Clontarf set for home advantage in play-offs

Clontarf are odds-on for home advantage in the Ulster Bank League play-offs after hammering bottom side Ballynahinch 31-13 at Ballymacarn Park on Saturday.
Clontarf set for home advantage in play-offs

‘Tarf have moved seven points clear in Division 1A with just two rounds remaining. Their five-try haul in Down included one from senior debutant Neil Reilly, the former Ireland U18 Clubs captain.

Old Belvedere shot clear of the relegation zone with a six-try 32-24 dismissal of Galwegians at Crowley Park. Their number 8 and captain Jonathan Slattery scored two tries.

Terenure College lifted themselves out of that dreaded relegation play-off position with a stunning 32-3 triumph over Lansdowne at Lakelands Park, with Jake Swaine, Kevin O’Neill, Harrison Brewer, James O’Donoghue and Mark O’Neill all touching down.

Cork Constitution beat Garryowen 16-14 and, with a game in hand over the major players, grabbed four very important points to strengthen their claims to a top-four finish.

St. Mary’s College continued their match back towards the top flight with a convincing 24-3 bonus point win away to Shannon.

The Division 1B leaders made it 12 successive victories on Thomond Park’s back pitch, with Conor Toolan coming off the bench to grab the bonus point score with four minutes remaining.

Belfast Harlequins’ tremendous 29-24 comeback victory over Old Wesley, which included a brace from flanker Ollie Loughead, was in vain as they were relegated from Division 1B by UL Bohemians’ 18-16 defeat of Dolphin.

Centre Rory White’s brilliant match-winning try guided UL to their third success in four matches. With tries in each half from backs Callum Boland and Alan Gaughan, Buccaneers closed to within a point of fourth-placed Old Wesley as they got the better of Blackrock College (20-10) at Stradbrook.

At the other end of the table, Dublin University saw off promotion rivals Ballymena in typical swashbuckling style with a six-try 34-19 triumph at College Park. It leaves Trinity (64 points) and St. Mary’s (68) in a straight shoot-out for automatic promotion, with the pair meeting at Templeville Road on Friday, April 1.

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