Garryowen odds-on for Division 1A relegation spot

The loss means they trail Ballynahinch by 10 points with just two games remaining

Corinthians Colin Raftery and Terenures’s Keith Dooley. Terenure College made it 16 straight victories at the top of Division 1B by beating Corinthians 21-12 at Lakelands Park. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Corinthians Colin Raftery and Terenures’s Keith Dooley. Terenure College made it 16 straight victories at the top of Division 1B by beating Corinthians 21-12 at Lakelands Park. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 01:00

Garryowen’s hopes of staying in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League have effectively gone following their 26-12 defeat to Dolphin at Musgrave Park on Saturday.

The loss means that Garryowen trail Ballynahinch by 10 points with just two games remaining. Given that Ballynahinch also have a far superior points difference, there now seems no way that Garryowen can avoid filling the automatic relegation spot.

For a time, it looked as though the introduction of former Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan to help them move away from the bottom. Initially, they went on a good run winning three out of four games to draw level on points with Ballynahinch but unfortunately they have lost the last two.

To add to their problems, Ballynahinch have won their last two in decisive fashion, securing a try-scoring bonus point in each occasion. Their latest success saw them demolish fourth placed Cork Constitution 35-8 at Temple Hill on Saturday.

Garryowen, meanwhile, came up against a Dolphin side determined to return to winning form after some recent poor performances. Eamonn Mills scored two tries with Chris Rowe going over for another.

The remainder of their points came from the boot of outhalf Rory Scannell. Garryowen had tries from Shane Buckley and Alan Gaughan, one of which Andrew Byrne converted.

A disappointing Cork Con proved no match for Ballynahinch at Temple Hill. The visitors ran in five tries with two of them coming from wing Robin Harte.

The big victory, besides putting them well clear of Garryowen, also means that they are in range of third from bottom St Mary’s College. They now trail St Mary’s by four points but importantly the Dublin club has a game in hand. That said, St Mary’s must hope to pick up on their effort when losing 30-17 to Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park. The powerful Tongan centre Kiolo Hifo scored a hat-trick of tries for Young Munster with Derry O’Connor also going over to earn the bonus point.

Two players from each side were sent to the sin-bin and, at one stage, St Mary’s were down to 13 men in the second half.

Terenure College made it 16 straight victories at the top of Division 1B by beating Corinthians 21-12 at Lakelands Park. Having already secured the title and promotion, they were not at their best in the first half.

But they eventually pulled clear to win with tries from Mark O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill and Gary Hamilton.

Corinthians drop from second to third spot in the table. They are now a point behind Buccaneers who continued their recent impressive run with a 32-18 bonus point home victory over struggling Blackrock College, the all-important fourth try coming from Jack Carty.

UL Bohemians are a further three points back from Corinthians after trouncing bottom side Dungannon 41-17 at Thomond Park. Former Shannon player Moss Lawler got two of the tries.

Elsewhere, Dublin University recorded a vital 12-8 away victory over Malone while Shannon just got the better of Belfast Harlequins 16-15 at Deramore Park.

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