Lansdowne look well on the road to league success after Garryowen win
Lansdowne's John Cooney tackles Anthony Kavanagh of Garryowen during their AIL game on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho
Lansdowne have gone 10 points clear at the top of Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League following a 34-22 bonus point success over Garryowen on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
While second-placed Young Munster do have a game in hand, Mike Ruddock’s Lansdowne outfit are going to be hard to catch. Garryowen were greatly improved from their 23-0 home defeat to Lansdowne last month. After conceding an early try, they scored two tries through prop J P Cooney and wing Cian O’Shea to go in 15-15 at half-time.
Outhalf Matt Jarvis landed a conversion and also kicked a penalty. Lansdowne responded with tries from fullback Ross McCarron and wing Cian Aherne while outhalf Craig Ronaldson also kicked a conversion and two penalties.
Better of it
But Lansdowne were to have the better of it in the second half. Centre Mark Roche went over for a try shortly after the break which was converted by Ronaldson to make it 22-15.
After withstanding some intense Garryowen pressure, Lansdowne then made sure of the bonus point when the impressive Aherne went over for his second try. The other wing Matt Healy then added a further try, which was converted by Ronaldson to make it 34-14.
That scoreline was unflattering to Garryowen but they did secure a consolation try in the dying minutes when Aaron McCloskey formed his way over for a try which Jarvis converted.
Young Munster moved into second spot in the table by virtue of a hard-earned 13-10 home victory over Dolphin at Clifford Park.
Young Munster established a 6-3 interval lead and gave themselves some breathing space when Mark Doyle went over for a second-half try but a late Dolphin try from Miah Cronin following an intercept made for an exciting finish.
Brian Haugh, with a conversion and a penalty and Mike Prendergast (drop goal) contributed the remainder of Young Munster’s points.
Fourth-placed Cork Constitution saw their title chances disappear when losing 30-12 at home to St Mary’s. The visitors were always in control, leading 17-0 at half-time. Steve Toal-Lennon got two tries with one from Matt D’Arcy.
Clontarf remain in fifth after a 32-17 home win over bottom-of-the-table Shannon. Shannon managed three tries themselves but are now six points adrift as second-from-bottom UL Bohemians defeated Old Belvedere 13-9 at Annacotty.
The big result in Division 1B , saw leaders Ballynahinch suffer their first defeat at the hands of UCD, 19-7.
Second-placed Dublin University are now just four points behind Ballynahinch after a bonus point 42-5 away victory over bottom side Ballymena.
UCD are third with Buccaneers fourth following their narrow 24-22 away victory over struggling Dungannon. The remaining games saw Malone defeat second from bottom Bruff 21-17 and Blackrock College draw 23-23 at home with Belfast Harlequins.