UCD hold off second-half surge to win with flying colours
Dublin University unable to climb the mountain in 65th Annual Colours Match
UCD’s Matthew Gilsenan catches a loose ball and assists Barry Daly for his try against Dublin University in Friday night’s Colours match. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
UCD 32 Dublin University 19
UCD held off a brave second-half surge from Dublin University (Trinity College) at Belfield on Friday night, before securing the spoils in the 65th Annual Colours Match between the two colleges.
This game also doubled up as an Ulster Bank League Division 1A fixture, and with eight league wins under their belt, UCD have consolidated their top-flight status for another season.
Leinster Academy star Andrew Porter had broken the deadlock with a seventh-minute converted score, and this was supplemented by a 25th-minute penalty by full-back Ciaran Frawley – a key member of this year’s Ireland U-20s team.
A seven-point salvo by winger Bryan Mollen forced Trinity back into the reckoning, before a superb solo try by Tommy O’Brien helped UCD to establish a 17-7 interval cushion. Trinity were left with a mountain to climb when UCD’s Barry Daly sprinted over for a breakaway try in the 52nd minute, but a determined Trinity responded with 12 points in succession.
After referee Kieran Barry awarded a penalty try to the visitors, an outstanding Michael Silvester five-pointer dramatically reduced Trinity’s deficit to three points (22-19) with 10 minutes remaining.
UCD maintained their composure in the closing stages, though, and a neat off-load by Gavin Mullin set up the excellent O’Brien for his second try of the evening. The reliable Frawley increased his personal tally to 12 points with an 80th-minute place-kick, as UCD claimed their 39th Colours title at the end of an entertaining clash.
UCD: T O’Brien 2 tries, A Porter, B Daly try each, C Frawley 2 pens, 3 cons. Dublin University: B Mollen, try, 2 cons, M Silvester try, penalty try.
UCD: C Frawley; T O’Brien, S Murphy, J Glynn, B Daly; M Gilsenan, N Peters; L Hyland, S McNulty, A Porter; J Murphy, E MacMahon; G Jones, S McKeon, P Timmins.
Replacements: G Frayne, R Byrne, B Cawley, A Penny, G Mullin, T Fletcher, A Marks.
Dublin University: C Hogan; T Maupin, M Courtney, K Dixon, B Mollen; J Fennelly, B Slater; E O’Sullivan, P Finlay, A Keating; J Burke, R Tyrrell; P Dargan, R Dunne, T Ryan.
Replacements: J Boland, J Bollard, C Connolly, R Osborne, D O’Flynn, C O’Dwyer, M Silvester.
Referee: K Barry (IRFU).