Garryowen 34 Old Belvedere 17, Dooradoyle
Garryowen guaranteed themselves a place in the Division One semi-finals with a well-crafted 34-17 win over Old Belvedere at Dooradoyle this afternoon.
The Limerick men lie in third place in the table, eight points clear of Clontarf, thanks to this four-try success.
Barry Kinsella got over for an early 'Belvo try but scores from Conan Doyle, Keith Earls and Alan Kingsley helped the hosts lead 23-10 at half-time.
Felix Jones made a 40-metre dash for the Dubliners' second try, but Doyle's second touchdown made the game safe for Garryowen, who could still nick a home semi-final off the top two, Cork Constitution and Shannon.
Three tries inside the opening seven minutes got this game off to a bright start at Dooradoyle but, once in front, Garryowen cruised to victory and wrapped up the bonus point midway in the second half.
Two of the brightest prospects in the country, Keith Earls and Felix Jones both scored spectacular tries for their respective sides.
It was a game in which the handling of both sides proved costly at times, but with six tries the small attendance could not complain that they were not entertained.
And the tries by Earls and Jones, two members of last year's Ireland Under-20 team, were worth the admission alone. This pair look set to make a big impact on the game in future seasons.
Garryowen had the better backs with Conan Doyle and Alan Kingsley being especially prominent as a support act to Earls who threatened every time he gained possession.
In the forwards Garryowen had star men in Anthony Kavanagh, Paul Neville and Mark Melbourne.
The Old Belvedere half-backs Brian Collins and Ruairi Cushion coped well behind a sometimes beaten pack and Jones was the star of the visitors' three-quarter line. In the 'Belvo pack, Tim Jago and Vincent Soden were the pick.
Old Belvedere led inside two minutes when Jones gave an inside pass to Barry Kinsella who raced in and Brian Collins converted.
Three minutes later, three Garryowen players chased a kick by Alan Kingsley and Conan Doyle got the touchdown.
Then came the superb try by Earls who flew clear from inside his own half for a spectacular try and a drop goal by Alan Kingsley had the home side 13-7 in front.
A penalty by Collins kept 'Belvo in touch but ten points in the last six minutes of the half made all the difference.
Firstly, Kingsley had a try after the pack tried to drive over several times - Melbourne gave the try-scoring pass to the out-half. Conor Kilroy converted and he then added a penalty.
Kilroy added two second half penalties for Garryowen and in between Doyle had his second try. The lightning quick Jones raced over for Old Belvedere's second try which Collins converted.
Once the score-line clearly indicated a Garryowen win, both coaches availed of the opportunity to empty their benches.