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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 21 April 2021
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Mary's take a step away from relegation while The Students get taught a lesson by Clontarf

There were a lot of dominant wins in the Ulster Bank League today.

Matt D'Arcy runs in a try for Clontarf.
Matt D'Arcy runs in a try for Clontarf.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MATT D’ARCY HEATED up a bitterly cold Belfield Bowl with a terrific hat-trick of tries as Clontarf claimed a 38-17 bonus point win over UCD in Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

D’Arcy, who could play an important role for the Ireland Club international team in the coming weeks, scored three of Clontarf’s six tries against a College side that was missing eight Ireland Under-20 internationals, including the likes of Garry Ringrose, Billy Dardis, Ross Byrne and newly-appointed captain Nick McCarthy.

It was a vital result for the defending champions after their 35-0 hammering by high-flying Lansdowne last time out. Stephen Murphy and Tom Fletcher scored tries for the home side while Matt D’Arcy (three), Rob McGrath, Sam Cronin and Ivan Soroka crossed for the victors.

Adam Byrne and Evan Ryan UCD's Adam Byrne is tackled by Evan Ryan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Leaders Lansdowne also chalked up another bonus point, registering their eighth league victory on the trot as they overcame Ballynahinch 39-18 on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

‘Hinch made the early running thanks to an Aaron Cairns try, and two booming penalties from Chris Quinn had them leading 13-10 with the interval in sight. But Mike Ruddock’s men fought back to lead 22-13 at the break and Ross Adair’s seventh league try was ‘Hinch’s only score of a one-sided second half.

Lansdowne’s firepower is proving too much for their play-off rivals at present, with 74 points scored in their last two games. They were helped along the way today by a first half penalty try, but their backs were in match-winning form again with deadly duo Tom Farrell and Cian Kelleher, along with replacement Foster Horan, touching down and Tyrone Moran and fit-again Leinster ‘A’ lock Tadhg Beirne completed the six-try haul.

Meanwhile, St. Mary’s College boosted their survival hopes with a nail-biting 15-13 triumph at Temple Hill, making it two successive wins for Peter Smyth’s charges.

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The Dubliners remain second-from-bottom but are now six points clear of Dolphin and just two behind eighth-placed Young Munster. Although Mary’s fell behind to an early Tomas Quinlan penalty, the wind-backed Cork Con out-half was off target with a series of other kicks.

That allowed the visitors to take a 10-3 lead into the break, scrum half Dave Fanagan collecting a try against the run of play in the 29th minute and full-back Ray Crotty supplied the other five points.

Tom Tierney’s men got on top during the third quarter, though, with Quinlan converting a 46th minute penalty and after three scrums close to the Mary’s line, a hard-earned penalty try was turned into seven points was Quinlan.

However, Constitution were left stunned when elusive right winger Ryan O’Loughlin sidestepped his way through for Mary’s second try of the afternoon and the hosts could not erase the two-point deficit during a tense forwards-dominated finale.

Old Belvedere also picked up a morale-boosting victory at home to Young Munster, racking up four tries as they ran out comprehensive 38-18 winners over the Cookies at Anglesea Road.

The result lifts ‘Belvo up to seventh in the standings and keeps them within four points of the play-off positions – Cork Con currently occupy the last spot. It was certainly a day to remember for Paul Cunningham’s side as they put an end to their five-match losing streak.

Terenure College benefited from some clinical finishing as they made it back-to-back successes in the top flight with a 31-18 dismissal of bottom-placed Dolphin at Lakelands Park.

Second-placed ‘Nure, who are seven points behind Lansdowne and seven ahead of ‘Tarf, stayed on course for the semi-finals as centre Stephen O’Neill created the openings for first half tries from Ian Hanly and Harry Moore (his eighth of the campaign).

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