Young Munster secure win over Ballynahinch away from home

Clontarf’s four-match unbeaten run comes to an end against Cork Constitution

Rob McGrath of Clontarf is tackled by Ned Hobson of Cork Constitution during their  Ulster Bank League Division 1A match at Castle Avenue, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Rob McGrath of Clontarf is tackled by Ned Hobson of Cork Constitution during their Ulster Bank League Division 1A match at Castle Avenue, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

 

Young Munster opened their win account in Ulster Bank League Division 1A at the fifth attempt, standing firm for a 34-29 bonus point triumph despite a late rally from hosts Ballynahinch.

Munsters produced a tremendous performance just days after their Australian head coach Anthony Mathison resigned due to personal reasons. Director of rugby John Staunton, the man Mathison replaced in the summer, has now taken temporary charge of the side, and the players delivered the goods for him at Ballymacarn Park.

Tries from captain Ger Slattery, Seán Duggan and Dan Goggin had the Limerick men 22-3 ahead at half-time. Playing into the breeze on the restart, they kept up their high scoring rate with further touchdowns from Alan Kennedy - his third of the campaign - and Diarmaid McCarthy, before a spirited late fightback from ’Hinch which included scores from Robin Harte, Craig Trenier, Zack McCall and a penalty try.

With five successful penalties, the trusty left boot of Tomas Quinlan ended Clontarf’s four-match unbeaten run as Cork Constitution claimed a hard-fought 15-14 victory at Castle Avenue.

Galwegians were unable to hit the heights of their outstanding recent defeat of Lansdowne as hosts Garryowen, aided by tries from lock Shane Buckley and Kiwi captain Josh Hrstich, ran out deserved 18-9 winners at Dooradoyle.

Meanwhile, Ballymena are the new leaders in Division 1B and the only unbeaten team left after racking up their fifth straight win - a 43-13 hammering of Blackrock College at Eaton Park.

The Braidmen finished with a flourish, scoring four tries without reply in the closing stages. Ulster Under-20 out-half Andrew McGrath, making his senior bow, converted three of those scores from Connor Smyth (2), Callum Patterson and Martin Irwin.

Tries from locks Chris Rowe and Dave O’Mahony, and another from Munster centre Cian Bohane, steered Dolphin to their second win in three league games with a well-judged 24-11 success against struggling Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park, while three-try St. Mary’s took a tight 24-20 verdict against Buccaneers at Dubarry Park.

Dublin University’s resurgent form continued at Donnybrook where they managed to topple Division 1B pacesetters Old Wesley (13-10) despite being reduced to 11 players at one stage.

Four successive yellow cards in the second half left Trinity in all sorts of trouble as they defended a 10-3 lead. Winger Tim Maupin was binned for a high tackle, prop Andy Keating and full-back Conor Kearns followed him, and centre Kingsley McGowan then saw yellow for a no-arms tackle.

But a combination of defiant defence and Old Wesley’s poor execution saw the students somehow hold firm. Restored to 13 players, Jack McDermott booted a penalty to make it 13-3 before winger Billy Henshaw’s late effort gave the home side a losing bonus point.

Trinity ran in two first half tries to lay the foundations for this victory. McGowan beat his man off their first attack and set up Kearns for the lead score, while busy winger Max McFarland got over in the corner following a quickly-taken penalty by Angus Lloyd.

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