AIL round-up: Ballynahinch thrash Lansdowne
Defending champions Cork Constitution edge Dublin University, UCD pip Clontarf
Clontarf’s Michael Noone is tackled by UCD’s Jack Patterson. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Ballynahinch climbed off the foot of the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A table with a brilliant 43-5 bonus point win over Lansdowne at Ballymacarn Park.
Having lost their first four games, there was pressure on Brian McLaughlin’s charges to bounce back against the three-time champions - and they did so in stunning fashion with winger Aaron Cairns scoring three of their seven tries.
For the fifth round running, defending champions and current table toppers Cork Constitution prevailed in a very close finish as they pipped Dublin University 25-22 at Temple Hill thanks to Sean French’s late penalty.
Leinster Academy scrum half Paddy Patterson sniped over for a last-minute match-winning try as UCD edged out Clontarf 17-13 at Castle Avenue. The students’ unbeaten run under new head coach Kevin Croke now stands at four games as they moved into third place.
With backs Sam Dardis, Sam Coghlan Murray and Caolan Dooley all touching down, Terenure College climbed into second spot with a hard-earned 22-14 victory over UCC at Lakelands Park.
Meanwhile, Division 1B leaders Highfield matched Cork Con’s five wins-from-five when battling past Old Belvedere on a 14-10 scoreline. Out-half Shane O’Riordan landed two crucial penalties and a drop goal to add to winger Colin O’Neill’s fifth try of the campaign.
Shannon centre Pa Ryan also crossed the whitewash for the fifth time in their impressive 26-14 bonus point dismissal of City of Armagh, while Banbridge made it two victories on the bounce, openside Ryan Hughes scoring the only try in a 13-3 triumph at home to Naas.
St. Mary’s College won for the first time in four matches with out-half Ruairi Shields kicking eight points in their 13-8 success at Malone. Old Wesley’s Donnybrook clash with Navan was postponed