Clontarf close in on title
Clontarf’s Karl Moran is tackled by Jonathan Slattery and Pat O’Regan during the Ulster Bank League Division 1A game at Castle Avenue, Clontarf. Photograph: Dan Sheridan
CLONTARF 20 OLD BELVEDERE 13
Clontarf are on the verge of their first AIL title after seeing off their closest rivals at Castle Avenue last night. The home side showed terrific grit and determination to see out the game in difficult conditions. Philip O’Dwyer’s second-half sinbinning proved crucial as it allowed Clontarf to pull away.
The visitors opened the scoring when O’Dwyer scored a brilliant break away try that started well inside his own 22.
Clontarf hit back with a fine try when fullback Darragh Fitzpatrick was on the end of a flowing move. But Belvo responded when Josh Glynn sneaked in for a score he was unable to convert.
There was still time left in the half for David Joyce to reduce the deficit to 10-8.
O’Dwyer was sent to the bin 15 minutes after the restart and Clontarf made their man advantage count when Brian Byrne was on the end of a powerful rolling maul. Joyce landed a superb touchline conversion. Belvo hit back with a penalty from Glynn before Tarf made the game safe with another try from a rolling maul. Ian Hirst touched down.
CLONTARF : D Fitzpatrick; M McGrath, C O’Shea, E Ryan, M McFarland; D Joyce, S Cronin; I Hirst, B Byrne, R Burke-Flynn ; B Reilly (capt), C O’Keefe; K Moran, L Óg Murphy, T Ryan. Replacements: T Byrne for Murphy (h-t), K Donoghie for Burke-Flynn (65), P Du Toit for Moran (73),
OLD BELVEDERE : J Glynn; A Wynn, J Kennedy, P Robb (S Berne 70), P O’Dwyer; S Crosbie, A Sheehan; P O’Regan, K O’Neill, D Lavery; J Eden-Whatiri, D Moore; J Slattery, K O’Gorman, J Conan. Replacements : L Auva’a for Slattery, B Coyle for O’Regan (both 59)
Referee: L Colgan (IRFU)