HAVING STRUGGLED PAST Old Belvedere last week, Division 1A leaders Lansdowne were back at full tilt today as they ran in five tries without reply to beat defending champions Clontarf 35-0 at Castle Avenue.
First half touchdowns from Scott Deasy, Tom Farrell and Cian Kelleher created the platform for this comprehensive triumph. Young centre Farrell was in sublime form as Mike Ruddock’s men recorded their seventh Ulster Bank League victory in succession.
Clontarf had impressed in the previous round at home to St. Mary’s College, so this resounding defeat to one of their title rivals will come as a big setback in their quest for a play-off position.
The north Dubliners defended well as a unit in the first quarter, but their try-line was breached by Lansdowne on 24 minutes. Scrum half Adam Griggs was the orchestrator of the move, and his neat kick forward was grounded by half-back partner Deasy in the left corner.
Lansdowne’s second try came ten minutes later when Farrell profited from excellent approach work by Tom Daly to touch down on the left hand side.
‘Tarf finally showed some attacking intent just before the break but after the powerful Farrell embarked on a memorable solo run, Lansdowne full-back Kelleher was in the right place to claim another converted score. With a 23-0 buffer, the visitors looked certain to register their 10th win of the league campaign.
Scott Deasy kicks a penalty for Lansdowne. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
‘Tarf simply could not breach the stern Lansdowne defence and it was left to Ruddock’s charges to get the scoreboard moving again.
Tyrone Moran and Farrell made significant gains inside the ‘Tarf half after 69 minutes and when Ian Fitzpatrick was held up just shy of the line, Farrell was on hand to secure a bonus point score for his side.
Clontarf had been reduced to 14 men courtesy of a Tom Byrne sin-binning by this stage and following another incisive attacking move, lock Brian Moylett added a fifth try to bring the curtain down on an outstanding Lansdowne performance.
Ballynahinch are now just one point outside of the top four after full-back Adam Craig helped himself to a hat-trick of tries in their 34-13 bonus point success against Cork Constitution.
Ballymacarn Park is a real fortress for ‘Hinch these days and having trailed 13-10 at the break, with Gerry Hurley dotting down for Con, Derek Suffern’s side went on to dominate the second half as they ended the Leesiders’ sixth-match unbeaten run.
Munster’s Rory Scannell was in fine form for Dolphin as the division’s bottom side surprised play-off hopefuls UCD with a 32-15 defeat down in Cork. Steve Ford’s men are really turning their season around – this was their first bonus point win of the season and comes on the back of last week’s hard-earned triumph over Young Munster.
Peter McCabe and Donagh Lawler exchanged tries in the first half and the students were very much in contention, just three points down (13-10) entering the closing quarter.
However, out-half Scannell boosted Dolphin’s hopes with a well-taken try which he converted himself. He followed up with an intercept effort to make it 27-10 and also added the extras to Dave Byrne’s bonus point score with four minutes left.
Old Belvedere’s eighth losing bonus point in as many defeats will be of little consolation to them after they were edged out 13-9 by St. Mary’s College at Templeville Road.
Two Josh Glynn had ‘Belvo leading 6-0 at the interval, but Mary’s, who sit in ninth place just below their visitors, turned things around in the second half with departing out-half Gavin Dunne playing a crucial role.
Brian McGovern came off the bench to score a converted try, cutting the gap to 9-7, and Corkman Dunne, playing his final game for Mary’s, kicked them to a hard-earned victory courtesy of a cracking drop goal and a follow-up penalty.
Meanwhile, second-placed Terenure College got back to winning ways and also picked up a bonus point in their tight 22-21 defeat of hosts Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park.
Although they squandered an early nine-point advantage, Munsters were still leading 21-17 in the 59th minute following two tries from hooker Ger Slattery.
However, ‘Nure, who had led 17-9 at the break, were determined not to draw a second half blank. They clinched the result when winger Harry Moore scored his seventh try of the campaign, using his impressive pace to reach a kick ahead and dot down.
TODAY’S DIVISION 1A RESULTS:
BALLYNAHINCH 34 CORK CONSTITUTION 13, Ballymacarn Park
Scorers: Ballynahinch: Tries: Ross Adair, Adam Craig 3; Cons: Chris Quinn 4; Pens: Chris Quinn 2
Cork Constitution: Try: Gerry Hurley; Con: Tomas Quinlan; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 2
HT: Ballynahinch 10 Cork Constitution 13
CLONTARF 0 LANSDOWNE 35, Castle Avenue
Scorers: Clontarf: –
Lansdowne: Tries: Scott Deasy, Cian Kelleher, Tom Farrell 2, Brian Moylett; Cons: Scott Deasy 2; Pens: Scott Deasy 2
HT: Clontarf 0 Lansdowne 23
DOLPHIN 32 UCD 15, Irish Independent Park
Scorers: Dolphin: Tries: Peter McCabe, Rory Scannell 2, Dave Byrne; Cons: Rory Scannell 3; Pens: Rory Scannell 2
UCD: Tries: Donagh Lawler, Brian Cawley; Con: Liam Bourke; Pen: Liam Bourke
HT: Dolphin 13 UCD 7
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 13 OLD BELVEDERE 9, Templeville Road
Scorers: St. Mary’s College: Try: Brian McGovern; Con: Gavin Dunne; Pen: Gavin Dunne; Drop: Gavin Dunne
Old Belvedere: Pens: Josh Glynn 2, Shane McDonald
HT: St. Mary’s College 0 Old Belvedere 6
YOUNG MUNSTER 21 TERENURE COLLEGE 22, Tom Clifford Park
Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Ger Slattery 2; Con: Gearoid Lyons; Pens: Gearoid Lyons 3
Terenure College: Tries: Robbie Smyth, Graham Coffey, Stephen O’Neill, Harry Moore; Con: Mark O’Neill
HT: Young Munster 9 Terenure College 17
Example number 1,043 of why Bakkies Botha is the toughest man in rugby‘You need 2 eyes to play but I seem to be doing okay with just one’ – Ian McKinley’s rugby return
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