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Lansdowne stay top of 1A for the winter break, while Buccaneers can also enjoy the festive season that bit more

All the weekend’s action from both Division 1A and 1B.

Division 1A

Old Belvedere 15-0 St Mary’s College 

Anglesea Road

Steve Crosbie Steve Crosbie scored 5 points for Belvo. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WINGER DAVID BRANDON helped himself to two tries as Old Belvedere ended a three-match losing streak with a 15-0 home win over St. Mary’s College this afternoon.

Recent Munster recruit Steve Crosbie kicked the other five points as ‘Belvo moved six points clear of second-from-bottom St. Mary’s, ahead of a long winter break in Ulster Bank League Division 1A action.

Centre Sean Coughlan limped out of the Belvedere team before kick-off at Anglesea Road, but the home side hit the ground running and out-half Crosbie’s delicate chip almost produced a fourth-minute breakaway try.

Mary’s were held up and turned over from a promising maul opportunity before Crosbie opened the scoring in the 17th minute, landing a long range penalty with just inches to spare.

Clear-cut scoring opportunities were few and far between during a tight and attritional first half, but ‘Belvo struck seven minutes before half-time when excellent approach work by Crosbie led to Brandon diving over in the left corner.

The try was unconverted from the touchline and although Mary’s were unable to eat into the eight-point deficit with in-form lock David O’Connor just held up, the presence of Leinster ‘A’ starlet Jordan Larmour in the visitors’ youthful back-line offer them hope.

Mary’s let Belvedere off the hook after the restart, though. With Crosbie and second row Jack Kelly being treated for blood injuries, the Templeogue side looked set to score but young out-half Conor Dean’s attempted pass towards David Fanagan and Conor Hogan was overcooked.

Dean then watched his 40-metre penalty attempt rebound off the post and ‘Belvo showed their clinical edge in attack again in the 61st minute, working the ball wide for Brandon to finish smartly in the left corner.

Crosbie brilliantly added the extras from out wide for a 15-point advantage and although ‘Belvo lost forwards Matt Ritani and Karl Miller to yellow cards, they finished the game with a clean defensive slate.

Old Belvedere scorers:
Tries: David Brandon x2
Conversion: Steve Crosbie
Penalty: Steve Crosbie

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, John Kennedy, James Kearns, David Brandon; Steve Crosbie, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Cathal O’Flynn, Declan Lavery (capt), Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Jonathan Slattery, Tom de Jongh, David Sherry.

Replacements: Andy McGrath, James McWilliams-Grey, Matt Ritani, Willie Staunton, Kyle McCarthy.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Conor Hogan, Ryan O’Loughlin, Paddy Lavelle, Jordan Larmour; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), David O’Connor, Cathal O’Flaherty, Kevin Sheahan, Nick McCarthy, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Hugh Kelleher, Emmet Ferron, Ciaran Ruddock, Stephen O’Brien, Ian O’Neill.

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Cork Constitution 50-25 UCD

Temple Hill

Brian Hickey Brian Hickey can be happy with his side's performance. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Brian Hickey can be happy with his side’s performance.Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Seven tries – six of them converted – saw Cork Constitution hit the half-century mark against an overworked UCD side, with Brian Hickey’s men enjoying a 50-25 bonus point victory at Temple Hill.

Constitution were missing their top try scorer Shane Daly (five tries) who is away in Dubai with the Ireland Sevens squad this weekend, but they more than made up for his absence in another dominant display.

The Leesiders’ sixth straight success has moved them up to second in the Division 1A table, and they were well on their way when leading 29-13 at half-time.

Con put 58 points on the students in their most recent meeting at Belfield last February and they were 10-0 up in as many minutes today. Tomas Quinlan fired over a fifth-minute penalty before prop Liam O’Connor followed up with an unconverted try in the corner.

UCD out-half Ciaran Frawley kicked two penalties – one from close to halfway – and also converted winger Tom Fletcher’s try, but Con pocketed their bonus point by the break, a 17th minute penalty try for a collapsed scrum being added to by efforts from backs JJ O’Neill and Quinlan.

The home side dominated second half possession with experienced replacement Darragh Lyons claiming their fifth try of the afternoon. The scoring dried up until the sides swapped four tries during a breathless final 10 minutes.

UCD gained some consolation with teenage centre Tommy O’Brien’s fourth league score and replacement Gordon Frayne also touched down in the 79th minute. Con ran out ‘double scores’ winners in the end, winger Rob Jermyn getting on the scoresheet in the 77th minute and then, from the restart after Frayne’s effort, home centre Ned Hodson broke clean through to dot down by the posts.

Cork Constitution scorers:
Tries: Liam O’Connor, penalty try, JJ O’Neill, Tomas Quinlan, Darragh Lyons, Rob Jermyn, Ned Hodson
Conversions: Tomas Quinlan x6
Penalties: Tomas Quinlan
UCD scorers:
Tries: Tom Fletcher, Tommy O’Brien, Gordon Frayne
Conversions: Ciaran Frawley x2
Pensalties: Ciaran Frawley x2

CORK CONSTITUTION: Liam O’Connell; JJ O’Neill, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, John Poland; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Darren O’Shea, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.

Replacements: Rory Burke, Gavin Duffy, Ross O’Neill, Jason Higgins, Darragh Lyons.

UCD: Andy Marks; Cillian Burke, Stephen Murphy, Tommy O’Brien, Tom Fletcher; Ciaran Frawley, Jamie Glynn (capt); Mike Moynihan, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Emmet MacMahon, Brian Cawley, Jonny Guy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.

Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Stephen McGivern, Jack Dwan, Nick Peters, Matthew Gilsenan.

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Clontarf 33-0 Dublin University

Castle Avenue

Matt Darcy runs in a try Matt D'Arcy scored a try. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Clontarf put together their most complete performance of the season so far to record a comprehensive 33-0 win over a below-par Dublin University at Castle Avenue.

Very little went right for Trinity on the day as defending champions ‘Tarf made it two victories on the bounce, climbing back into the top half of the table ahead of the Christmas break.

Hooker Bryan Byrne has not played for Leinster since September and he will hope his provincial coaches take note of his performance here. He had two excellent first half breaks, the second of which led to a 25th minute try for centre Matt D’Arcy which broke the deadlock.

Byrne was also a big part of ‘Tarf’s dominant scrum, but they were unable to press that advantage home as the first half ended 7-0 in their favour. Trinity had a missed penalty attempt by out-half James Fennelly and a yellow card for winger Bryan Mollen.

Resolute defending from the students kept them very much in contention, a brilliant move involving D’Arcy and Mick McGrath almost seeing ‘Tarf score on the stroke of half-time before Trinity covered the danger.

However, the visitors blundered when knocking on straight from the restart and ‘Tarf quickly broke through, feeding winger Rob Keogh for a well-finished five-pointer wide on the right.

Trinity’s resistance lessened after Michael Brown joined his centre partner D’Arcy on the scoresheet, giving the north Dubliners a 19-point buffer in damp and muddy conditions.

The bonus point try followed when scrum half Peter du Toit outfoxed the cover at a close-in ruck, sniping through in impressive fashion with the students down to 14 men.

The ‘Tarf pack’s scrummaging power earned them a penalty try, with Keogh adding his fourth successful conversion, and Brown went close to scoring his second of the day late on. This chastening defeat – their third in four games – will linger for Trinity before they get a chance to gain revenge on Andy Wood’s men in the January 28 rematch.

Clontarf scorers: 
Tries: Matt D’Arcy, Peter du Toit, Michael Brown, Rob Keogh, Penalty try
Conversions: Rob Keogh x4

CLONTARF: Jack Power; Rob Keogh, Michael Brown, Matt D’Arcy, Mick McGrath; Mark Sutton, Peter du Toit; Vakh Abdalaze, Bryan Byrne, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Reilly (capt), Mick Kearney, Michael Noone, Adrian D’Arcy, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Jonathan Larbey, Eoghan Browne, Dylan Doyle, Sam Cronin, Rob McGrath.

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

Replacements: Liam Cronin, Fintan Murphy, Niall O’Riordan, Tommy Whittle, Jesse Milne, David St. Leger.

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Garryowen 41-26 Terenure College

Dooradoyle

Stephen McMahon Stephen McMahon in action for Munster U20. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Winger Steven McMahon had a dream outing at Dooradoyle this afternoon as Garryowen swept their way to a convincing 41-12 bonus point win over bottom side Terenure College.

McMahon, a 21-year-old Munster Academy back, scored a hat-trick of tries with Conor Oliver and Dave McCarthy also touching down in addition to a second half penalty try.

The Light Blues pocketed their bonus point by half-time, turning around with a 29-12 lead. Tries from flanker Oliver, who has seen recent senior action with Munster, and Terenure centre Marc Hiney had squared things up at seven-all after 12 minutes.

However, once McMahon notched the first of his tries in the 21st minute, the floodgates unlocked and captain Neil Cronin’s penalty gave the hosts the breathing space to open up the game at every opportunity.

McMahony (38 minutes) and centre McCarthy, just on the whistle, gave Conan Doyle’s charges a comfortable interval lead as they chased their third league triumph on the trot. They will take in the Christmas break in fourth place, with local rivals Young Munster five points ahead of them.

The scores kept coming in the closing 40 minutes, both defences offering up space as bodies tired. There was a penalty try apiece and Waterford man McMahon completed his hat-trick to make it 41-19. Cronin converted the penalty try to add to his nine first half points.

Terenure, who host Garryowen in the return leg on January 28, remain adrift of second-from-bottom Mary’s at the wrong end of the table. At least they picked up a late try-scoring bonus point, replacement Conor Weakliam crashing over to give his side something tangible from a very entertaining game.

Garryowen scorers:
Tries: Conor Oliver, Steven McMahon x3, Dave McCarthy, Penalty try
Conversions: Neil Cronin x4
Penalties: Neil Cronin
Terenure College scorers:
Tries: Marc Hiney, Eoin Joyce, Conor Weakliam, Penalty try
Conversions: Jake Swaine x3

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; Steven McMahon, David Johnston, Dave McCarthy, Liam Coombes; Jamie Glynn, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Ger Horan, Jack Mullany, Barra O’Byrne, Sean O’Connor, Dara Shanahan, Conor Oliver, Bailey Faloon.

Replacements: Eamon Costello, Michael O’Donnell, Paul McCarroll, Caolan Moloney, Bill Johnston.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Niall Thornton, Marc Hiney, Harrison Brewer, Robbie Murphy; James O’Donoghue, Kevin O’Neill; Kieran Moloney, Robbie Smyth, Conor McCormack, John Dever, Kyle McCoy (capt), Stephen Caffrey, James O’Neill, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Cian Madden, Mike Murphy, Thomas Burke, Conor Weakliam.

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Lansdowne 30-24 Young Munster

 Aviva Stadium back pitch

Dan McEvoy with Calvin Nash Lansdowne's Dan McEvoy with Calvin Nash of Young Munster. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Lansdowne will enjoy the festive period that little bit more than their Division 1A rivals after defeating Young Munster 30-24 in a supercharged top of the table clash today.

Mike Ruddock’s men hold a four-point lead at the league’s halfway point, with only third-placed Young Munster able to match the headquarters club’s haul of six try-scoring bonus points in the nine rounds so far.

Despite falling to their second straight defeat, the Cookies will take heart from a performance that earned them two bonus points in the end. Gearoid Prendergast’s charges will regroup and look to make up lost ground against Lansdowne in their January 28 rematch.

Three first half tries, one of them converted by Scott Deasy who also kicked a penalty, had the hosts leading 20-12 at half-time on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

Influential lock Willie Earle, who was a real workhorse in the home pack, and pacy backs Ferdia Doherty and Daniel McEvoy all crossed the whitewash, with winger McEvoy running in his fourth try of the campaign.

Craig O’Hanlon and Calvin Nash were Munsters’ first half try scorers, and winger O’Hanlon’s second of the afternoon wide on the right suddenly had the Limerick men just three points in arrears.

There was very little between the sides as fizzing winger Marc O’Keefe’s third try in two games for Lansdowne was cancelled out by a Jack Harrington effort at the other end. However, out-half Deasy put the hosts just out of Munsters’ reach with a closing penalty.

Lansdowne scorers:
Tries: Willie Earle, Ferdia Doherty, Daniel McEvoy, Marc O’Keefe
Consversions: Scott Deasy x2
Penalties: Scott Deasy x2
Young Munster scorers:
Tries: Craig O’Hanlon x2, Calvin Nash, Jack Harrington
Conversions: Alan Tynan x2

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Mark Roche, Ferdia Doherty, Marc O’Keefe; Scott Deasy, Matthew D’Arcy; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Willie Earle, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Ntinga Mpiko, Jack O’Sullivan, Alan Bennie, Charlie McMickan.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; Craig O’Hanlon, Calvin Nash, Jack Harrington, David O’Mahony; Alan Tynan, Abrie Griesel; David Begley, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy, Darren Ryan, Dan Walsh, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Mark O’Mara, Gavin Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Dan Goggin, Rob Guerin.

_____________________________________________________________

Division 1B

Ballymena 13-18 Buccaneers

Eaton Park

James Gallagher on the attack Ballymena's James Gallagher on the attack. Source: Presseye/Tony Hendron/INPHO

Buccaneers hit Ballymena with 15 unanswered points in the second half as they came away from Eaton Park with a hard-earned 18-13 victory.

Buccs lead the Division 1B standings at the halfway stage, four points clear of former table toppers UL Bohemians with fourth-placed Ballymena another eight points back.

The Braidmen will be kicking themselves as they were in a good position at half-time thanks to two unconverted tries from former Ireland prop Bryan Young and winger James Beattie – his second in as many games.

Out-half Ritchie McMaster missed the difficult conversions but did land a penalty as the hosts turned around leading 13-3, but without play-making centre Mark Best.

There was a 35-minute delay in the first half after Best sustained a suspected head/neck injury. The Ulster squad member was put on a stretcher and brought to hospital, and thankfully he tweeted afterwards: “Thanks for all the messages. All good in terms of X-rays and out of hospital.”

Best’s loss was keenly felt by Andy Graham’s men in the second half as Buccs showed exactly why they have the best attacking record and second meanest defence in the division.

The Pirates picked off tries through experienced centre Shane Layden and winger Callum Boland, managing to negate the absences of key attackers Jordan Conroy (Ireland Sevens duty) and Danie Poolman (a late call-up to the Connacht team).

Number 10 Alan Gaughan converted one of those scores and also kicked his second penalty of the afternoon, Buccs’ execution proving just that bit better than the home side’s.

This win over one of their main promotion rivals completes a very good week for Buccs following the news that Nathan White will be assisting his former Connacht front row colleague Brett Wilkinson at the Athlone club, focusing on coaching the breakdown and contact area.

Ballymena scorers:
Tries: Bryan Young, James Beattie
Penalty: Ritchie McMaster
Buccaneers scorers:
Tries: Shane Layden, Callum Boland
Conversion: Alan Gaughan
Penalties: Alan Gaughan x2

BALLYMENA: Rodger McBurney; James Beattie, Callum Patterson, Mark Best, Jonny Rosborough; Ritchie McMaster, John Creighton; Bryan Young, James Taggart, Chris Cundell, Mark Foster, Connor Smyth, Stephen Mulholland, Willie McKay, James Gallagher.

Replacements: Houston Bonnar, Andrew Ferguson, Joe Thompson, Glenn Baillie, David Shanahan.

BUCCANEERS: Luke Carty; Eoghan O’Reilly, Shane Layden, Mata Fifita, Callum Boland; Alan Gaughan, Conor McKeon; Rory Grenham, John Sutton, Martin Staunton, Cian Romaine, Daniel Qualter, Evan Galvin, Rory Moloney, Kolo Kiripati (capt).

Replacements: Eoghan Maher, Ryan O’Meara, Ruairi Byrne, Graham Lynch, Alex Hayman.

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Dolphin 19-35 Ballynahinch

Irish Independent Park

James Simpson with Callum Patterson and David Whann 26/11//2016 Ballynahinch's James Simpson in action against Ballymena last week. Source: Presseye/Declan Roughan/INPHO

Ballynahinch ended their two-match losing streak with a superior second half display in downing Dolphin 35-19 at Irish Independent Park.

Munster loan signing Angus Lloyd used last-minute scrum ball to squeeze through for ‘Hinch’s bonus point try, as they bounced back from last week’s derby defeat to Ballymena.

The nip-and-tuck nature of the first half was reflected on the scoreboard with Dolphin just a point ahead at the turnaround (12-11). Centre Kevin Allen scored close to the posts and flanker Ryan Murphy followed him over in the 25th minute as the hosts led 12-6.

But ‘Hinch replacement Willie Stewart finished well, wide on the right, to make it a one-point game, and hooker Jonny Murphy was driven over, five minutes into the second period, for an 18-12 scoreline.

The Co. Down club’s forwards began to take over, lock James Simpson muscling his way over in the 55th minute from a well-executed lineout maul, five metres out.

Full-back Chris Quinn, who finished with 15 crisply-struck points, converted and added a penalty to leave Dolphin 16 points behind, and with time not on their side.

The Corkmen got the deficit back to nine courtesy of winger Gerry Ryan’s 68th-minute try, however Lloyd made certain of the away win and a valuable bonus point with Derek Suffern’s side now just two points outside of the top four. Dolphin have fallen back into the bottom two.

Dolphin scorers:
Tries: Ryan Murphy, Kevin Allen, Gerry Ryan
Conversions: Cillian Monahan x2
Ballynahinch scorers:
Tries: Willie Stewart, Jonny Murphy, James Simpson, Angus Lloyd
Conversions: Chris Quinn x3
Penalties: Chris Quinn x3

DOLPHIN: Timmy Phelan; Gerry Ryan, Cian McGovern, Kevin Allen, Will Hanly; Cillian Monahan, Daryl Foley; James Rochford, David Byrne, Brian Scott, John Madigan, Dave O’Mahony, Rob O’Herlihy, Ryan Murphy, John Fitzgerald (capt).

Replacements: Liam Walsh, John Leahy, Barry Fitzgerald, Killian O’Keeffe, Sam Kennedy.

BALLYNAHINCH: Chris Quinn; Davy Nicholson, Chris Orr, Stuart Morrow, Jordan Grattan; James McBriar, Angus Lloyd; Jonny Blair, Jonny Murphy, Jonny Simpson, Michael Graham (capt), James Simpson, Conor Joyce, Callum Irvine, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Chris Stevenson, Andrew Harper, Stewart Evans, Conor Phillips, Willie Stewart.

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Galwegians 53-12 Shannon 12

Crowley Park

Edward O'Keefe Galwegian's Ed O'Keefe. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Galwegians threw off the shackles and put their bad recent run of form behind them to emerge as resounding 53-12 winners over Shannon at Crowley Park.

It looked ominous for bottom side Shannon when they lost Munster Academy forward John Foley to injury in the warm-up, with some key men already absent due to injuries or exams.

Galwegians shoved the visitors off their first scrum which led to an Aidan Moynihan penalty goal. Then, in the westerners’ first back-line move, in-form centre Cormac Brennan took a great line to score by the posts.

Out-half Conor Fitzgerald sparked Shannon’s response, his chip through being collected comfortably by pacey winger Greg O’Shea for a converted try and a 10-7 scoreline.

A second penalty from Moynihan was followed by two misses by Fitzgerald as Shannon failed to profit from arguably their best spell of the game. That came back to haunt them when centre Jack O’Donnell was sin-binned for a mounting penalty count and ‘Wegians took full advantage with two tries just before half-time.

Number 8 Josh Pim grounded the ball from a textbook maul towards the left corner and a late intercept effort from Brennan, all the way from the halfway line, was brilliantly converted from the touchline by Moynihan.

Armed with a 25-7 advantage, Brian McClearn’s charges were determined not to slip up this time. Returning full-back Ciaran Gaffney marked his seasonal debut with an early second half try, collecting a deft offload from winger Ed O’Keeffe following the latter’s dazzling run.

Depleted Shannon improved their defence before hooker Jordan Prenderville’s sin-binning invited ‘Wegians forward again and try number five was scored by Marc Kelly from another maul.

With a yellow card shown to ‘Wegians replacement Patrick Curran, Shannon seized their chance to score from a lineout drive with teenage flanker Niall Mulcahy getting the touchdown. That proved to be Shannon’s final score as their Galway hosts underlined their dominance with two closing tries.

Replacement Jack Dinneen got over from an unstoppable maul just past the hour mark, and then in the final minute, Gaffney started and finished a move for his second try, collecting a delightful chip into space before trading passes with his captain Brian Murphy to dive over at the posts.

Moynihan made it a great day with the boot by landing his seventh successful kick from eight attempts to complete his own 18-point tally. Having ended their dismal six-match losing run, ‘Wegians have moved above Dolphin and UCC to sit in seventh place ahead of the Christmas break.

Galwegians scorers:
Tries: Cormac Brennan x2, Josh Pim, Ciaran Gaffney x2, Marc Kelly, Jack Dinneen
Consversions: Aidan Moynihan x6
Penalties: Aidan Moynihan x2
Shannon scorers:
Tries: Greg O’Shea, Niall Mulcahy
Conversion: Conor Fitzgerald

GALWEGIANS: Ciaran Gaffney; Alan McMahon, Cormac Brennan, Brian Murphy (capt), Ed O’Keeffe; Aidan Moynihan, Barry Lee; Jason East, John Moloney, Conor Kyne, Anthony Ryan, Marc Kelly, Ronan Moore, Paul Hackett, Josh Pim.

Replacements: Jack Dinneen, Patrick Curran, Matthew Towey, Dave Clarke, Matt Quinn.

SHANNON: Darren Gavin; Greg O’Shea, Will Leonard, Jack O’Donnell, Shane Mullally; Conor Fitzgerald, Keith Kavanagh; Conor Glynn, Jordan Prenderville, Tony Cusack, Ronan Coffey, Riley Winter, Niall Mulcahy, James Vaughan (capt), Brian Downey.

Replacements: Mike Hayes, Max Kennedy, Jack Stafford, Ben Sargent.

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UL Bohemians 18-17 UCC

University of Limerick 4G pitch

Tom Kiersey UCC's Tom Kiersey. Source: Presseye/Freddie Parkinson/INPHO

UL Bohemians needed a Robbie Bourke penalty with the last kick of the game to see off the challenge of a spirited UCC side, 18-17, on the UL 4G pitch.

Ice-cool out-half Bourke rescued the points for Bohs who had led 12-0 at the interval before the visitors turned this Colours clash into a ding-dong battle.

UL showed their canny knack of converting possession into points in the opening half, hitting the front thanks to prop Joe Conway’s 23rd-minute try from a lineout maul. Even better followed when centre Harry Fleming covered most of the pitch for a superb solo try, converted by Bourke.

College resumed in determined mood and flanker Conor Barry’s fourth try of the campaign, scored in the corner with Kevin O’Keeffe nailing the difficult conversion, got them off the mark, six minutes in.

Bohs ended the third quarter with a successful penalty from Bourke, making it 15-7, but O’Keeffe converted UCC’s second try after winger James Kiernan had raced clear up the left touchline.

Some loose defending set up a penalty opportunity for O’Keeffe with two minutes remaining and he sent his kick through the uprights to leave the Cork youngsters on the cusp of their third victory in five matches.

But that was ripped away from them when Bourke, kicking from the right wing on the 22-metre line, launched a terrific left-footed strike over to save the day for UL.

UL Bohemians scorers:
Tries: Joe Conway, Harry Fleming
Conversion: Robbie Bourke
Penalties: Robbie Bourke x2
UCC scorers:
Tries: Conor Barry, James Kiernan
Conversions: Kevin O’Keeffe x2
Penalty: Kevin O’Keeffe

UL BOHEMIANS: Colin Ryan; Rory White, Finbar Aherne, Harry Fleming, Cian Aherne; Robbie Bourke, James Lennon; Joe Conway, David Rowsome, Mike Lynch, Ed Kelly, Dave Foley, James Ryan, Ian Condell (capt), Noel Kinane.

Replacements: Peter King, Joe Bennett, Daragh Frawley, Joe Murray, Jamie McNamara.

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

Replacements: Shane O’Hanlon, Emmet McCarthy, Graham Smith, Paul Derham, Richard Walsh, Darragh Dennehy.

____________________

Old Wesley 19-16 Naas

Donnybrook (played on Friday)

Barry McLaughlin McLaughlin was superb for Old Wesley. Source: Presseye/John McIlwaine/INPHO

Barry McLaughlin’s precise place-kicking helped Old Wesley see off a fast-finishing Naas team, 19-16, in a closely-fought Friday Night Lights fixture at Donnybrook.

Wesley had opened up a 16-6 lead by the break, but two David Benn tries brought the Kildare men level before winger McLaughlin, now with a mammoth 117 points for the league season, kicked the match-winning penalty with four minutes to go.

The hosts’ only try came in the 26th minute, well-won lineout ball being moved into midfield where centre Isaac Leota cut a nice line to score by the posts with McLaughlin converting.

McLaughlin rewarded good work by fellow winger Paul Harte and the Wesley scrum with back-to-back penalty goals, before Naas full-back Peter Osborne responded on the stroke of half-time with his second successful kick.

Johne Murphy’s men resumed in very good fettle, pressing for an early second half try with Rory Stynes and McLaughlin making a couple of crucial interventions for Wesley. Yet, there was nothing they could do when scrum half Adam Griggs’ box-kick was blocked and then gobbled up by Naas lock Benn for an unconverted 46th-minute score.

An unrelenting series of pick-and-goes, some ten minutes later, chipped away at the Wesley defence for Benn to complete his brace. Osborne could not convert, but Wesley’s lead had been completely erased.

The hosts wrestled back control of proceedings with some powerful scrummaging. The Naas defence was thoroughly tested and although their captain Will O’Brien snuffed out a turnover or two, Wesley did just enough to set up McLaughlin’s decisive kick and grind out their first win in three league outings.

Old Wesley scorers:
Try: Isaac Leota
Conversion: Barry McLaughlin
Penalties: Barry McLaughlin x4
Naas scorers:
Tries: David Benn x2
Penalties: Peter Osborne x2

OLD WESLEY: Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Isaac Leota, Ger Finucane, Paul Harte; Tim Clifford, Adam Griggs; David Henshaw, Conor Maguire, James Burton, Michael Dunleavy, Josh Hinde, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley.

Replacements: Craig Telford, Martin Gately, Mark Robinson, Donnchadh Phelan, Alan Large.

NAAS: Peter Osborne; Rob O’Connor, Johne Murphy, Henry Bryce, Andrew Shanahan; Michael Skelton, David Barron; Adam Coyle, Graham Reynolds, Jason Harney, Paul Monahan, David Benn, Andrew Kearney, Will O’Brien (capt), Paulie Tolofua.

Replacements: Conor Johnson, Jordan Duggan, Eoin Walsh, Max Whittingham, Kevin McLoughlin.

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