh x4

Pen: Rob Keogh

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Matthew D’Arcy; Jacob Walshe, Tadgh McElroy, Ian Prendiville (capt), Josh O’Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.

Replacements: Tyrone Moran, Ntinga Mpiko, Paul Boyle, Alan Bennie, Charlie McMickan.

CLONTARF: Rob Keogh; Conor Jennings, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Rob McGrath; Evan Ryan, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdaladze, Bryan Byrne, Royce Burke Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Eoghan Browne, Michael Noone, Karl Moran, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jonathan Larbey, Neil Reilly, Dylan Doyle, Mark Sutton, Jimmy Hawkshaw.

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Division 1B:

Ballynahinch 26-41 Naas

Ballymacarn Park

There were tries aplenty at Ballymacarn Park today where Naas touched down six times in a stunning 41-26 win over hosts Ballynahinch.

Flanker Conor Joyce, who played the final 10 minutes of Ulster’s derby defeat to Munster, and winger Jacob Stockdale were among the young northern talents in the ‘Hinch line-up.

Out-half Sam Windsor – one of 11 changes from the Co. Down club’s 35-32 loss at Old Wesley – turned early pressure into the game’s opening try. However, openside and captain Will O’Brien was quick to respond for Naas who were clinical in finishing their scoring chances, swiftly bagging the bonus point for a 26-14 half-time lead.

Former professional Fionn Carr claimed his third try of the campaign, while number 8 Eoin Walsh and strong-running replacement Paulie Tolofua also crossed the whitewash to cancel out a Davy Nicholson effort in the corner.

Tolofua’s score was the best of the lot, the big Samoan breaking the line at halfway and charging clear for a five-pointer out wide. Naas managed to keep ‘Hinch’s main threats quiet, with the home side also guilty of a number of individual errors.

Further tries from winger Rob O’Vonnor (55 minutes) and lock David Benn (63) saw the Kildare men stamp their authority on the game, as Johne Murphy’s hungry team rose to fourth in the table.

Quick-fire scores from former Ireland Under-20 international David Busby (70) and lock Kenny Morton (73) reduced the arrears for ‘Hinch to 38-26, before Naas full-back Peter Osborne completed his 11-point haul with a closing penalty.

Ballynahinch scorers:  Tries: Sam Windsor, Davy Nicholson, David Busby, Kenny Morton; Cons: Sam Windsor, Johnny McPhillips 2

Naas scorers: Tries: Will O’Brien, Fionn Carr, Eoin Walsh, Paulie Tolofua, Rob O’Connor, David Benn; Cons: Peter Osborne 4; Pen: Peter Osborne

BALLYNAHINCH: Steve Macauley; Jacob Stockdale, Stuart Morrow, Jordan Grattan, Davy Nicholson; Sam Windsor, Angus Lloyd; Jonny Simpson, Jonny Murphy, Craig Trenier, Kenny Morton, John Donnan, Conor Joyce, Connor Phillips, Michael Graham (capt).

Replacements: Jonny Blair, Joe Roe, Keith Dickson, Johnny McPhillips, David Busby.

NAAS: Peter Osborne; Rob O’Connor, Johne Murphy, Henry Bryce, Fionn Carr; Michael Skelton, Max Whittingham; Adam Coyle, Graham Reynolds, Jason Harney, Stephen Kinneavy, David Benn, Paul Monahan, Will O’Brien (capt), Eoin Walsh.

Replacements: Warren Larkin, Jordan Duggan, Paulie Tolofua, Andrew Kearney, Ben Swindlehurst.

Dolphin 22-31 Buccaneers

Irish Independent Park

Second-placed Buccaneers strung together 13 unanswered points in the closing stages to defeat hosts Dolphin 31-22 at Irish Independent Park.

Half-backs Alan Gaughan and Conor McKeon combined for 26 points, the former, who is back from GAA duty with Athlone, kicking four penalties and a conversion.

Cillian Monahan and Timmy Phelan were added to Dolphin’s back-three with Munster development lock John Madigan bolstering the pack. A superb individual try by winger Will Hanly out wide put the hosts ahead on the scoreboard.

However, McKeon’s brace of tries – the second one being particularly soft from Dolphin’s point of view – saw Buccs lead 12-8 by half-time, their back row of Stephen McVeigh, Rory Moloney and skipper Kolo Kiripati growing in influence as the minutes went by.

Dolphin captain Ryan Murphy was the scorer of their second try, but the lowly Corkmen had a streak of indiscipline which was ruthlessly punished by Gaughan’s reliable boot.

The Buccaneers number 10 notched penalties after 45 and 55 minutes, although Dolphin continued to cause problems for the visitors’ defence and good attacking play led to Munster prop Brian Scott going over, with Barry Keeshan converting for a 22-18 turnaround.

But, crucially, Buccs held Dolphin scoreless for the remainder and tacked on 13 points without reply. Gaughan split the posts with two more penalties in the 69th and 72nd minutes and also converted replacement Eoghan O’Reilly’s try which took the bonus point away from the home side.

Dolphin scorers: Tries: Will Hanly, Ryan Murphy, Brian Scott; Cons: Barry Keeshan 2; Pen: Barry Keeshan

Buccaneers scorers: Tries: Conor McKeon 2, Eoghan O’Reilly; Cons: Alan Gaughan, Conor McKeon; Pens: Alan Gaughan 4

DOLPHIN: Cillian Monahan; Will Hanly, Cian McGovern, Sam Kennedy, Timmy Phelan; Barry Keeshan, Killian O’Keeffe; Liam Walsh, Caolan O’Flynn, Brian Scott, Dave O’Mahony, John Madigan, Karl Keogh, Kevin Allen, Ryan Murphy (capt).

Replacements: John Leahy, Aidan Foley, Lar Coughlan, Dave Byrne, Daryl Foley, Denis Hurley, Ian O’Donoghue.

BUCCANEERS: Luke Carty; Danie Poolman, Shane Layden, Mata Fifita, Jordan Conroy; Alan Gaughan, Conor McKeon; Martin Staunton, John Sutton, Dylan Quinn, Daniel Qualter, Simon Meagher, Stephen McVeigh, Rory Moloney, Kolo Kiripati (capt).

Replacements: Rory Grenham, Scott Flanagan, Ruairi Byrne, Graham Lynch, Eoghan O’Reilly.

Old Wesley 35-25 Galwegians

Donnybrook

Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss continued his return from knee surgery by playing in Old Wesley’s 35-25 bonus point success at home to Galwegians this afternoon.

Strauss was called ashore early in the second half, getting some more game-time on he back of last week’s run-out with Leinster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup, which was also at Donnybrook.

Strauss was involved early on today, his clear-out at a ruck leading to a penalty stuck over by Barry McLaughlin, Division 1B’s top points scorer so far.

Galwegians’ ten personnel changes from the last round included the return of Connacht Eagles centres Rory Parata and Mitch Lam and fit-again captain Brian Murphy, giving their back-line a serious boost.

Indeed, the visitors took a 25-18 lead into the break, Connacht Academy winger Ed O’Keeffe and senior-capped centre Parata setting them on their way with 10th and 15th minute tries out wide. The defending Isaac Leota missed a potential intercept to leave an overlap for O’Keeffe’s score, and then Parata chased down his own grubber kick which wrong-footed McLaughlin.

A second three-pointer from McLaughlin, coming after ‘Wegian sskipper Murphy was sin-binned for a tip tackle, and Wesley’s goal-kicker was soon over the try-line after a good move from a Strauss lineout throw.

‘Wegians made it 17-11 thanks to Parata’s second try as the lively centre profited from an interception, and following Murphy’s return, the Connacht men went wide off a lineout to send winger Barry Lee through for their bonus point score.

A subsequent Conor Lowndes penalty was cancelled out by a timely try by Wesley scrum half Ian Cassidy whose clever dummy and pace off the mark saw him touch down from a close-in ruck.

Wesley’s dominance of the scrum continued on the restart, and McLaughlin punished an off-the-ball tackle with three more points, reducing the arrears to just 25-21.

Galwegians were then forced to see out the game with 14 players after centre Murphy picked up his second yellow card for taking McLaughlin out after a kick. The resulting penalty was sent towards the corner and replacement David Henshaw peeled off the maul for a key seven-pointer.

Wesley never looked back from there, the ‘Wegians defence doing well to hold up another couple of mauls before Kiwi centre Leota got that elusive intercept to run in the bonus point try. The result moves Morgan Lennon’s men up to third place, with ‘Wegians sliding down to eighth.

Old Wesley scorers: Tries: Barry McLaughlin, Ian Cassidy, David Henshaw, Isaac Leota; Cons: Barry McLaughlin 3; Pens: Barry McLaughlin 3

Galwegians scorers: Tries: Ed O’Keeffe, Rory Parata 2, Barry Lee; Con: Conor Lowndes; Pen: Conor Lowndes

OLD WESLEY: Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Isaac Leota, Ger Finucane, Alan Jeffares; Tim Clifford, Ian Cassidy; Ken Knaggs, Richardt Strauss, James Burton, Michael Dunleavy, Iain McGann, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley.

Replacements: Conor Maguire, David Henshaw, Matthew Bursey, Donnchadh Phelan, Conor Fitzgerald.

GALWEGIANS: Cormac Brennan; Ed O’Keeffe, Rory Parata, Brian Murphy (capt), Barry Lee; Mitch Lam, Conor Lowndes; Patrick Curran, John Moloney, Doron McHugh, Matthew Towey, Anthony Ryan, Ronan Moore, Marc Kelly, Josh Pim.

Replacements: Dave O’Connor, Martin Fox, Tadhg Campbell, Matt Quinn, Dave Clarke.

UCC 17-9 Shannon

Mardyke

Centre and captain Kevin Slater crossed for the only try to guide UCC past Shannon on a 17-9 scoreline at the Mardyke.

The Cork students converted an overlap wide on the right as Slater snaked over in the 72nd minute, putting themselves out of reach of bottom side Shannon who remain without a win after five rounds.

Former captain Tom Hayes, who led Shannon to league titles in 2004 and 2005, put his boots back on to line out in the second row today. The 36-year-old retired from the professional game in 2013 due to a back injury, but agreed to link up with his old club this season as a defence/lineout coach.

Hayes paired up at lock with Australian youngster Riley Winter and they were the fulcrum of a couple of promising early mauls. An eighth minute penalty from out-half Conor Fitzgerald got Shannon on the scoreboard.

Marcus Horan’s young side led 9-6 at half-time, two set piece penalties leading to goals by UCC winger Kevin O’Keeffe and Fitzgerald nudging Shannon back in front with a thumping 35th minute effort from just inside the hosts’ half.

However, UCC avoided any further concessions despite a yellow card, and a well-struck 46th minute penalty from O’Keeffe had the students back on level terms.

There were penalty misses at both ends either side of the hour mark, but Shannon were guilty of going off their feet in the 68th minute and O’Keeffe was back on target for a 12-9 lead. The College outfit regained possession from the restart, setting up one of their best attacking spells with Slater’s unconverted effort getting them over the finish line.

UCC scorers: Try: Kevin Slater; Pens: Kevin O’Keeffe 4

Shannon scorers: Pens: Conor Fitzgerald 3

UCC: Chris McAuliffe; Kevin O’Keeffe, Kevin Slater (capt), Murray Linn, James Kiernan; Charlie O’Regan, Richard Walsh; Peter McCabe, Ben Burns, Rob O’Donovan, Darragh Moloney, Ben Mitchell, Conor Barry, Cathal Gallagher, Richie Moran.

Replacements: Charlie Slowey, Shane O’Hanlon, Eoin Feeney, Graham Smith, Tom Kiersey.

SHANNON: Ronan McKenna; Nathan Randles, Rob Deegan, Jack O’Donnell, Richie Mullane; Conor Fitzgerald, Jack Stafford; Conor Glynn, Ben Burns, Tony Cusack, Tom Hayes, Riley Winter, James Vaughan, John Foley, Lee Nicholas (capt).

Replacements: Niall Mulcahy, John Andress, Paddy Kearns, Darren Gavin, Will Leonard.

UL Bohemian 25-15 Ballymena

Thomond Park

Three first half tries put UL Bohemians on course for a 25-15 bonus point victory over Ballymena, one of their main rivals for promotion from Division 1B.

After a three-week break in league fixtures, UL resumed in fine fettle as they took their haul at the top of the table to 24 points out of a possible 25.

Callum Patterson’s fourth-minute penalty got Ballymena off to a good start on the University’s 4G pitch, but once hooker Andy Rowsome opened Bohs’ try-scoring account six minutes later, they never looked back.

Christy Neilan’s well-drilled team were 17-3 ahead by the half hour mark, number 8 Brian Walsh and winger Jamie McNamara (his fifth try in as many games) joining Rowsome in crossing the whitewash.

However, the Braidmen were not third in the table before kick-off for nothing. Enjoying a serious purple patch before half-time, they ran in tries through winger Jonny Rosborough and full-back Rodger McBurney to pull it back to a two-point game.

Most of the second half play was in the forwards, both defences giving very little away until a 59th minute penalty from Rick McKenna, who moved to scrum half to deputise for injured Bohs talisman Cathal Sheridan.

Four minutes from the end, UL settled the issue and pocketed another valuable bonus point when loosehead Joey Conway made it over in the corner. Having maintained their winning form, Bohs face a testing midlands clash next Saturday when they visit second-placed Buccaneers.

UL Bohemians scorers: Tries: Andy Rowsome, Brian Walsh, Jamie McNamara, Joe Murray; Con: Rick McKenna; Pen: Rick McKenna

Ballymena scorers: Tries: Jonny Rosborough, Rodger McBurney; Con: Callum Patterson; Pen: Callum Patterson

UL BOHEMIANS: Joe Murray; Cian Aherne, Finbar Aherne, Harry Fleming, Jamie McNamara; Robbie Bourke, Rick McKenna; Joey Conway, Andy Rowsome, Philip Poillot, Noel Kinane, Ed Kelly, James Ryan, Ian Condell (capt), Brian Walsh.

Replacements: Peter King, Daragh Frawley, Pat Staff, Eamon Boland, Rory White.

BALLYMENA: Rodger McBurney; Jordan Foster, Callum Patterson, Martin Irwin, Jonny Rosborough; John Creighton, Dave Shanahan; Houston Bonnar, Adam McBurney, Chris Cundell, David Whann (capt), Connor Smyth, Mark Foster, Tony McGuinness, Stephen Mulholland.

Replacements: Andrew Cundell, James Carson, Willie McKay, James Beattie, Ritchie McMaster.

__________________

Division 2A:

Highfield 6-6 Sundays Well (Fri)

Woodleigh Park

Banbridge 31-15 Belfast Harlequins

Rifle Park

Cashel RFC 18-0 Blackrock College RFC

Spafield

Malone 35-31 Nenagh Ormond

Gibson Park

Queens University 42-12 Galway Corinthians RFC

Dub Lane

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Division 2B:

City of Derry 24-30 Wanderers 

Jusge’s Road

Dungannon 35-19 Greystones

Stevenson Park

MU Barnhall 41-0 Thomond

Parsonstown

Old Crescent 14-22 Bective Rangers

Rosbrien

Skerries 16-32 Armagh

Holmpatrick

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Division 2C:

Seapoint 15-37 Boyne (Fri)

Kilbogget Park

Bangor 32-23 Midleton

Upritchard Park

Navan RFC 32-22 Bruff

Balreask Old

Sligo 19-18 Rainey

Hamilton Park

Tullamore 15-17 Kanturk

Spollanstown

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