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Bryan Keane/INPHO Quinlan inspired Cork Con to a big win today (file pic).
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AIL round-up: Quinlan's left boot condemns leaders Lansdowne to defeat
Here’s what happened in the Ulster Bank Leagues over the weekend.

TOMAS QUINLAN’S UNERRING left boot condemned Ulster Bank League Division 1A leaders Lansdowne to only their second defeat of the season as Cork Constitution triumphed 25-13 at Temple Hill this afternoon.

Quinlan’s classy 20-point haul from the tee, which included six penalty goals, proved vital as third-placed Cork Con kept pace with their play-off rivals, albeit that Terenure College’s bonus point return at Garryowen has increased their lead in second by a single point to two – 49 versus 47.

Second row Brian Hayes muscled through for an opening 11th-minute try via a Liam O’Connell pass. Young number 10 Quinlan also landed two first half penalties which former Cork Con player Scott Deasy matched, keeping Lansdowne within range at 13-6 down at half-time.

The platform supplied by the hard work of Hayes and the home pack saw Constitution press on for further scores, with their scrum getting on top. Lansdowne’s indiscipline was punished by Quinlan penalties after 42, 46 and 53 minutes. They could have had a second try by that stage, but young Munster ‘A’ back rower Evan Mintern had the ball dislodged from his grasp.

Lansdowne, who had beaten the Leesiders 24-10 at home in October, hit back with a try from replacement Greg McGrath with 10 minutes remaining. Deasy’s conversion reduced the arrears to 22-13, only for Quinlan to close the door on any potential comeback with a well-struck final penalty in the 80th minute. It was the table toppers’ second loss in three matches but a home semi-final is still well within their reach, given they have an eight-point buffer with three rounds remaining.

Meanwhile, in-form Terenure kept hold of second place in the top flight standings by clinically dispatching Garryowen 29-13 at Dooradoyle today in what was the Light Blues’ first defeat in four rounds.

James Blaney’s men outscored their hosts by four tries to one as they took a step closer to a home semi-final. It is nip and tuck between Terenure (49 points) and defending champions Cork Con (47), while Clontarf (43) and Garryowen (42) also remain in the hunt for the play-offs.

Garryowen hit the front with an early penalty from captain Neil Cronin, but backs James O’Donoghue and Marc Hiney both touched down for a 15-6 Terenure lead at the break. Captain Robbie Smyth and Jake Swaine added their sixth tries of the campaign, and ‘Nure successfully kept the Limerick side out while down to 14 men.

A 70th minute try from replacement Sean Rennison was Garryowen’s only consolation. Terenure fielded all five of their Ireland Club international players — Smyth, Swaine, Mark O’Neill and influential locks Michael Melia and Alex Thompson — ahead of next Friday’s trip to Netherdale to play Scotland.

Clontarf are back in the top four thanks to a 33-7 bonus point victory away to Buccaneers. Centre Matt D’Arcy bagged his eighth try of the league run and Sean O’Brien, Jack Power, Dylan Donnellan and Michael Noone, who is part of the Ireland Club XV squad along with D’Arcy, also crossed the whitewash.

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Banbridge defeated struggling Ballymena 22-5 to climb to Division 1B’s summit. Fullback Adam Doherty scored 12 points, including a 30th minute try, as Bann leapfrogged over Ballynahinch and Shannon, who play their rescheduled games at later dates.

Ulster Bank League results:

Division 1A:

  • Garryowen 13-29 Terenure College
  • Cork Constitution 25-13 Lansdowne
  • Buccaneers 7-33 Clontarf

Division 1B: 

  • Banbridge 22-5 Ballymena
  • Old Wesley 34-22 Old Belvedere

Division 2A:

  • Galwegians 17-32 Malone

Division 2B:

  • Wanderers 14-29 Old Crescent

Division 2C:

  • Bruff 5-35 Tullamore
  • Omagh 22-14 Sligo
  • Thomond 16-10 Bangor
  • Malahide 23-5 Seapoint

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