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Young Munster maintain lead at top of UBL but Lansdowne hot on their heels

Here is your round-up of Saturday’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A action.

Division 1A

Cork Constitution 24-17 Clontarf
Temple Hill

MUNSTER ACADEMY STARLET Shane Daly crossed for one try and set up another as Cork Constitution continued their impressive form with a 24-17 win over Clontarf this afternoon.

Shane Daly scores a try Ireland U20s international Shane Daly starred for Cork Con today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Off-colour champions Tarf fell to their fifth defeat in seven games on a day when former Ireland international Joy Neville made history as the first woman to referee an Ulster Bank League Division 1A fixture.

An entertaining first half at Temple Hill ended 17-14 in the north Dubliners’ favour, centre Matt D’Arcy darting through from halfway for their fifth-minute opener after an initial break by Tony Ryan.

19-year-old full-back Daly responded with his fifth try of the campaign for Constitution just four minutes later, however the visitors were back in front when D’Arcy’s brother, flanker Adrian, touched down from a close range ruck in the 24th minute.

‘Tarf full-back Conor Jennings added a penalty to both conversions, keeping Andy Wood’s men in front for half-time despite a well-taken try from Con flanker James Murphy.

However, one of ‘Tarf’s danger men in recent seasons, winger Mick McGrath, was well marshalled by the Con defence and, indeed, the visitors were held scoreless through the second period.

Six minutes in, the in-form Daly broke through and he flung an excellent 20-metre pass out for centre Ned Hodson to cross in the corner. Out-half Tomas Quinlan maintained the hosts’ high standards with a terrific touchline conversion for 21-17.

The Leesiders, pressing for their fourth successive victory, gave themselves a seven-point cushion with a Quinlan penalty, following Clontarf replacement Peter du Toit’s 64th-minute sin-binning.

Both sides failed to turn pressure into points during the final quarter of an hour, Constitution coming under severe pressure late on but their determined defence thwarted ‘Tarf’s valiant efforts to hit back.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Shane Daly, James Murphy, Ned Hodson; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 3; Pen: Tomas Quinlan

Clontarf: Tries: Matt D’Arcy, Adrian D’Arcy; Cons: Conor Jennings 2; Pen: Conor Jennings

CORK CONSTITUTION: Shane Daly; Liam O’Connell, JJ O’Neill, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, John Poland; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan, Graeme Lawler, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Vincent O’Brien, Ger Sweeney, Sonny Dwyer, Cian Barry, Michael Clune.

CLONTARF: Conor Jennings; Sean Long, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Mick McGrath; Evan Ryan, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdaladze, Rory Litchfield, Royce Burke Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Tom Byrne, Michael Noone, Adrian D’Arcy, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jonathan Larbey, Karl Moran, Dylan Doyle, Peter du Toit, Mark Sutton.

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Garryowen 43-38 St Mary’s College
Dooradoyle

Garryowen threw off the shackles and ended their run of low-scoring performances with a thrilling 43-38 triumph over St. Mary’s College at Dooradoyle today.

Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham scores a try Hugh O'Brien-Cunningham crossed for Garryowen against Mary's. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Rarely has the Shay Deering trophy been competed for in such swashbuckling style, as the Light Blues tallied up seven tries to halt their three-game losing slide in the top flight.

Conan Doyle’s charges had failed to score more than 16 points in any of their last five outings, but they were 22-7 in front by half-time as a stunned St. Mary’s struggled to keep up.

Second row David O’Connor’s initial try for the Dubliners was cancelled out by efforts from prop Niall Horan, out-half David Johnston (his third of the season), winger Liam Coombes and a try on his home debut by powerful South African back rower Alwyn van Vuuren.

The latter’s 39th-minute score gave Garryowen the bonus point but there was no sign of them letting up on the resumption, a penalty try five minutes in making it 29-10. Although replacement Nick McCarthy ended Mary’s try drought, Garryowen kept probing for openings with Munster centre Sam Arnold, and Academy talent Bill Johnston on his return from a shoulder injury, getting some valuable game-time.

Tries number six and seven followed in quick succession from Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham and Elliot Fitzgerald, but Mary’s – as they did against Young Munster last week – came with a superb late surge to earn two bonus points.

Cathal O’Flaherty joined fellow lock O’Connor on the scoresheet before two well-executed rolling mauls teed up touchdowns for Ryan O’Loughlin and Tom O’Reilly. Conor Dean, the young son of former Ireland number 10 Paul Dean, converted all three closing scores for a five-point deficit in the end.

Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Niall Horan, David Johnston, Liam Coombes, Alwyn van Vuuren, Penalty try, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Elliot Fitzgerald; Cons: Neil Cronin 4

St. Mary’s College: Tries: David O’Connor, Nick McCarthy, Cathal O’Flaherty, Ryan O’Loughlin, Tom O’Reilly; Cons: Conor Dean 5; Pen: Conor Dean

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Sam Arnold, Dave McCarthy, Liam Coombes; David Johnston, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costello, Hugh Lane, Barra O’Byrne, Paul McCarroll, Johnny Keane, Alwyn van Vuuren, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Ger Horan, Barry McNamara, Elliot Fitzgerald, Bill Johnston, Peadar Collins, Caolan Moloney.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Conor Hogan, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O’Loughlin, Darren Moroney; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), David O’Connor, Cathal O’Flaherty, Hugh Kelleher, David Aspil, Kevin Sheahan.

Replacements: Nick McCarthy, Neil Murphy, Ciaran Ruddock, Stephen O’Brien, Ian O’Neill.

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Old Belvedere 7-27 Dublin University
Anglesea Road

Dublin University bounced back in fine style to claim a very impressive 27-7 win over Old Belvedere, running in four tries in the process.

Michael Courtney is congratulated by teammate James OÕDonovan Dublin University secured a big win today. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

From the disappointment of last Saturday’s home defeat to Lansdowne to the satisfaction of coming away from Anglesea Road with five well-earned points, Tony Smeeth’s students returned to winning ways with two tries in each half.

‘Belvo missed the presence of Steve Crosbie, their goal-kicking hero against Clontarf in the last round, and centre Sean Coughlan’s early sin-binning for a high tackle left them shorthanded.

James Fennelly, who had a smashing debut at out-half in the absence of Jack McDermott, slotted over the resulting penalty for a 3-0 Trinity lead, and his half-back partner Daniel Joyce was instrumental in the first try, wriggling out of a tackle close to the touchline before the next phase saw hooker Paddy Finlay plunge over.

Fennelly converted and the visitors added a second try before half-time, their patience being rewarded when strong-running full-back Jack Kelly eventually found a gap to finish smartly out wide.

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Despite some decent direction from Willie Staunton and Charlie Rock at half-back, Belvedere struggled to unlock the visitors’ defence and they leaked their third try in the third quarter, falling a full 22 points behind.

Turnovers were proving costly with Pierce Dargan snaffling his third lineout steal for the students, and winger Colm Hogan’s timely defensive read near his own try-line saw Trinity win the ball back and centre Michael Courtney had the gas to race the length of the pitch for a seven-pointer that really stung the hosts.

Even worse followed for ‘Belvo as they coughed up the bonus point to one of their top four rivals, Hogan beating his man on the outside to run in his fifth try of the campaign following a terrific Trinity scrum.

Belvedere, who have dropped to fifth overall (two places behind Smeeth’s young side), salvaged some pride with a late attacking spurt that yielded a try for winger Aaron Sheehan beside the posts.

Scorers: Old Belvedere: Try: Aaron Sheehan; Con: Charlie Rock

Dublin University: Tries: Paddy Finlay, Jack Kelly, Michael Courtney, Colm Hogan; Cons: James Fennelly, Michael Courtney; Pen: James Fennelly

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Aaron Sheehan, Rob Cruess Callaghan, Sean Coughlan, Simon Killeen; Willie Staunton, Charlie Rock; Adam Howard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Michael Oyuga, Paul Pritchard, Jonathan Slattery.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, Darrell Ryan, Matt Ritani, Tom de Jongh, David Brandon.

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

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Fintan Murphy, Cian O’Dwyer, Evan Dixon, James O’Donovan.

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Terenure College 23-31 Young Munster
Lakelands Park

Young Munster have maintained their two-point lead at the top of Division 1A after coming from behind to beat Terenure College 31-23 at Lakelands Park this afternoon.

Harrison Brewer with Colm Skehan 12/11//2016 Terenure’s Harrison Brewer with Colm Skehan of Young Munster during today's clash. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Terenure gave a really good account of themselves, belying their current position of tenth in the table. Flanker Niall Lalor’s first-minute try set them on their way to a 13-7 interval lead.

Munsters recovered well, though, showing the poise of table toppers as winger David Gleeson was freed up for a 19th minute run to the line. However, two well-struck penalties from ‘Nure full-back Jake Swaine after 22 and 38 minutes had the hosts in front at the break.

The Cookies’ powerful pack was to the fore as the Limerick men responded with two tries in the space of six minutes, centre Jack Harrington and hooker and captain Ger Slattery both crossing the whitewash for a 21-13 turnaround.

Winger Marc Hiney’s 65th-minute converted effort made it a one-point game and although Swaine took his impressive place-kicking tally to 13 points, ‘Nure agonisingly fell short of even a losing bonus point.

Either side of Swaine’s 74th-minute penalty, Munsters scrum half Rob Guerin seized the initiative to run in his fourth try of the campaign, converted by Swaine’s opposite number David O’Mahony who also added a late penalty to complete his crucial 11-point haul.

Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Niall Lalor, Marc Hiney; Cons: Jake Swaine 2; Pens: Jake Swaine 3

Young Munster: Tries: David Gleeson, Jack Harrington, Ger Slattery, Rob Guerin; Cons: David O’Mahony 4; Pen: David O’Mahony

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Marc Hiney, Conor Finn, Willie Devane, Harrison Brewer; James O’Donoghue, Kevin O’Neill; Kieran Moloney, Robbie Smyth, Silvio Borza, Cathal Deans, John Dever, Niall Lalor, James O’Neill, Kyle McCoy (capt).

Replacements: Barry Elliott, Cian Madden, Patrick Thornton, Thomas Burke, Niall Thornton.

YOUNG MUNSTER: David O’Mahony; Tom McHale, Jack Harrington, Shane Airey, David Gleeson; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; David Begley, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Tom Goggin, Alan Ross, Darren Ryan, Donal Walsh, Gavin Coombs.

Replacements: Paul Downes, Evan Ryan, Sean Rennison, Gavin Ryan, Gary Fitzgerald.

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Lansdowne 45-10 UCD (Friday)
Aviva Stadium back pitch

Lansdowne made it league wins in a row with a storming 45-10 triumph over UCD on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch on Friday night.

Max Deegan with Dave Sherry Max Deegan scored one of six tries for Lansdowne on Friday night. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Mike Ruddock’s men tightened their grip on second spot in Division 1A, running in six converted tries through backs Alan Bennie (2) and Foster Horan and forwards Paul Boyle, Max Deegan and Philip Donnellan.

Scrum half Bennie sniped over in their very first attack and after a UCD yellow card and scrum pressure from the hosts before half-time, number 8 Paul Boyle touched down off the back of an advancing set piece, five metres out, for a 17-3 interval lead.

Lansdowne’s powerful pack remained on top in the second half, with tactically astute 13-point out-half Scott Deasy keeping them stationed in the right areas of the pitch. The bonus point was long secured by the time UCD scrum half Jamie Glynn crossed for his third try in as many games.

The students missed the presence of second row James Ryan, who starred against Garryowen last week, and a number of other Leinster Academy talents. Glynn’s effort was little consolation on a night when Andy Skehan’s youngsters were well beaten by a superior Lansdowne unit.

Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Alan Bennie 2, Paul Boyle, Max Deegan, Foster Horan, Philip Donnellan; Cons: Scott Deasy 5, Charlie McMickan; Pen: Scott Deasy

UCD: Try: Jamie Glynn; Con: Cillian Burke; Pen: Cillian Burke

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Willie Earle, Stephen Gardiner, Max Deegan, Charlie Butterworth, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Ntinga Mpiko, Philip Donnellan, Matthew D’Arcy, Charlie McMickan.

UCD: Andy Marks; Cillian Burke, Colm Mulcahy, Tommy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher; Matthew Gilsenan, Jamie Glynn (capt); Gordon Frayne, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Mikey Moynihan, Rory Mulvihill, Jack Dwan, Nick Peters, Tim Foley.

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