Cork Con give Shannon a rude awakening as UCD outclass UCC
All-Ireland League round-up: Young Munster ease past Terenure College
UCC’s Cian Bohane in action with Andy Marks of UCD during UCD’s 39-28 victory at Belfield, UCD, Dublin, on Saturday. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Cork Constitution and UCD are the early leaders in All-Ireland League Division 1A following an opening round which produced five home wins, including Con’s 27-7 Munster derby victory over newly-promoted Shannon.
Brian Hickey’s men reeled off four second-half tries – two from captain Niall Kenneally – to head straight to the top of the table. It was a game effort from Tom Hayes’ young Shannon side who led 7-3 at half-time through hooker Ty Chan’s try.
Recovering from a couple of sin-binnings, Con landed a crucial blow early in the second half when winger JJ O’Neill finished off a brilliant try in the corner. Centre Kenneally then crossed courtesy of a switch move involving scrumhalf Gary Bradley, son of former Ireland international Michael Bradley.
A costly 71st-minute turnover saw Shannon leak a third try to winger Rob Jermyn on the blindside. Last year’s Division 1B champions pressed during the closing stages, led by talismanic captain Lee Nicholas, but a maul broke down and Kenneally used an interception to bag an 80th-minute bonus point.
Meanwhile, UCD also produced a strong second-half performance to defeat UCC 39-28 and lift the Dudley Cup at Belfield. John Poland notched the visitors’ late bonus-point try but UCD had five by that stage with a penalty try and efforts from Sean McNulty, Ronan Foley, Sam Griffin and Stephen McVeigh.
Division 1A debutant Clayton Stewart kicked Young Munster to a 22-5 triumph over Terenure College. The Kiwi outhalf, who transferred from Nenagh Ormond in the summer, landed five penalties and converted Darragh O’Neill’s 76th-minute try at Greenfields.
Garryowen won their six-try shootout with Dublin University at Dooradoyle, edging it 27-25. James Fennelly missed the conversion of Hugh Twomey’s last-minute try for the new-look students, leaving Garryowen to celebrate thanks to Darren Ryan, Jamie Gavin and David McCarthy touchdowns and Peadar Collins’ 12 points from kicks.
Naas lead the Division 1B standings thanks to a five-try 36-13 dismissal of Buccaneers in Athlone where scrumhalf Peter Osborne finished with 16 points. Centre Josh Pentland’s brace of first-half tries helped Malone to an impressive 27-0 Ulster derby win at Ballymena.
Flying winger Jack Keating starred with a hat-trick for his new club Old Belvedere who beat Banbridge 42-28, captain Paul Harte touched down twice in Old Wesley’s 22-17 defeat of newly-promoted Armagh, and Sean Kearns’ 17 points from the tee drove St Mary’s past Ballynahinch, 37-27.