UCD finish strongly to take bonus point victory

Dolphin trailed 5-0 at half-time having played into the strong wind

UCD’s Conor Gilsenan is tackled by Darren Sweetnam of Dolphin. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

UCD’s Conor Gilsenan is tackled by Darren Sweetnam of Dolphin. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho


UCD produced an outstanding second half display to record a bonus point victory and move back to the top of the Ulster Bank League Division 1 A table at Belfield on Saturday.

Dolphin must have felt they were in with a real chance of inflicting a first defeat on the students when they trailed by just 5-0 after playing into the strong wind in the first half. thanks to an early try from prop Rory Harrison.

But UCD were a much changed team at the start of the second half. Despite the difficult conditions, they produced some brilliant flowing rugby to score two excellent tries through centre Alex Kelly and No 8 Eoin Joyce to move them 17-0 clear within 15 minutes of the restart. By then Dolphin had really blown their chance of victory. Dolphin were rewarded with a try from Rory Scannell with 10 minutes left, which was converted by Barry Keeshan.

The visitors then received three yellow cards which led to substitute Adam Clarkin going over for the fourth try and their first bonus point of the season.

Cork Constitution moved into second position in the table following a dramatic 18-15 victory over Garryowen at Temple Hill.

Bottom side Garryowen had looked like upsetting the odds but Brian Cagney won it for Con with a try a minute from time. Garryowen had taken a 15-6 lead when Jamie Gavin converted Harry McNulty’s try. But Cork Con rallied with a try from James Ryan, converted by Johnny Holland, before Cagney went over for his match-deciding effort.

The victory sees Cork Con trail leaders UCD by two points and go a point ahead of Clontarf in third place. Old Belvedere have moved up to fourth following a useful 13-10 away success over Young Munster. Outhalf Steve Crosbie proved to be key, landing two penalties and converting a try from Old Belvedere’s outstanding young No 8 Jack Conan.

Young Munster managed two tries through Ger Slattery and Derry O’Connor but failed to add the conversions. Elsewhere, reigning champions Lansdowne continued their recent improvement with a 21-14 away victory over Ballynahinch.

Playing with the wind in the opening half, they built up a 21-0 lead. Wing Cian Aherne again displayed his finishing ability with the first try and flanker Charlie Butterworth added another. Scott Deasy added a conversion and three penalties.

Terenure College have gone a point clear at the top of Division 1B after a bonus point 27-10 success over Malone at Lakelands Park. Hooker Robbie Smyth was their star man, scoring two of the tries. Nearest challengers Buccaneers and Corinthians also maintained their 100 per cent records. Second-placed Buccaneers had to fight very hard to edge out Shannon 25-22 at Dubarry Park. while Corinthians beat Dungannon 24-15 at Stevenson Park.