Among the surprise winners were DLSP, who welcomed their new coach Joe Parkes to the job in marvellous fashion by beating league leaders Old Crescent for their first AIL win this season. For good measure they scored four tries to add a bonus point.
Crescent began brightly with a Stephen Tuohy penalty. Shortly afterwards DLSP went ahead when their Romanian International left wing, Mihai Vioreanu went over in the corner for an unconverted try. Crescent hit back and after a line out close to the DLSP line, Scrum half Colin Forde gave the ball to his backs and Shane Stephens scored beside the posts. Tuohy added the easy conversion to put it 5-10.
DLSP equalised some minutes later when Mark McGuinness crossed the Crescent line in the right corner. Simon Broughton missed the difficult conversion.10 10) However, he kicked a penalty in a similar position a few minutes later to give DLSP a 13-10 half time lead.
Five minutes into the second half, DLSP’s Connacht inter-pro centre, Damien McCabe put Vioreanu away just inside the Crescent half. Vioreanu sprinted on and chipped over the head of the covering Crescent defender into their 25, then touched down over the Crescent line for his second try. The conversion was missed.
Crescent responded quickly. After concerted pressure on the DLSP line, No8 David Bowles gathered a failed touch clearance just outside the DLSP 25 on the right touchline. He floated a perceptive diagonal kick to the left of the DLSP posts The defence failed to deal with it and hooker Liam Browne was first to the ball for the try. which brought his side back into the match. Tuohy added the conversion.
DLSP reasserted themselves and established a foothold deep inside the Crescent 25 on the right. From the resulting lineout, Broughton dummied his opposite number and scored under the posts for a converted try.
Crescent kept in touch when Daithi Fitzgerald kicked a penalty, to leave the score at 25-20 but after that DLSP closed the game down as Broughton added two more penalties to leave it 31-20.
In Portadown, Young Munsters got a nasty shock, getting beaten by a side which here-to-fore struggled in the Division.
A Beukes try and four Handcock penalties gave Portadown a total of 17 points, to which high fliers Munsters could only respond with two Murphy penalties and a drop goal.
Thomond also put a halt to Bective Rangers gallop with a 10-10 draw. Ger Earls got the Thomond try and Aidan O’Halloran converted and added a penalty, while Bective scores came from a Conor Twomey try which Fergal Campion converted. Campion later added a penalty.
At Parsonstown, Barnhall beat Midleton 17-15, ending a run of wins for the Cork side and at Dr Hickey Park Greystones had a fine win over Ballynahinch, 22-6.
At the Mardyke, UCC consolidated their mid-table status with a hard earned win, 23-15, over Old Belvedere.