DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 21 YOUNG MUNSTER 19, College Park
Tommy Whittle's late converted try could be Dublin University's most valuable score of the entire Ulster Bank League season after they came from behind to beat Young Munster 21-19 at College Park.
Former Leinster underage player Whittle, who turns 22 on Wednesday, started his birthday celebrations early by coming off the bench to land the match-winning blow for the students in this end-to-end Bank Holiday Monday tie.
Trailing 19-11 in the closing stages, Jack McDermott fired over his third successful penalty and then converted Whittle's all-important try, as Trinity gave their Division 1A survival hopes a huge boost. They are now six points clear of second-from-bottom St. Mary's with three rounds remaining.
It was not looking good for Tony Smeeth's side when Munsters, who came to Dublin on the back of a five-match winning streak, cancelled out an initial McDermott penalty with tries from Ger Slattery and promising young full-back Alan Tynan.
Pressure on the Trinity lineout led to experienced hooker Slattery breaking through for the opening try, and the Cookies claimed a second when Tynan scored from a chip and chase effort. 12-3 was a flattering lead though, as the hosts had played most of the rugby in the first half.
Munsters were determined to move back into the top four after some of their rivals had gained recent ground on them, but they were rocked by a Tom Ryan try, via a terrific Kyle Dixon offload, and a McDermott penalty soon made it a one-point game - 12-11.
Tynan completed his brace six minutes later, turning a bout of pressure into seven hard-earned points. But it was not enough in the end as Trinity continue to be a bogey team for Munsters - they have now achieved two season's doubles over the Limerick men since gaining promotion in 2016.
McDermott's surefooted place-kicking saw him finish with 11 points, matching his out-half rival Whittle's haul from October's 21-17 win at Tom Clifford Park. Indeed, Whittle, who came on for injured winger Seb Fromm today, came back to haunt the Cookies again with a neatly-finished try which made it two home wins on the trot for Trinity.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Evan Dixon, Michael Courtney (capt), Kyle Dixon, Seb Fromm; Jack McDermott, Angus Lloyd; James Bollard, Paddy Finlay, Martin Kelly, Jack Burke, Alex McDonald, Sam Pim, David St Leger, Tom Ryan.
Replacements: Daniel Sheehan, Darragh Higgins, Kevin O’Connor, Rowan Osborne, Tommy Whittle.
YOUNG MUNSTER: Alan Tynan; Conor Hayes, Jack Harrington, Jason Kiely, Evan O'Gorman; Shane Airey, Jack Lyons; Peter Meyer, Ger Slattery, Colm Skehan, Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy, Diarmaid Dee, Dan Walsh, Ben Kilkenny (capt).
Replacements: Mark O'Mara, Gavin Ryan, Mike Madden, Rob Guerin, Ben Swindlehurst.
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE 7 UCD 23, Templeville Road
Scorers - St. Mary’s College: Try: Craig Kennedy; Con: Sean Kearns. UCD: Tries: Conall Doherty, Tom Fletcher, Stephen McVeigh; Con: Matthew Gilsenan; Pens: Matthew Gilsenan 2
UCD outscored St. Mary's College by three tries to one in a lively second half to emerge as 23-7 winners of this reschedule top flight fixture at Templeville Road.
The seventh-placed students climbed away from relegation trouble with their first away victory since November, while Mary's may not be able to break out of the bottom two, given they have to face title-chasing opposition in each of the final three rounds.
Two penalties from out-half Matthew Gilsenan had UCD leading 6-0 at half-time, and a strong set of phases in sight of the try-line led to flanker number 8 Stephen McVeigh crossing in the 48th minute.
Mary's were back in contention four minutes later when right winger Craig Kennedy crossed for a try. The seven-pointer owed much to the swift hands of Ireland Under-20 international Conor Dean and a charging run in the build-up by prop Tom O'Reilly, who was fresh from playing for the Ireland Club team in Scotland on Friday night.
However, Mary's could not maintain the momentum and it was UCD who produced the stronger finish, Gilsenan missing a penalty before two late tries from Conall Doherty and replacement Tom Fletcher wrapped up the points.
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE: Matthew Timmons; Craig Kennedy, Darren Moroney, Marcus O'Driscoll, Myles Carey; Sean Kearns, Paddy O'Driscoll; Tom O'Reilly, Richard Halpin, Adam Coyle, Ciaran Ruddock (capt), David O'Connor, David Aspil, Ronan Watters, Nick McCarthy.
Replacements: Hugo Kean, Emmet Ferron, Jack Dilger, Robbie Glynn, Conor Dean, Conor Gilsenan.
UCD: Conall Doherty; Tim Carroll, Gavin Mullin, Colm Mulcahy, Steven Kilgallen; Matthew Gilsenan, Jamie Glynn (capt); Rory Mulvihill, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet McMahon, Ronan Foley, Alex Penny, Stephen McVeigh.
Replacements: Gordon Frayne, Michael Moynihan, Keelan McKenna, Patrick Patterson, Tom Fletcher.
UL BOHEMIANS 17 BALLYNAHINCH 24, Annacotty
Scorers - UL Bohemians: Tries: Jamie McNamara, Darragh O’Grady; Cons: Robbie Bourke 2; Pen: Robbie Bourke. Ballynahinch: Tries: Conor Kelly, Zac Ward; Con: Richard Reaney; Pens: Richard Reaney 4
Ballynahinch have moved back to the top of Division 1B after triumphing 24-17 over resurgent UL Bohemians in today's rescheduled clash at Annacotty.
Bohs had won their opening four league games of 2018 to climb up to eighth spot, but title-chasing Ballynahinch got the job done late on in Limerick, aided by goal-kicking winger Richard Reaney's 14 points from the tee.
Home winger Jamie McNamara ran in a breakaway try on the quarter hour mark, with UL, who were playing into a strong wind in the first half, only 9-7 behind at the break.
Reaney's fourth successful penalty followed just three minutes into the second period, but the Red Robins began the final quarter with a 14-12 lead after flanker Darragh O'Grady touched down from a concerted spell of pressure.
'Hinch full-back Conor Kelly hit back with a 66th minute try in the left corner, and although Bohs out-half Robbie Bourke turned a scrum penalty into three points to level matters at 17-all, 'Hinch had the final say when Andy Ward's 19-year-old son Zac sprinted over for the match-winning try in injury-time.
UL BOHEMIANS: Colin Ryan; Matt McDonald, Adrian Enright, Mike Mullally, Jamie McNamara; Robbie Bourke, Joe Murray; Joey Conway, Joe Bennett, Mark Bromell, Daragh Frawley (capt), Ed Kelly, James Ryan, Darragh O'Grady, Noel Kinane.
Replacements: Keynan Knox. David O'Connor, Ian Condell, Ian O'Connor, Harry Fleming.
BALLYNAHINCH: Conor Kelly; David Busby, Callum McLaughlin, Will Stewart, Richard Reaney; Ryan Wilson, Aaron Cairns (capt); Campbell Classon, Zack McCall, Jerry Cronin, James Simpson, John Donnan, Jack Regan. Josh Donaldson, Conall Boomer.
Replacements: Clayton Milligan, Jonny Blair, Peter Browne, Zac Ward, Chris Gibson, Paddy Wright.
Cashel 21 Queen's University 17, Spafield (played on Saturday)
MU Barnhall 25 Rainey Old Boys 3, Parsonstown (played on Saturday)
Dungannon 11 Navan 21, Stevenson Park