Lansdowne meet Terenure in final
GUS AHERNE'S one-man show earned Lansdowne a place in the Leinster Senior Cup final at their home ground yesterday. The former international scrum-half amassed 24 points as his side withstood a spirited fight back from an Old Belvedere side depleted by injury.
Trailing 21-0 at the break, Belvedere came within eight points of their opponents in the second period, but in the end had to concede defeat when a 40-metre drop goal in injury time from Lansdowne outside-half Johnny Woods put the matter beyond doubt.
Aherne put Lansdowne ahead after three minutes with a penalty from 22 metres, and the favourites continued to press forward, and went further ahead when, after four scrums close to the line, number eight Colin McEntee dummied to take the ball on the open side before switching inside for Aherne who sliced through the cover for a try, which he converted.
Two penalties from Aherne opened up a 16-point lead before O'Connor put Lansdowne further in front when he gathered a Belvedere line-out in the corner and dived straight across the line for a try, which was not converted..
Old Belvedere's Philpott and Shane Tormey combined to put centre Myles O'Reilly through for a splendid try straight after the re-start, scrum-half Barry Murphy converted.
Aherne notched another penalty, but Belvedere, bravely running the ball at every opportunity, brought themselves back into the match when fullback Willie Norse scored after Philpott set him up from behind a five-metre scrum. Murphy again converted.
Lansdowne went 29-14 ahead when Aherne intercepted a Daragh O'Mahony pass on half way and outpaced the Old Belvedere defence to score the try of the match. Ten minutes from the end Murphy's quick penalty allowed Old Belvedere flanker Craig Johnston to cross the line for a converted try, to keep Lansdowne on their toes