Lansdowne look well on the road to success


ULSTER BANK LEAGUE:Lansdowne confirmed their status as the team to beat in Division One A of the Ulster Bank League with a comprehensive 23-0 success over their nearest rivals Garryowen at Dooradoyle on Saturday.

Everything suggested that this could be a very tight game. But it was over as a contest after Lansdowne, playing into the wind, dominated the opening half to lead 18-0.

The work of the Lansdowne forwards and scrumhalf John Cooney set up two well taken first half tries from wing Rob McCarthy and fullback Ross McCarron. Craig Ronaldson converted one of them and also landed two penalties to give Lansdowne their lead.

Although Lansdowne continued to dominate in the second half, they had to settle for just one more try from Ron Boucher. While a bonus point for a fourth try would have completed a perfect day, Lansdowne coach Mike Ruddock wasn’t about to complain.

“I thought our forwards were magnificent, they carried the ball really well. It wasn’t a day for running rugby, it was a day for control and defence.”

Vital away success

Constitution stayed in contention with a vital 22-13 away success over St Mary’s College at Templeville Road.

Johnny Holland landed three penalties and converted a penalty try. A try from Matthew D’Arcy 15 minutes from time gave St Mary’s some hope but Cork Con finished strongly to regain control with two penalties from Gerry Hurley.

Cork Con are now in fourth spot in the table, trailing third placed Young Munster on points difference. Young Munster’s visit to Dolphin was lost to the bad weather.

Clontarf are in fifth spot after travelling to Coonagh to beat bottom side Shannon 20-14. Wing Michael McGrath scored two tries for Clontarf, while Leinster player Noel Reid was in good form with the boot, landing both conversions and two penalties. For Shannon, Emmett McLoughlin crossed for a try and Rob Guerin kicked three penalties.

The remaining game in the top flight saw second from bottom UL Bohemians recorded an important 27-24 away victory over Old Belvedere.

Both sides scored three tries in an entertaining encounter. Josh Glynn and Eddie Devitt (2) went over for Old Belvedere while UL Bohs responded through Mossie Lawlor, Ian Condell and David Johnson.

The win means that UL Bohs have joined St Mary’s on 14 points with Old Belvedere just three points ahead.

Ballynahinch have opened up a nine points gap at the top of Division One B following a 26-22 home victory over nearest rivals Dublin University. The students led 22-20 in the final quarter only for two late penalties from Michael Lawton to seal victory for Ballynahinch.

Dublin University remain in second spot because Buccaneers were beaten 27-15 by Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park. Belfast Harlequins move ahead of Buccaneers into third with UCD going fourth following a runaway 32-3 home victory over bottom side Ballymena.

Elsewhere, Blackrock continued their revival with a hard earned 23-20 home success over Malone, while a penalty try in injury time gave Dungannon a 12-10 victory in the relegation battle against Bruff.

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