Terenure close in on home semi after win at Cork Constitution
Remain second place in Ulster Bank Division 1A while Ballynahinch move up to fourth
James O’Donoghue scored for Terenure in their 20-8 win at Cork Constitution. Photograph: Inpho
With Clontarf slipping up at St. Mary’s on Friday night, Terenure College closed in on a home semi-final in Ulster Bank League Division 1A with a well-judged 20-8 win away to Cork Constitution.
Second-placed Terenure were unbeatable earlier in the season and they recaptured some of their best form with a 20-point first half display at Temple Hill, as James O’Donoghue, Robert Duke and Harry Moore (with his ninth of the season) all ran in tries.
It was a weekend of mixed emotions for Cork Con head coach Tom Tierney as this defeat came less than 24 hours after his Ireland Women’s team beat World champions England in Ashbourne.
The Leesiders have been leapfrogged by Ballynahinch into fourth in the table following the Co. Down club’s hard-fought 18-16 victory over UCD at Ballymacarn Park.
Three well-struck penalties from out-half Liam Bourke had the students leading 9-7 at half-time, but ‘Hinch scored at crucial stages in the second half with Chris Quinn converting two penalties and fellow winger Ross Adair scoring a try.
The elusive Adair had a second effort ruled out for a knock-on and Bourke missed a gilt-edged chance to win it for UCD in the dying minutes, sending a kickable penalty wide much to the relief of the home support.
Young Munster won for the first time in six league outings as they ran out comfortable 24-9 winners of their basement battle with Dolphin at Tom Clifford Park. The Cookies raised their game significantly from recent weeks to bag a precious bonus point - hooker Ger Slattery grabbed their fourth try in the 78th minute - and move above Old Belvedere into eighth place.
Meanwhile, Belfast Harlequins were the big winners in Division 1B over the weekend as they ran in seven tries to beat hosts Buccaneers 43-6 at Dubarry Park.
‘Quins remain sixth overall but are now nine points clear of second-from-bottom Malone with three rounds remaining. Malone suffered an agonising late defeat at home to Ballymena, who won 13-10 thanks to a late drop goal from out-half Ritchie McMaster.
Dublin University remain a point ahead of Ballymena in third place following their 19-13 comeback win over Shannon at Coonagh. The students maintained their challenge for promotion courtesy of second half tries from forwards Richard Halpin and Tom Ryan and full-back Conor Kearns.