Clontarf battle their way to first All-Ireland title

Old Belvedere slip up away to Garryowen on dramatic final day

Clontarf’s players and backroom staff celebrate after they claimed their first Ulster Bank League Division 1A title with a victory over Ballynahinch at Castle Avenue on Saturday. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Clontarf’s players and backroom staff celebrate after they claimed their first Ulster Bank League Division 1A title with a victory over Ballynahinch at Castle Avenue on Saturday. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 18:53

Ulster Bank League round-up: Clontarf took advantage of Old Belvedere’s defeat to Garryowen in Limerick to win their first All-Ireland League title following with a 27-13 win over Ballynahinch at Castle Avenue on the final day of the season.

Champions in 2011, Old Belvedere were strong favourites to make it two titles in four years against a Garryowen side that were already relegated to Division B. But the three-times All-Ireland champions pulled out a huge performance against their nervy visitors from Dublin as they secured a 23-18 victory.

’Tarf led 13-6 at half-time in their game after Michael McGrath’s first-half try was converted by David Joyce, who also added two penalties.

Ballynahinch levelled matters after the break with a try from Aaron Cairns, which was converted by Richie Lobb.

The home side pulled away in the final quarter with Peter Du Toit going over for two tries to seal Clontarf’s side of the deal.

The game was still going on in Garryowen as Old Belvedere attacked with the final move of the match as they looked for the converted try they required to seal the title. It didn’t come in the end as the move broke down to hand Clontarf their first All-Ireland crown.

Ballynahinch will play off against Buccaneers for a place in Division 1 A, with the midlands club losing their final game 36-29 to Terenure at Lakelands Park as the Dublin side completed an unbeaten season with an 18th victory on their way back to the top flight.

Blackrock College and Dungannon make the drop to Division 2A and they will be replaced by Galwegians and Ballymena.

Limerick sides Old Crescent and Bruff were already relegated from Division 2B and they were joined in the drop by Cork’s Highfield after they lost the relegation/promotion play-off 14-10 at home to Limerick side Thomond.

Nenagh Ormond and Skerries will also play in Division 2A next season, while Suttonians and Instonians drop out of the league.

Wanderers won the qualifier to make their return to Division 2B, with Kanturk beating Instonians 17-13 at Shaw’s Bridge on a memorable afternoon for the Cork club.

DIVISION 1A
Champions:
Clontarf
Relegated:
Garryowen
Promotion/Relegation play-off:
Ballynahinch (Div 1A) v Buccaneers (Div 1 B)

DIVISION 1B
Promoted:
Terenure College
Relegated:
Blackrock College, Dungannon

DIVISION 2A
Promoted:
Galwegians, Ballymena
Relegated:
Old Crescent, Bruff, Highfield (lost play-off to Thomond)

DIVISION 2B
Promoted:
Nenagh Ormond, Skerries, Thomond (won play-off against Highfield)
Relegated:
Suttonians, Instonians (lost play-off to Kanturk)

Promoted to Division 2B from qualifier: Wanderers and Kanturk (beat Instonians in play-off)

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.