Business as usual as top three All-Ireland League clubs secure victories

Cork Con keep five-point lead over Lansdowne after bonus-point win over Terenure

It was business as usual for Division 1A's leading three clubs, Cork Constitution, Lansdowne and Clontarf, as they all posted home wins on the resumption of the All-Ireland League.

Table-toppers Cork Con maintained their five-point lead over Lansdowne thanks to a 28-5 bonus-point victory over bottom side Terenure. Flanker Ross O’Neill’s 22nd-minute charge-down try set them on their way. Their starting XV contained Munster’s Duncan Williams, Kevin O’Byrne and Liam O’Connor, who could all be involved against the Dragons next Saturday.

Hat-tricks from wingers Peter Sullivan and Daniel McEvoy were the highlights of Lansdowne's stunning 66-33 success at home to Dublin University. It was 10 tries to five by the time the teams drew breath, with Scott Deasy finishing with 19 points and two of Trinity's Ireland Under-20 call-ups, Giuseppe Coyne and Ryan Baird, crossing the whitewash.

The surprise result in the top flight came at Dooradoyle where UCC claimed their second win of the campaign, overcoming Garryowen 23-22 thanks to James Taylor’s late penalty. Fellow outhalf Ben Daly kicked nine points on his senior debut in Shannon’s three-try 24-20 triumph away to UCD.

Fallen

Third-placed Clontarf completed a season’s double over Young Munster, taking a 24-20 verdict at Castle Avenue where Declan Adamson’s first-half intercept try was added to by Matt D’Arcy and Sean O’Brien’s seven-pointers.

Incredibly, the 10 teams in Division 1B are covered by just nine points. St Mary’s have fallen from top spot to seventh after Old Wesley’s impressive 41-15 bonus-point win at Templeville Road, which saw centre James O’Donovan touch down for the fourth game running.

Wesley are level on points with new leaders Malone who defeated Ulster rivals Ballynahinch 15-8 thanks to Rory Campbell’s brace of tries. Naas and Banbridge complete the top four, with Peter Osborne kicking the Cobras past Old Belvedere (20-18) and Ulster flyer Rob Lyttle dotting down in Bann’s excellent 32-15 dismissal of City of Armagh.

Buccaneers won their basement battle with Ballymena, prevailing 20-16 at Eaton Park thanks to a penalty try and a closing Luke Carty penalty. The younger brother of Connacht’s Jack Carty kicked a crucial eight points, taking his league tally to 79 points.

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