Ulster Bank League: Lansdowne stay top of tree
CLONTARF 0-9 LANSDOWNE, Castle Avenue
Landowne tightened their grip on top spot in Ulster Bank League Division 1A as Scott Deasy's razor-sharp right boot downed Clontarf 9-0 at Castle Avenue tonight.
Out-half Deasy was successful with two first half penalty attempts to give Mike Ruddock's men a 6-0 lead, and he added a third which 'Tarf were unable to respond to.
Lansdowne's perfect start to the new season - seven straight wins - has eclipsed their run of results in their 2013 and 2015 title-winning campaigns. With this match doubling up as the Leinster Senior League Cup final, captain Ian Prendiville also lifted the provincial silverware.
It was a frustrating night at the office for Clontarf, who paired recent Leinster debutant Conor O'Brien and the division's top try scorer Matt D'Arcy (six tries) together in midfield.
However, a disallowed try from D'Arcy was the closest 'Tarf got to getting on the scoreboard as the miserably wet conditions, combined with Lansdowne's robust defence, continued to thwart Andy Wood's side.
CLONTARF: Jack Power; Rob McGrath, Conor O'Brien, Matt D'Arcy, Cian O'Donoghue; David Joyce, Hugh O'Sullivan; Ivan Soroka, Joe Roe, Royce Burke-Flynn, Cormac Daly, Ben Reilly (capt), Tony Ryan, Tom Byrne, Michael Noone.
Replacements: Dylan Donnellan, Neil Reilly, Vakh Abdaladze, Sam Cronin, Sean O'Brien.
LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Mark O'Keefe, Ian Fitzpatrick; Scott Deasy, Charlie Rock; Peter Dooley, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Jack Dwan, Oisin Dowling, Jack O'Sullivan, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.
Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Adam Boland, Aaron Conneely, Alan Bennie, Adam Leavy.
GARRYOWEN 6-3 YOUNG MUNSTER, Dooradoyle
The rain-soaked conditions made for a very tight affair between Limerick rivals Garryowen and Young Munster tonight, with Neil Cronin kicking the Light Blues to a hard-earned 6-3 victory at Dooradoyle.
Ireland Under-20 international Alan Tynan returned in Munsters' number 10 jersey, a fifth-minute scrum penalty in front of the posts allowing him to boot the visitors in front.
Garryowen, who lost to Lansdowne last week, improved as the first half wore on, their captain Cronin firing over two penalties after 11 and 27 minutes to give them a 6-3 advantage by the half hour mark. Cronin and his half-back partner Jamie Gavin were also winning the tactical battle with the boot.
The wind caught a further shot at the posts from the Ireland Club international scrum half, while a knock-on with the line in sight spoiled a rare try-scoring opportunity for the hosts, who gave more game-time to Munster's Sam Arnold in midfield.
The weather worsened for the start of the second period, with scoring chances again few and far between and tempers flaring on a couple of occasions. Tynan missed a kick from wide on the right, and although Cronin was off target from 40-plus metres, his earlier brace proved enough for Conan Doyle's men who had powerful performances up front from Niall Horan and Dean Moore.
In-form number 8 Gavin Coombes was the pick of the Young Munster pack, while Calvin Nash almost broke through for a potentially decisive try. It came from a terrific break by fellow centre James O'Connor, but full-back Dave McCarthy rescued the situation for Garryowen with a smashing cover tackle.
GARRYOWEN: Dave McCarthy; Andrew O'Byrne, Sam Arnold, Peadar Collins, Liam Coombes; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Liam Cronin, Nik Hildebrand, Sean O'Connor, Dean Moore, Tim Ferguson, Jack Daly, Sean Rennison.
Replacements: Diarmaid Barron, Barry McNamara, Mark Rowley, Mikey Wilson, Hugh O'Brien-Cunningham.
YOUNG MUNSTER: Shane Airey; Tom McHale, Calvin Nash, James O'Connor, Daniel Hurley; Alan Tynan, Rob Guerin; Peter Meyer, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Fineen Wycherley, Mike Madden, Diarmaid Dee, Dan Walsh, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Mark O'Mara, Conor Bartley, Tom Ryan, Jack Harrington, Jack Lyons.
ST MARY'S COLLEGE 15-18 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY, Templeville Road
A strong scoring burst either side of half-time saw Dublin University battle past St. Mary's for a potentially crucial 18-15 win at Templeville Road.
Lying second-from-bottom, Trinity came from behind to secure their third triumph in four league games with returning Ireland Sevens international Bryan Mollen landing the match-winning penalty in the 54th minute.
St Mary's were leading 15-3 thanks to tries from Marcus O'Driscoll, after Leinster's Caelan Doris was hauled down short, and former Trinity favourite Tim Maupin who scored on the counter with Conor Dean converting with aplomb from the touchline.
However, the students built some timely momentum when openside Richard Dunne held off a series of tackles to dot down before the interval. Patient build-up play was then rewarded with hooker Paddy Finlay's try, and winger Mollen, who ended the night with eight points, split the sides with half an hour remaining.
Ireland Under-20 international Dean missed a chance to level off the tee, and as Mary's went for the win late on with two penalties sent towards the corner, the Trinity defence brilliantly forced a penalty, five metres out, to close out a narrow but deserved victory.
ST MARY'S COLLEGE: Terry Kennedy; Tim Maupin, Darren Moroney, Marcus O'Driscoll, Craig Kennedy; Conor Dean, Paddy O'Driscoll; Tom O'Reilly, Richard Halpin, Adam Coyle, Ciaran Ruddock (capt), Cathal O'Flaherty, Caelan Doris, Nick McCarthy, Jack Dilger.
Replacements: Cathal Ryan, Emmet Ferron, Jack Aungier, Hugh Kelleher, Robbie Glynn, Ryan O'Loughlin, Mark Fallon.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney (capt), Seb Fromm, Billy O'Hora; James Fennelly, Angus Lloyd; James Bollard, Paddy Finlay, Joe Byrne, Jack Burke, Alex McDonald, Sam Pim, Richard Dunne, David St Leger.
Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Darragh Higgins, Niall O'Riordan, Rowan Osborne, Jack Kelly.
TERENURE COLLEGE 17-22 UCD, Lakelands Park
Recent Leinster debutant Josh Murphy made the break which led to Gavin Mullin's clinching try in UCD's thrilling 22-17 win away to Terenure College.
Former leaders Terenure trailed 22-7 at Lakelands after that 58th minute score, but a Jake Swaine try just three minutes later, coupled with a James Thornton penalty, reduced the arrears to five points with little over 10 minutes remaining.
There was a yellow card apiece in the closing stages, 'Nure losing former Ireland Under-20 international Harrison Brewer for a deliberate knock-on, and the students hung on to end their four-match losing streak in Division 1A.
UCD were able to field four current Ireland Sevens players in Billy Dardis, Jimmy O'Brien, Hugo Keenan and Will Connors. They led 15-7 at the turnaround, a quick tap seeing prop Liam Hyland cross from close range before a charge-down led to Terenure's Eoin Joyce replying just two minutes later.
A Ciaran Frawley penalty and a scrum-won penalty try, following Terenure's first yellow card of the night, put eight points between the sides at the break. UCD's stout defence continued to frustrate the hosts who, despite cancelling out Mullin's try with an improved final quarter, failed to reel them in.
TERENURE COLLEGE: James O'Donoghue; Jake Swaine, Marc Hiney, Ted O'Donoghue, Conor Weakliam; James Thornton, Kevin O'Neill; Cian Madden, Adam Clarkin, Schalk Jooste, Alex Thompson, Michael Melia, Cathal Deans, Paddy Thornton, Eoin Joyce.
Replacements: Robbie Smyth, Kieran Moloney, Harrison Brewer, Tim Schmidt, Mark O'Neill.
UCD: Billy Dardis; Tommy O'Brien, Jamie Glynn (capt), Jimmy O'Brien, Hugo Keenan; Ciaran Frawley, Nick Peters; Jeremy Loughman, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Josh Murphy, Will Connors, Ronan Foley.
Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Michael Moynihan, Steven McVeigh, Harry Byrne, Gavin Mullin.