Lansdowne bonus as Cooney hat-trick puts Dubs back on top

Lansdowne are back on top of the Ulster Bank League following a bonus-point victory over Dolphin at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The Cork side fell victim to a fine Lansdowne display as the home side grabbed five tries, four from Leinster players John Cooney (three) and Jordi Murphy. Craig Ronaldson kicked three conversions and two penalties, while Dolphin’s sole reply was a Rory Scannell try and Barry Keeshan conversion.

Despite Garryowen’s fine victory over Cork Con, the Limerick side will have to make do with second place, albeit only based on points difference from the Dublin club, while Young Munster’s fine bonus-point win over Old Belvedere at Clifford Park keeps them nicely placed in third position.

Darragh O’Neill scored twice for Munsters, Neville Melbourne and Lukas Kunz each had tries and Brian Haugh was in impeccable kicking form with four conversions and four penalties.

Con stay in fourth despite their loss due to defeats suffered by Clontarf, Dolphin and Belvedere.

Tarf were stung by defending champions St Mary’s College at Templeville Road (3-16), a sole Richie Lane penalty no consolation for the home side.

There were strange results in Division 1B, with leaders Ballynahinch struggling to a draw against Malone at Gibson Park. It was enough to keep them in pole position because Dublin University lost at home to Belfast Harlequins, who moved from fifth to fourth.

Buccaneers beat UCD to keep third spot ahead of Harlequins and UCD, who swapped places between fourth and fifth.

Blackrock picked up an invaluable win against Bruff following a dogged struggle. Brian Cahill and David Godfrey exchanged penalties but Godfrey’s drop goal for Rock proved good enough in the end.

Ballymena and Dungannon drew 9-9 which keeps Bruff in eighth place, a point ahead of their Ulster rivals.

Clonakilty, meanwhile, secured a massive boost with a 32-0 win over Connemara in their Division 2B game.

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