Defensive blemishes mar Garryowen win

 

THE basketball scoreline at Dooradoyle on Saturday says more about the poor quality of both sides' defence rather than any particular expertise displayed by either Garryowen or Dungannon.

In all II tries were scored with seven of them going to Garryowen. Some were beautifully executed but others were of the distincty soft variety.

Garryowen certainly threw away a perfect opportunity to give their points differential a badly needed boost by conceding two tries in the last few minutes when it looked as if it was the visitors who should have been suffering.

Garryowen went into the game under something of a cloud following the controversial suspension of international scrum half Steven McIvor, and in the early stages it looked as if his experience and fighting qualities might be badly missed. Dungannon jumped into a 9-3 lead thanks to three penalty goals by out-half Ashley Blair against one by Killian Keane.

However, as the game progressed McIvor's diminutive replacement Colin Eorde grew in confidence and competantly got through the afternoon's work. He was well-assisted in that respect by an improved forwards' display, especially from second-row Paddy O'Grady and number eight Ben Cronin.

These two ensured that Garryowen won consistent quality possession and they were able to make the best of that in the 15 minutes leading up to half time.

Keane kicked his second penalty and then the game turned irretrievably in Garryowen's direction when they ran in tries by Jack Clare, Barry Everitt and O'Grady, one of which Keane converted to give them a 23-9 lead at the interval.

There was no way back for Dungannon when Clarke crossed for his second try seven minutes after the break and Keane converted to put 21 points between the sides. Dungannon battled back with a try by winger Ronnie Carey but then David Sheehan used his pace to devastating effect to race away over 60 metres for a spectacular try that Keane converted.

That seemed to be some kind of signal for sloppy defence to kick in. Richie Stevens, Stanley McDowell and Roger Cowan all scored tries for Dungannon, with Dominic Crotty and Derek Costelloe stealing two for Garryowen and the prolific Keane banging over two more penalties.

LEINSTER clinched the Youths Interprovincial series in emphatic style, running in eight tries against Connacht in their 45-10 win at Merrion Road on Saturday.

The victors signalled their intentions after just five minutes with a display of strong running and handling that saw powerful centre Shane Horgan, stopped just short of the line, his pass finding out-half and Drogheda clubmate Mark McHugh, for the opening try.

Another stunning backline move six minutes later culminated in full back Stephen Minogue joining the line for a try that left the visitors reeling.

Connacht number eight Jonathan Sheridan crashed over for a try on 32 minutes that kept the visitors in touch at the interval 20-10.

Leinster, though, made the most of their superiority in the second half and completed their unbeaten inter-pro season in fine style with a further five tries.