AIL roundup: Garryowen and UL Bohs move to top of the men’s and women’s tables

Ireland’s Ciara Griffin returns to action for the first time since Parma heartbreak

Evan Cusack of Young Munster celebrates against Shannon. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Inpho

Evan Cusack of Young Munster celebrates against Shannon. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Inpho

 

Evan Cusack kicked 14 points as Young Munster survived a flurry of yellow cards to defeat Cork Constitution 24-17 at Temple Hill. Munsters had four players sin-binned, going down to 12 men at one stage in the second half, but they hung on to hand the reigning Energia Men’s All-Ireland League champions a second straight defeat.

Former Cork minor footballer Patrick Campbell scored his first league try for the Cookies, adding to Conor Hayes’ second score of the Division 1A campaign. However, the visitors’ 18-3 lead came under threat as Con fought back with a penalty try and an excellent Barry Galvin effort.

A late penalty from out-half Cusack was enough to seal the victory, although Con winger JJ O’Neill missed out on an injury-time try when he lost the ball in contact.

Garryowen pushed a point clear at the top of the table following a comprehensive 32-20 win over UCC at a sundrenched Dooradoyle. Tries from Colm Quilligan (2), Pat O’Toole, Tommy O’Hora and Jamie Shanahan saw the Light Blues make it back-to-back bonus point victories. UCC responded with five pointers from Louis Bruce and replacement Matthew Bowen.

Munster’s John Hodnett continued his injury comeback and helped UCC to level matters at 10-all for half-time. Garryowen began to take control and retook the lead in the 48th minute.

Shanahan and Quilligan combined down the right before the latter kicked in behind the UCC defence. George Coomber collected but his attempted clearance was snaffled by Quilligan who went in under the posts for Tony Butler to convert.

Leinster Development XV out-half Charlie Tector led the scoring as Lansdowne overcame a highly-fancied Terenure College 39-26 in an absorbing Division 1A game at Lakelands Park. Tector, a late call-up to the starting XV, landed 14 points from the tee, supplementing tries from Cormac Foley, Luke Thompson, Sean Galvin, Mark Boyle and Eamonn Mills.

Terenure had three tries - including a first one for new signing Jordan Coghlan - and were only 24-23 behind entering the final quarter. However, Mark McHugh’s men hit another gear when number eight Boyle broke clean through from a ruck, Tector fired over another penalty, and full-back Mills crossed for the clincher in the 73rd minute.

Elsewhere, Clontarf came from behind to beat Ballynahinch 13-3 in a serious arm wrestle at Ballymacarn Park and a dominant display from Dublin University earned them a 31-0 triumph and the Dudley Cup, following a one-sided encounter with arch rivals UCD at Belfield on Friday night.

In the women’s AIL, Ireland captain Ciara Griffin enjoyed a try-scoring return to the pitch in UL Bohemians’ barnstorming 46-17 win over title rivals Old Belvedere. Griffin, who was sprung from the UL bench, played for the first time since Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Qualifier heartbreak in Parma two weeks ago.

The Kerry native burst off the back of a late scrum, absorbing a cover tackle before crashing over the try-line at the UL Arena. It was Bohs’ eighth and final try as they moved to the top of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League. Belvedere battled on bravely after losing captain Jenny Murphy to a first half red card.

Ballincollig’s impressive form since their promotion continued with a second home victory of the campaign. Fiona Hayes’ side are now just a point outside of the top four. In a 31-17 bonus point success against Galwegians, ‘Collig’s 19-year-old scrum half Gemma Lane was clinical in putting away two tries. She was sharp in open play and lock Denise Redmond was the pick of the forwards before getting injured.

Front rowers Roisin Ormond and Clare Coombes claimed the other tries for the Cork outfit, while ‘Wegians’ standout back, centre Orla Dixon, ran in two of their three tries.

Ireland prop Laura Feely made her Blackrock debut in a runaway 63-0 triumph over Wicklow’s young guns. Young replacement Maggie Boylan helped herself to four tries, with a hat-trick for Eimear Corri and a brace from captain Michelle Claffey.

Connacht’s Nicole Carroll kicked 13 points as Suttonians opened their win account under new head coach Stephen Costelloe with a 28-12 defeat of Cooke. Leinster winger Emily McKeown touched down twice.

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