Lansdowne lose out but stay top
Rugby:St Mary’s College’s hopes of retaining the Ulster Bank League Division 1A title have been dealt another severe blow with a third successive defeat, this time at the hands of Dolphin. Dolphin’s 32-14 Musgrave Park victory means that St Mary’s now lie second from bottom with just one win in their four games. Dolphin, in contrast, have won three on the trot to move up to third in the table.
They were well worth their bonus point success. James Cronin, Chris Bannon and Eamonn Mills went over for tries and they were also awarded a penalty try. Barry Keeshan showed his usual composure to kick the remainder of their points. Next up for Dolphin is a crunch derby meeting with another of the leading contenders Cork Constitution next Friday night.
Clontarf are back in the running following a fine 18-11 away success over Young Munster at Clifford Park. Young Munster got away to a great start to lead 11-0 but Clontarf rallied with full-back Tim McCoy crossing for a vital second half try.
So, after losing their opening two games, Clontarf are up to sixth spot and within range of leaders Lansdowne, who were beaten yesterday as Cork Constitution demonstrated their remarkable capacity to snatch victory deep into injury time on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium.
Behind 19-3 and 22-8 at various stages in the second half, there seemed no way Cork Con could win. Yet, somehow they turned the game around with two late converted tries and a dramatic match winning penalty from out-half Johnny Holland in the fifth minute of injury time for a 25-22 victory.
The only consolation for Lansdowne is that they are still on top of the table.
Elsewhere, Shannon’s dismal campaign continues following a 45-13 hammering by Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road. Old Belvedere finished with seven tries, two of them from wing Eddie Devitt. Unfortunately, Shannon already look odds on to be relegated. The lie bottom, without a point, and have conceded a massive 160 points in losing their four games.
Remarkably, the away teams won all five matches in Division 1B. Leaders Malone suffered their first defeat, 18-15 to UCD at Gibson Park. James Thornton’s injury time penalty was the difference as Malone drop to third with UCD fourth.
Ballynahinch now top the table on points difference from Dublin University. The Ulster side ran riot against bottom outfit Blackrock College at Stradbrook, with Chris Quinn crossing for four tries in a 52-19 victory.
Dublin University found themselves in an altogether harder match, winning 12-6 at Bruff. Buccaneers defeated Ballymena 17-13 and Belfast Harlequins got the better of Dungannon 23-13 in the remaining games.