DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 32-27 YOUNG MUNSTER, College Park
Michael Courtney's classy injury-time try secured a rousing 32-27 bonus-point win for Dublin University over second-placed Young Munster on Saturday afternoon.
The former Ireland Schools international's decisive solo run delighted the College Park faithful and made it three wins in four Ulster Bank League Division 1A games since Trinity's promotion.
The Cookies, who paired Munster’s Dan Goggin and Cian Bohane together in midfield, led 10-8 at half-time, Craig O'Hanlon's converted try on the half hour cancelling out Pierce Dargan's early effort for the students.
It was Trinity's turn to force the issue on the resumption, hooker Liam Cronin crashing over in the corner and out-half Jack McDermott converting with aplomb as the hosts retook the lead.
The highly-rated Colm Hogan intercepted a pass and darted 80 metres downfield for his third try of the campaign, but Munsters bounced back with two converted efforts from Jack Harrington and Bohane to lead 24-22 with 12 minutes remaining.
It was breathless stuff as both sides chased the win and a try-scoring bonus point. A sin-binning for the visitors saw McDermott edge Trinity ahead with a penalty from in front of the posts.
Gearoid Prendergast's charges hit back with a penalty of their own from replacement Alan Tynan, however the free-scoring students had the final say when centre Courtney brilliantly hared through to match winger Hogan’s three-try tally to date.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; Jack McDermott, Daniel Joyce; Eric O'Sullivan, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Jack Burke (capt), Sam pim, Ross Todd, Tom Ryan.
Replacements: James O'Donovan, Rowan Osborne, Jack Boland, Fintan Murphy, Adrien Charbonnier.
YOUNG MUNSTER: David O'Mahony; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Cian Bohane, Jack Harrington; Abrie Griesel, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Alan Ross, Michael Madden, Alan Kennedy, Dan Walsh, Sean Rennison.
Replacements: Gavin Coombes, Peter Meyer, Conor Bartley, Craig O'Hanlon, Alan Tynan.
CLONTARF 16-14 GARRYOWEN, Castle Avenue
Rob Keogh's [above] right boot came to Clontarf's rescue again as his injury-time drop goal edged them past Garryowen by two points at Castle Avenue.
The Light Blues were on the cusp of their third straight victory thanks to two converted second half tries from full-back Alex Wootton, who made his first Pro12 start for Munster last week, and young winger Liam Coombes.
But 'Tarf rescued a much-needed win from the jaws of defeat thanks to full-back Keogh, whose 11-point tally today took his league haul to 46 points in four outings.
It was a slow-burning first half with a Keogh penalty after 20 minutes opening the scoring for Andy Wood's men.
They led 10-0 at the turnaround courtesy of a typically stylish try from Ireland Club international captain Matt D’Arcy.
The tall centre forced his way through heavy midfield traffic, breaking out of his own half for an inspirational solo score, converted by Keogh.Garryowen, who had recent Munster try scorer Conor Oliver in their back row, grabbed the first points of the second period through Wootton, who finished off a superb team move that began in the visitors' 22.
A long-range penalty from Keogh gave 'Tarf a six-point cushion, but they were in serious danger of losing for the third time on the trot after Coombes reached over in the corner.
Garryowen captain Neil Cronin nailed a cracking conversion from the touchline for a 14-13 scoreline.Wood's side failed to panic and they got back into scoring range in the dying embers of the game, setting up Keogh for a crisply-struck winning kick.
The result gives the title holders a timely boost before their round 5 trip to Lansdowne in three weeks' time.
CLONTARF: Rob Keogh; Sean Long, Colm O'Shea, Matt D'Arcy, Michael Brown; Evan Ryan, Sam Cronin; Vakh Abdaladze, Jonathan Larbey, Royce Burke Flynn, Eoghan Browne, Ben Reilly (capt), Michael Noone, Karl Moran, Tony Ryan.
Replacements: Jack Hutchinson, James Doyle, Dylan Doyle, Peter du Toit, Mark Sutton.
GARRYOWEN: Alex Wootton; Steve McMahon, Andrew O'Byrne, David Johnston, Liam Coombes; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (capt); Niall Horan, Eamon Costello, Mike O'Donnell, Barra O'Byrne, Sean O'Connor, Elliot Fitzgerald, Conor Oliver, Bailey Faloon.
Replacements: Caolan Moloney, Hugh Lane, Dara Shanahan, Peadar Collins, Dave McCarthy.
CORK CONSTITUTION 31-13 LANSDOWNE, Temple Hill
Lansdowne lost their grip on top spot in Division 1A as Cork Constitution cruised to their first win in three league games at Temple Hill.
Out-half Tomas Quinlan's [above] 16-point haul from the kicking tee, including three penalties in the second half, helped Brian Hickey's men get back to winning ways.
The omens were good for the hosts early on when second row Conor Kindregan - one of their Leesiders' most influential players in the early rounds - crossed in the fifth minute.
Kindregan's second try in the space of a week went unconverted, and Quinlan sandwiched in a penalty between two opening strikes from Lansdowne's Scott Deasy who split the posts in the eighth and 12th minutes.
Defences were on top for the remainder of the first half, despite the best efforts of Lansdowne's lively centres and Ireland Sevens team-mates John O'Donnell and Mark Roche.
The visitors certainly missed the influence of captain Ian Prendiville and Leinster 'A' starters Tom Daly, Peter Dooley and Max Deegan, and they fell 15-6 behind for half-time when good continuity from Cork Con led to full-back Shane Daly going over in the corner in the 39th minute.
Daly's third try of the campaign was added to by a James Murphy seven-pointer in the second half, with Murphy's back row colleague Brian Hayes producing a man-of-the-match performance for the victors.
Quinlan's left boot was hugely influential too, pushing Lansdowne indiscipline at every turn. The visitors did hit double figures thanks to a try from flanker Joe McSwiney, who played for Constitution for five years.
But Con were far too good on the day, leaving Mike Ruddock's men with plenty to work on ahead of their 28 October showdown with Clontarf.
CORK CONSTITUTION: Shane Daly; Liam O'Connell, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally (capt), Rob Jermyn; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Liam O'Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Darren O'Shea, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, James Murphy, Evan Mintern.
Replacements: Gavin Duffy, Ger Sweeney, Graeme Lawler, John Poland, Darragh Lyons.
LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, John O'Donnell, Mark Roche, Charlie McMickan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Jacob Walshe, Tyrone Moran, Ntinga Mpiko, Josh O'Rourke, Stephen Gardiner, Joe McSwiney, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.
Replacements: Tadgh McElroy, Jack Barry, Paul Boyle, Matthew D'Arcy, Jake Howlett.UCD 13 ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 19, Belfield Bowl
UCD 13-19 ST MARY'S COLLEGE
Second-half tries from forwards Kevin Sheahan [above left] and Cathal O'Flaherty steered St Mary's College to their first win in three outings - a narrow 19-13 triumph against under-strength UCD at Belfield.
UCD were without a host of first team regulars due to the Leinster 'A' v Ulster 'A' match taking place last night at nearby Donnybrook, while the visitors were also missing backs Terry Kennedy and Jordan Larmour for the same reason.
Out-half Matthew Gilsenan's confidently-struck penalty from 40 metres out gave the students an 11th minute lead, but Mary's looked to have the greater firepower and both Sean Kearns and Paddy Lavelle almost crossed the whitewash from a 25th minute attack.
A Mary's try did arrive just two minutes later when number 10 Kearns instigated a move that ended with pacy winger Mark Fogarty diving over in the left corner.
5-3 is how it remained up to half-time, UCD losing flanker Alex Penny to the sin-bin in the 34th minute and Gilsenan missing a late penalty attempt.
A bout of attacking pressure saw Mary's get over the whitewash in the 50th minute, influential number 8 Kevin Sheahan breaking through in powerful fashion.
Kearns' superb conversion stretched the lead to 12-3.
UCD responded thanks to centre Stephen Murphy's eye for a gap. He expertly split the visitors' defence open and then offloaded for winger Andy Marks to finish off by the posts, with Gilsenan converting to make it a two-point game.
With further gaps opening up as the second half progressed, former Cork Constitution lock O'Flaherty was in the right place to claim Mary's third try wide on the left.
Kearns' terrific touchline conversion was cancelled out by a Gilsenan three-pointer in the 61st minute, keeping UCD in contention at six points down.In a tense finale, UCD's task grew more difficult as loosehead Mikey Moynihan was sin-binned with eight minutes to go, and then Mary's replacement prop Emmet Ferron followed him.
The energetic students pressed for a match-winning seven-pointer, but Mary's held on for a hard-fought and well-merited win.
UCD: Tom Fletcher; Rob Keenan, Jamie Glynn (capt), Stephen Murphy, Andy Marks; Matthew Gilsenan, Nick Peters; Mikey Moynihan, Gordon Frayne, Stephen McGivern, Emmet MacMahon, Jack Dwan, Jonny Guy, Alex Penny, Greg Jones.
Replacements: David Canny, Rory Mulvihill, Brian Cawley, Tim Foley, Harry McNulty.
ST MARY'S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Zach O'Hagan, Paddy Lavelle, Ryan O'Loughlin, Mark Fogarty; Sean Kearns, Paddy O'Driscoll; Tom O'Reilly, Hugo Kean, Brian McGovern (capt), Caelan Doris, Cathal O'Flaherty, Nick McCarthy, David Aspil, Kevin Sheahan.
Replacements: Richard Halpin, Emmet Ferron, Peter Starrett, Jack Dilger, Conor Dean.
OLD BELVEDERE 18 TERENURE COLLEGE 15, Anglesea Road
Willie Staunton [above] struck late with his sixth successful penalty to guide Old Belvedere to an 18-15 home win over Terenure College on Friday night.
With the rugged 'Belvo scrum setting up the opportunity, out-half Staunton split the posts right at the death to move Paul Cunningham's men to the top of the Division 1A table.
His kick broke Terenure's hearts, the visitors - boosted by last week's victory over UCD - managing to outscore Belvedere by three tries to none during this end-to-end encounter.
An entertaining first half ended 10-3 in 'Nure's favour, a brace of high quality tries from full-back Jake Swaine doing the damage for James Blaney's side.
A lost Belvedere lineout handed possession to Terenure and good width and accurate passing put Swaine racing over in the corner, with 11 minutes on the clock.
Staunton responded off the tee in the 19th minute, before 'Belvo fell asleep after a kick went out on the full. Robbie Murphy's quick thinking caught the home side out and Swaine had the pace to finish his second unconverted effort in superb fashion.
An early second half penalty from Staunton was cancelled out by 'Nure's third try, scored by flanker James O'Neill.
The 'Belvo defence, which was so impressive against Lansdowne, gave way as neat passes from captain Kyle McCoy and Mark O'Neill sent the openside through for his second try in as many games.
With no conversions, Terenure's lead was not as big as it should have been and just five minutes later, Staunton found the target to reduce the arrears to 15-9.
The 'Belvo pack repeated the trick with further scrum pressure leading to a converted penalty, and after 'Nure lock John Dever was sin-binned for a 'no arms' tackle, Staunton drew the hosts level in the 80th minute.
The momentum was fully behind 'Belvo with the extra man and they made it count in the dying seconds, their scrum coming up trumps again for the Galbally man to knock over the deciding kick.
OLD BELVEDERE: Shane McDonald; Sean Coughlan, John Kennedy, Robert Cruess Callaghan, David Brandon; Willie Staunton, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Ed Rossiter, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Jonathan Slattery, Michael Oyuga, Dave Sherry.
Replacements: Andrew McGrath, Paul Pritchard, Kyle McCarthy, Jonathan Inglis, Simon Killeen.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Jake Swaine; Stephen O'Neill, Conor Finn, James O'Donoghue, Robbie Murphy; Mark O'Nell, Thomas Burke; Kieran Moloney, Adam Clarkin, Silvio Borza, John Dever, Cathal Deans, Robert Duke, James O'Neill, Eoin Joyce.
Replacements: Risteard Byrne, Cian Madden, Kyle McCoy, Gary Clarkin, Niall Thornton.
GALWEGIANS 23 UL BOHEMIANS 27, Crowley Park
Division 1B leaders UL Bohemians needed a late penalty from Rick McKenna to seal a hard-fought 27-23 victory over a determined Galwegians side at Crowley Park.
It was the first time that Bohs have failed to net a try-scoring bonus point since the league season began, and Christy Neilan's men had to overcome their stiffest test so far.
It was Jekyll and Hyde stuff from Galwegians in the early stages, winger Peadar O'Beirn breaking through for a try in the corner before Connacht prop Conan O'Donnell was sin-binned for collapsing a UL maul.
Bohs repeated the trick two minutes later, driving from cleanly-won lineout ball for flanker James Ryan to touch down with Kiwi out-half McKenna quickly converting.
McKenna's opposite number Aidan Moynihan evaded a couple of tackles for an excellent 20th minute try out wide, but UL hit back just before half-time, number 8 Brian Walsh finishing off a move on the left wing.
Leading 14-10 at half-time, the Limerick men had the better of an attritional third quarter that saw O’Donnell and UL's talismanic scrum half Cathal Sheridan both go off with injuries.
Conor Lowndes and McKenna swapped penalties before UL put impressive width on the ball and worked centre Finbar Aherne over for a 58th minute try. Converted by McKenna, that looked to be the game's decisive score at 24-13.
But back came 'Wegians, whose forwards were just held up before full-back Lowndes booted a 70th minute penalty. Winger Matthew Quinn then made it over in the left corner, barely four minutes later.
Lowndes' successful conversion left just a point in it - 24-23 - only for 'Wegians to falter in the dying minutes, a costly and controversially-awarded yellow card, after UL had hacked downfield, setting up McKenna's final nail in the coffin.
GALWEGIANS: Conor Lowndes; Matthew Quinn, Adam Leavy, Dave Clarke, Peadar O'Beirn; Aidan Moynihan, Barry Lee; Jason East, Jack Dinneen, Conan O'Donnell, Marc Kelly, Anthony Ryan, Ronan Moore, Paul Hackett, Josh Pim.
Replacements: Patrick Curran, Doron McHugh, Matthew Towey, Eamon Dowling, Gearoid Armstrong.
UL BOHEMIANS: Joe Murray; Jamie McNamara, Finbar Aherne, Harry Fleming, Cian Aherne; Rick McKenna, Cathal Sheridan; Philip Poillot, David Rowsome, Peter Kelleher, Ed Kelly, Noel Kinane, James Ryan, Ian Condell (capt), Brian Walsh.
Replacements: Eamon Boland, Joey Conway, Pat Staff, Daragh Frawley, Robbie Bourke.
BALLYMENA 24 DOLPHIN 16, Eaton Park
Centre James Beattie crossed for two tries in a man-of-the-match display as Ballymena came from behind to defeat Dolphin at Eaton Park.
Having lost their way at UCC last week, Ballymena were determined not to lose to Cork opposition for the second week running. But without their Ulster 'A'-tied players, including top scorer Mark Best, the Braidmen had to battle back from a 9-0 interval deficit.
Buoyed by their home win over Galwegians, Dolphin were good value for that nine-point advantage as lynchpin out-half Barry Keeshan converted three first half penalty opportunities. Their dominant form deserved a try but the hosts scrambled well to keep their line intact.
It was Beattie's opening try, three minutes into the second period, that lifted the intensity for Ballymena. Glenn Baillie converted and also added the extras from the touchline to Beattie's second effort, as the latter's midfield partnership with captain Marty Irwin grew in influence.
The Ulster club's lead was short-lived, though, as Dolphin number 8 and captain Ryan Murphy muscled over from a lineout drive and the excellent Keeshan put David Corkery's side back in front at 16-14.
Crucially, Ballymena full-back Rodger McBurney then stepped up to the mark, using his power and pace to run in a tremendous solo try with four minutes remaining.
Baillie converted and with Dolphin leaking a penalty in front of the posts in the second minute of injury-time - much to their frustration - a closing penalty from the Ballymena number 10 took the losing bonus point away from them.
BALLYMENA: Rodger McBurney; Jordan Foster, James Beattie, Marty Irwin (capt), Jonny Rosborough; Glenn Baillie, John Creighton; Bryan Young, James Taggart, Chris Cundell, David Whann, Connor Smyth, Mark Foster, Tony McGuinness, James Gallagher.
Replacements: Adrian Kirkpatrick, Andrew Ferguson, Joe Thompson, Matthew Norris, Ian Vance.
DOLPHIN: Cameron O'Shaughnessy; Gerry Ryan, Cian McGovern, Sam Kennedy, Will Hanley; Barry Keeshan, Killian O'Keeffe; James Rochford, Caolan O'Flynn, Liam Walsh, Dave O'Mahony, Barry Fitzgerald, Karl Keogh, Kevin Allen, Ryan Murphy (capt).
Replacements: Rob O'Herlihy, Lar Coughlan, Cian Scott, Anthony Mason, Ian O'Donoghue, Daryl Foley.
BUCCANEERS 49 UCC 36, Dubarry Park
Connacht Academy prop Saba Meunargia made a try-scoring return from injury as Buccaneers ran out six-try 49-36 winners over UCC at Dubarry Park.
Buccs' in-form winger Jordan Conroy and UCC flanker Conor Barry both bagged braces as the sides tallied up 11 tries in a veritable avalanche of scores.
The Pirates, who have cut UL Bohemians' lead at the top to four points, built a 25-10 lead for half-time, with their first half haul including a penalty try in the 29th minute.
UCC turned a late bout of pressure into their opening try from prop Rob O'Donovan, just before the break, and Barry's first effort in the 42nd minute, following a series of ground-gaining pick and goes, reduced the arrears to 25-17.
Suddenly, Buccs were under all sorts of pressure as College full-back Chris McAuliffe ran in an unconverted 47th minute try, profiting from a tremendous offload by goal-kicking winger Kevin O'Keeffe.
But the home side steadied the ship with a Conor McKeon penalty and their bonus point score in the 60th minute. The final quarter produced four more tries, including two O'Keeffe-converted scores from Barry and number 8 Daire Feeney, however Buccs had the final say as Tullamore man Conroy's breakaway effort took the losing bonus point out of UCC's clutches.
BUCCANEERS: Luke Carty; Eoghan O'Reilly, Shane Layden, Mata Fifita, Jordan Conroy; Alan Gaughan, Conor McKeon; Martin Staunton, John Sutton, Saba Meunargia, Ruairi Byrne, Daniel Qualter, Evan Galvin, Rory Moloney, Stephen McVeigh.
Replacements: Dylan Quinn, Rory Grenham, James Foley, Graham Lynch, Rory O'Connor.
UCC: Chris McAuliffe; Kevin O'Keeffe, Kevin Slater (capt), Murray Linn, James Kiernan; Charlie O'Regan, Richard Walsh; Peter McCabe, Ben Burns, Rob O'Donovan, David Lynch, Richard Moran, Conor Barry, Graham Smith, Daire Feeney.
Replacements: Charlie Slowey, Emmet McCarthy, Lee McSherry, Tom Kiersey, Cillian Ansbro.
OLD WESLEY 35 BALLYNAHINCH 32, Donnybrook
Another free-scoring contest at Donnybrook where Old Wesley and Ballynahinch shared out eight tries, and two closing penalties from Wesley winger Barry McLaughlin proved decisive.
Out-half James McBriar's second try of the afternoon moved 'Hinch ahead for the first time at 32-29, before McLaughlin split the posts twice in quick succession to complete his all-important 15-point contribution from the tee.
Prop Ken Knaggs had a big influence too in those defining final minutes, forcing the ruck penalty which McLaughlin turned into the winning score and claiming a relieving turnover just before the final whistle.
This was a very entertaining clash and the sides tore into each other right from the off, Wesley lock Mark Robinson finishing off good work by Ian Cassidy and Rory Stynes for the opening try.
The Dubliners led 17-13 at half-time, centre Ger Finucane getting over for their second touchdown and Steve Macauley adding a conversion and two penalties to 'Hinch's try from blindside Andrew Harper.
Wesley resumed on the attack with loosehead Knaggs stepping in at centre to provide a memorable assist for Finucane's second try. McLaughlin converted for 24-13 and 'Hinch, despite some dogged defending, were now struggling to stay in touch.
The Co. Down side's experienced centre Stuart Morrow then stepped up to the mark, using a quick tap to break from halfway and pass for McBriar to claim an encouraging seven-pointer.
A really well taken try from Wesley flanker Stephen Boyle, who fended off Davy Nicholson's challenge, kept the hosts on course, but back-to-back efforts from Jordan Grattan and McBriar, with Morrow again heavily involved, saw 'Hinch nip in front with 15 minutes remaining.
Wesley held their nerve, though, to capitalise on 'Hinch's second sin-binning as McLaughlin's accurate kicks saw the visitors overhauled. Their third win has Morgan Lennon's men up to fourth in the table, two points ahead of 'Hinch.
OLD WESLEY: Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Isaac Leota, Ger Finucane, Alan Jeffares; Tim Clifford, Ian Cassidy; Ken Knaggs, David Rowley, James Burton, Aaron Browne, Mark Robinson, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley.
Replacements: Craig Telford, David Henshaw, Jonathan O'Sullivan, Matthew Bursey, Wes Deverell.
BALLYNAHINCH: Steve Macauley; Davy Nicholson (capt), Stuart Morrow, Jordan Grattan, Chris Quinn; Ross Carlisle, Chris Gibson; Kelvin Hamilton, Jonny Murphy, Stuart Orr, James Simpson, Kenny Morton, Andrew Harper, Ben Pentland, Keith Dickson.
Replacements: Jonny Blair, Joe Roe, Stewart Evans, James McBriar, Justin Rea.
SHANNON 10 NAAS 14, Thomond Park back pitch
Shannon remain rooted to the bottom of the Division 1B table after tumbling to a four-point home defeat at the hands of Naas.
Naas player-coach Johne Murphy got over in the corner for the vital 71st minute try, moving his side up to sixth in the standings after their second win in four games.
Winless Shannon did enjoy a brilliant start on Thomond Park's back pitch, their second row and captain Lee Nicholas breaking through for a try after barely a minute.
Out-half Ronan McKenna added the conversion and the Limerick men were still seven points to the good at half-time, their hard-working pack containing Munster front row signing John Andress and Munster Academy number 8 John Foley.
Naas scrum half Peter Osborne hit the woodwork with a first half penalty attempt, but Murphy's charges burst out the blocks on the restart, with right winger Rob O'Connor streaking clear for a 41st minute try.
Osborne's conversion tied things up and although McKenna landed a 68th minute penalty, the Shannon defence gave way just three minutes later when the Naas back-line clicked and Murphy supplied the finishing touches. An excellent conversion followed from Osborne, an important strike which left Shannon scrambling for a late try which never came.
SHANNON: Darren Gavin; Nathan Randles, Rob Deegan, Will Leonard, Shane Mullally; Ronan McKenna, Jack Stafford; Conor Glynn, Ty Chan, John Andress, Riley Winter, Lee Nicholas (capt), Brian Downey, James Vaughan, John Foley.
Replacements: Niall Mulcahy, Conor Beary, Paddy Kearns, Ed Barry, Fionn McGibney.
NAAS: Fionn Carr; Rob O'Connor, Johne Murphy, Henry Bryce, Andrew Shanahan; Michael Skelton, Peter Osborne; Dan O'Byrne, Graham Reynolds, Adam Coyle, Paul Monahan, David Benn, Warren Larkin, Will O'Brien (capt), Eoin Walsh.
Replacements: Conor Johnson, Jason Harney, Cillian Dempsey, Andrew Kearney, Max Whittingham.