Garryowen go top as Lansdowne are shut out
Young Munster have moved right back into contention in Division One A of the Ulster Bank League following a hard-fought 16-15 win over over previous leaders Lansdowne at Tom Clifford Park on Saturday.
It was the flying Dom Lespierre who scored the game’s decisive try nine minutes after the interval. That was converted by scrumhalf Brian Haugh to give Young Munster a 16-12 lead. As hard as Lansdowne tried, they couldn’t break through the Young Munster defence and they had to settle for a fifth penalty from their outhalf Craig Ronaldson in response.
The goal-kicking of Jamie Gavin proved crucial as Garryowen beat St Mary’s College 28-20 at Dooradoyle to move to the top of the table.
Both sides scored three tries, with Conan Doyle, Cian O’Shea and Shane Buckley going over for Garryowen. At one stage, Garryowen led 18-0 in the first half.
St Mary’s fought back with tries from Ciarán Ruddock, Matt D’Arcy and Kurt Haupt but the goal-kicking of Gavin kept Garryowen in front. Garryowen go two points clear at the top. Next up is a tough away match against Cork Constitution when the league resumes on January 5th.
Cork Con are in fourth spot, trailing third-placed Young Munster on points difference. They recorded a 23-15 home victory over Shannon at Temple Hill, with scrumhalf Gerry Hurley scoring a vital second- half try. Shannon still lie eight points adrift at the bottom of the table. UL Bohs are now second last after losing 19-9 at home to Dolphin.
Ballynahinch have moved four points clear at the top of Division One B following their 55-3 annihilation of Bruff at Ballymacarn Park.
Surprisingly, second-placed Dublin University went down to their first defeat, 25-23 away to Buccaneers. Kolo Kiripati was the hero, scoring two tries.
The victory means Buccaneers are in third spot. Elsewhere, UCD recovered from their recent drubbing by Dublin University with an emphatic 36-18 home victory over Dungannon.
Dungannon stay second from last but Ballymena have joined them on seven points after scoring four tries to beat fellow strugglers Blackrock College 23-18 at Stradbrook.