Lansdowne defeat UCD for ninth victory in a row
Ulster Bank League round-up: Clontarf hold on for a 29-24 victory over Dublin University in absorbing tie
Lansdowne’s Aaron Connelly is tackled by UCD’s Emmet MacMahon during the Ulster Bank League Division 1A match at Belfield, UCD. Photograph: Inpho
Lansdowne completed an immaculate first half of the Ulster Bank League season with their ninth straight win, as three tries after the break saw them overcome UCD 30-23 at the Belfield Bowl.
The Division 1A leaders also lifted the Sutherland Cup, which is in memory of Peter Sutherland’s father, the great Billy Sutherland. As well as a penalty try from a scrum, Harry Brennan and Ronan Kelleher both touched down.
Harry Byrne (eight points) and Jack Ringrose (try), the younger brothers of Leinster’s Ross Byrne and Garry Ringrose, got on the scoresheet for UCD, who battled back for a losing bonus point thanks to an excellent closing try from Tommy O’Brien.
Clontarf outscored Dublin University by four tries to three, including a seventh of the season from centre Matt D’Arcy, but were left clinging on for a 29-24 win at the end of an absorbing contest at Castle Avenue.
Although ’Tarf led 22 -10 heading into the second half, they were left sweating at the finish as poor discipline saw two players sin-binned and captain Ben Reilly also saw red after clashing with Trinity replacement Darragh Higgins.
Captain Neil Cronin, who tallied up 14 points, and two-try full-back David Johnston were the scoring stars for Garryowen in their impressive 24-17 Munster derby success against Cork Constitution at Dooradoyle.
Buccaneers came from 10 points down to record their second win on the bounce as they edged out St. Mary’s College 11-10 at Templeville Road. First half tries from Adam Coyle and Conor Dean were cancelled out by a John Sutton effort and two Luke Carty penalties.
Terenure’s influential back-three of Sam Coghlan Murray, Jake Swaine and James O’Donoghue all touched down in their barnstorming 32-13 bonus point success at home to Young Munster.
Meanwhile, Ballynahinch dished out a stunning 42-15 beating to Shannon as they replaced the Limerick men at the top of the Division 1B table. Leading 14-8 at the break, the hosts dominated the second half with full-back Conor Kelly scoring two of their six converted tries.
It was a terrific day for the division’s Ulster clubs with Ballymena and Banbridge also enjoying bonus point wins at home. Centres Angus Kernohan and Rodger McBurney (2) notched three tries between them as the Braidmen ended their three-match losing streak with a 25-16 dismissal of Old Belvedere.
Ulster’s Robert Lyttle and in-form centre Andrew Morrison bagged a brace each in Banbridge’s hard-earned 26-25 triumph over Dolphin, while there was late drama at Forenaughts where Fionn Higgins pounced on Johne Murphy’s grubber kick to touch down and steer Naas past Old Wesley - 30-25.
Hosts UL Bohemians lost their grip on a 12-3 first half lead as Brian Walsh’s UCC took the spoils, 22-15. Lively winger Kevin Slater had a key contribution with two tries, including a 67th-minute length-of-the-field score.