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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Ballynahinch recover from last week's setback to beat Shannon and the rest of your UBL match reports

Plus, narrow wins for UCC and UL Bohemians.

Division 1B


BALLYNAHINCH GOT BACK to winning ways with a two-try 18-12 dismissal of a durable Shannon side at Ballymacarn Park.

A combination of strong running and crisp passing created a 13th minute overlap for Shannon’s former Australia Under-20 lock Riley Winter to score his first try since his move north.

The visitors’ unconverted effort had them leading 5-3 at the end of a first half full of attacking rugby. A lone penalty from Chris Quinn was all ‘Hinch could muster while playing with the wind.

John Donnan makes a break John Donnan making a break for the home side. Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

The Co. Down outfit made amends with an almost immediate try when play resumed. Ulster recruit Angus Lloyd, making his second league start for ‘Hinch, showed a clean pair of heels to the Shannon defence and set up left winger Quinn to make it 8-5.

Quinn knocked over his second successful penalty in the 57th minute, punishing a Tony Cusack infringement, and the gap was out to 13 points after centre Davy Nicholson used turnover ball to barge over out wide for a seven-pointer.

But Shannon were very quick to respond. Barely a minute later, a brilliantly executed chip and chase saw winger Shane Mullally cross the whitewash and Ronan McKenna convert. Try as they might, Marcus Horan’s charges could not get any closer and ‘Hinch pocketed their second win of the campaign.


Ballynahinch: Tries: Chris Quinn, Davy Nicholson; Con: Justin Rea; Pens: Chris Quinn x2.

Shannon: Tries: Riley Winter, Shane Mullally; Con: Ronan McKenna.

Ballynahinch:  Steve Macauley; Aaron Cairns, Davy Nicholson, Jordan Grattan, Chris Quinn; Ross Carlisle, Angus Lloyd; Jonny Blair, Andrew Harper, Craig Trenier, James Simpson (capt), John Donnan, Lorcan Dow, Conor Joyce, Gareth Gill.

Replacements: Chris Stevenson, Joe Roe, Keith Dickson, Stuart Morrow, Johnny McPhilips.

Shannon: Ronan McKenna; Nathan Randles, Will Leonard, Robert Deegan, Shane Mullally; Conor Fitzgerald, Jack Stafford; Conor Glynn, Ty Chan, Tony Cusack, Barrie Duggan, Riley Winter, Brian Downey, John Foley, Lee Nicholas (capt).

Replacements: Jordan Prenderville, Dylan Murphy, James Vaughan, Sean Markham, Jack O’Donnell.



League veteran Barry Keeshan drove Dolphin to their maiden win of the season as they saw off Galwegians’ challenge on a 27-18 scoreline in Cork.

Keeshan smacked over five sure-footed penalties and a single conversion for a 17-point personal tally, with David Corkery’s men also crossing for two tries through forwards Dave O’Mahony and Karl Keogh.

Dolphin’s starting line-up was bolstered by the half-back pairing of assistant coach Keeshan and Killian O’Keeffe and the presence of Munster Academy prop Brian Scott and development lock John Madigan up front.

Killian Lett and Barry Keeshan Barry Keeshan of Dolphin against Clontarf last season. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Galwegians were missing the skill and direction of captain Brian Murphy behind the scrum, but welcomed back Ja Naughton at loosehead prop and Connacht Academy back rower Marc Kelly at number 8.

With the wind behind him, Keeshan kicked the Corkmen into a 9-0 lead by the start of the second quarter, his 40-metre opener being followed by two more kicks in the 14th and 21st minutes.

However, almost straight from the restart, Galwegians’ Alan McMahon cut through for an opportunist try in the left corner. An equally eye-catching score from fellow winger Adam Leavy, converted by Mitch Lam who also tagged on a penalty, had the westerners leading 15-9 at half-time.

While the ‘Wegians back-line continued to threaten, the Dolphin pack was performing really well and they were rewarded with a try from lock O’Mahony, quickly followed by a Lam penalty at the other end.

But 18-14 is as good as it got for the inconsistent westerners as Dolphin broke their winning duck with a run of 13 unanswered points in the final quarter. After Lam missed a penalty, solid flanker Keogh struck for Dolphin’s second touchdown.

Keeshan converted and stamped his authority on the closing stages with two more penalties, the second of them just before the final whistle. That took the losing bonus point from ‘Wegians whose loose play was ruthlessly punished by the hosts who have now moved above Shannon at the foot of the table.


Dolphin: Tries: Dave O’Mahony, Karl Keogh; Con: Barry Keeshan; Pens: Barry Keeshan x5.

Galwegians: Tries: Alan McMahon, Adam Leavy; Con: Mitch Lam; Pens: Mitch Lam x2.

Dolphin: Cillian Monahan; Timmy Phelan, Cian McGovern, Sam Kennedy, Will Hanly; Barry Keeshan, Killian O’Keeffe; James Rochford, Liam Walsh, Brian Scott, Dave O’Mahony, John Madigan, Kevin O’Leary, Kevin Allen, Ryan Murphy (capt).

Replacements: Caolan O’Flynn, Ken O’Halloran, Barry Fitzgerald, Karl Keogh, Daryl Foley.

Galwegians: Aidan Moynihan; Adam Leavy, Cormac Brennan, Dave Clarke, Alan McMahon; Mitch Lam, Barry Lee; Ja Naughton, Jack Dinneen, Conan O’Donnell, Matt Towey, Anthony Ryan, Ronan Moore, Josh Pim, Marc Kelly.

Replacements: Dave O’Connor, John Moloney, Eoghan Hannon, Conor Lowndes, Gearoid Armstrong.


Buccaneers climbed into second place in the standings after a late flurry saw them overhaul hosts Naas 24-16 at Forenaughts.

Buccs outscored the Kildare men by four tries to one, bagging their second successive bonus point thanks to scores from Conor McKeon, who also kicked two conversions, Eoghan O’Reilly, Jordan Conroy and Rory Moloney.

Former Connacht team-mates Fionn Carr and Danie Poolman opposed each other at full-back, Carr covering for the injured Fionn Higgins and Poolman marshalling the Pirates’ back-line that he also coaches.

Rory O'Connor attempts to claim a high ball Rory O'Connor against Ballynahinch last month. Source: Presseye/Mervyn McClelland/INPHO

Poolman would have been delighted that the visitors built a 12-0 lead by the 18th minute, young Connacht half-back McKeon shining in their purposeful start. Carr’s second try in three games opened Naas’ account in the 20th minute and a precise Peter Osborne penalty had them just 12-10 behind at the break.

When the second half got underway, scrum half Osborne gave Johne Murphy’s men a further boost with two penalties in quick succession to give them a sudden four-point advantage.

That is how it stayed until Brett Wilkinson’s side pounced decisively with two late tries, including a third of the campaign for flying winger Conroy, who was part of the extended Ireland Sevens squad earlier this year.


Naas: Try: Fionn Carr; Con: Peter Osborne; Pens: Peter Osborne x3.

Buccaneers: Tries: Conor McKeon, Eoghan O’Reilly, Jordan Conroy, Rory Moloney; Cons: Conor McKeon x2.

Naas: Fionn Carr; Rob O’Connor, Johne Murphy, Henry Bryce, Andrew Shanahan; Michael Skelton, Peter Osborne; Dan O’Byrne, Charlie Kings, Adam Coyle, Paul Monahan, David Benn, Eoin Walsh, Will O’Brien, Paulie Tolofua.

Replacements: Conor Johnson, Shane Reilly, Andrew Kearney, Warren Larkin, Max Whittingham.

Buccaneers:  Danie Poolman; Jordan Conroy, Shane Layden, Mata Fifita, Rory O’Connor; Luke Carty, Conor McKeon; Martin Staunton, John Sutton, Dylan Quinn, Cian Romaine, Daniel Qualter, Stephen McVeigh, Rory Moloney, Kolo Kiripati (capt).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Rory Grenham, Ruairi Byrne, Graham Lynch, Eoghan O’Reilly.

UCC 18

Kevin O’Keeffe’s coolly-struck penalty steered UCC to a gripping 18-17 win over high-flying Ballymena at the Mardyke.

The Cork students’ first triumph since their promotion from Division 1B saw them erase a 14-point deficit with a superb final 50 minutes’ play.

Former Ireland international Bryan Young, who is part of Ballymena’s coaching team, slotted in at loosehead prop for this trip down to Cork, starting alongside Ireland Under-20 hooker Adam McBurney and Chris Cundell.

The Braidmen looked in very good fettle when crossing for three tries during the opening half hour, blindside Connor Smyth joining string-pulling centres Mark Best and Martin Irwin on the scoresheet. Best, who added one conversion, took his season’s tally to 32 points in three league outings.

However, when previewing this round 3 fixture, Ballymena boss Andy Graham anticipated a ‘difficult game’ from ‘tricky opposition’ and that is exactly what his players got.

James Kiernan and Adam Doherty James Kiernan in last season's play-off semi-final. Source: Presseye/Angus Bicker/INPHO

A try in the corner from full-back Chris McAuliffe, on the stroke of half-time, got UCC back in the hunt at 17-10 down. The lively home backs conjured up a second try in the third quarter, sending replacement James Kiernan over out wide for a cracking score.

The difficult conversion proved beyond goal-kicker O’Keeffe but, handed another opportunity by the tireless UCC pack, he was bang on the money with a closing penalty to see his side battle past one of the division’s main promotion contenders.


UCC: Tries: Chris McAuliffe, James Kiernan; Con: Kevin O’Keeffe; Pens: Kevin O’Keeffe x2.
Ballymena: Tries: Connor Smyth, Martin Irwin, Mark Best; Con: Mark Best.

UCC: Chris McAuliffe; Kevin O’Keeffe, Kevin Slater (capt), Murray Linn, Cillian Ansbro; Charlie O’Regan, Richard Walsh; Peter McCabe, Ben Burns, Rob O’Donovan, Ben Mitchell, Darragh Moloney, Conor Barry, Graham Smith, Richard Moran.

Replacements: Charlie Slowey, Emmet McCarthy, David Lynch, James Kiernan, Tim Cronin.

Ballymena: Rodger McBurney; Jordan Foster, Mark Best, Martin Irwin, Jonny Rosborough; Glenn Baillie, David Shanahan; Bryan Young, Adam McBurney, Chris Cundell, David Whann, Connor Smyth, Stephen Mulholland, Tony McGuinness.

Replacements: Chris Allen, James Taggart, Mark Foster, John Creighton, Richie McMaster.


The Red Robins are continuing to soar in the league’s second tier, emerging with a well-merited 29-21 bonus point victory over Old Wesley on UL’s North Campus.

UL Bohemians have stolen a march on their promotion rivals with three bonus point wins on the trot, the creativity and finishing skills in their back-line summed by the try-scoring exploits of Jamie McNamara (four tries so far) and Rick McKenna (three).

McNamara and McKenna both touched down in the final two minutes of the first half to give Christy Neilan’s charges a 19-7 buffer. Wesley centre Ger Finucane had opened the scoring, profiting from Barry McLaughlin’s brilliant break from his own 22.

Bohs full-back Joe Murray quickly responded, scoring by the posts from a fine sidestepping run, and poor discipline from Wesley saw them lose back rowers Darren Horan, who was guilty of a slap down near his try-line, and Mark Rowley to the sin-bin.

Despite some dogged defending from the Dubliners, winger McNamara eventually made the pressure count for UL with a try in the corner. A tap penalty then caught Wesley napping and out-half McKenna’s clever run took him over for try number three.

The excitement levels dropped in the third quarter at the end of which two penalties from McLaughlin had closed the gap to 19-13. But Bohs had the bonus point in the bag in the 67th minute, former Munster scrum half Cathal Sheridan reacting quickest with another tap and feed for his half-back partner McKenna to go over.

UL were not certain of the win, though, until a 79th minute penalty from replacement Robbie Bourke. Wesley fought back with eight more points from busy winger McLaughlin, including a 68th minute try, before Bourke’s boot took a deserved losing bonus point away from the visitors.


UL Bohemians: Tries: Joe Murray, Jamie McNamara, Rick McKenna x2; Cons: Rick McKenna x3; Pen: Robbie Bourke.

Old Wesley: Tries: Ger Finucane, Barry McLaughlin; Con: Barry McLaughlin; Pens: Barry McLaughlin x3.

UL Bohemians: Joe Murray; Jamie McNamara, Finbar Aherne, Harry Fleming, Cian Aherne; Rick McKenna, Cathal Sheridan; Joey Conway, Joe Bennett, Peter King, Ed Kelly, Noel Kinane, James Ryan, Ian Condell (capt), Brian Walsh.

Replacements: Philip Poillot, David Rowsome, Pat Staff, Daragh Frawley, Robbie Bourke.

Old Wesley: Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Isaac Leota, Ger Finucane, Alan Jeffares; Tim Clifford, Adam Griggs; Ken Knaggs, Craig Telford, David Henshaw, Josh Hinde, Michael Dunleavy, Darren Horan, Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley.

Replacements: Conor Maguire, James Burton, Donnchadh Phelan, Greg Hawe, Conor Fitzgibbon.

You can catch up on all of the results from Division 1A here.

Division 2A

Queen’s University 40 Malone 10

Banbridge 38 Blackrock College 15

Belfast Harlequins 0 Sundays Well 8

Cashel 15 Galway Corinthians 38

Highfield 16 Nenagh Ormond 16

Division 2B

Bective Rangers 6 Greystones 20

City of Derry 13 Thomond 13

Dungannon 9 Armagh 18

MU Barnhall 27 Skerries 24

Old Crescent 24 Wanderers 16

Division 2C

Navan RFC 10 Tullamore 17

Bangor 33 Boyne 19

Midleton 17 Rainey 24

Seapoint 31 Bruff 10

Sligo 39 Kanturk 8

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