Confidence-boosting win for Belvedere

Old Belvedere 24 UCC 3

Old Belvedere 24 UCC 3

A hat-trick of tries from David Mongan propelled Old Belvedere to a confidence-boosting 24-3 victory over top flight newcomers UCC in AIB League Division 1B this afternoon.

The hosts' greater experience told throughout, in a game which was a steep learning curve for newly=promoted UCC, who could only call upon three of the side that topped the Division 2 table last season.

The slight cross-field breeze favoured Old Belvedere in the opening half, but they made little use of this in the first quarter.

Despite holding the bulk of the early possession and winning most of the lineouts, it was a tough afternoon in front of the posts for Belvo place-kicker Andy Dunne.

The hosts' captain only managed to convert one of his four place-kicks in the opening half - a conversion in the first minute of injury-time following his side's second try.

With little to show from an energy-sapping opening quarter for both sides, the scores finally began to flow with Mongan's 19th-minute try opening the scoring.

The left winger's first try came following great work by Jonathan Slattery, who set off on a lung-bursting run before offloading the ball to Mongan who evaded two UCC tacklers to finish off nicely.

UCC place-kicker Andrew Burke, who made an appearance for Munster during last season's Magners League campaign; reduced the deficit to two points with a 33rd minute penalty.

However, UCC's joy was short-lived, as following an injury to Chris Nolan; Old Belvedere really got motoring and left the Cork students having to pick up the pieces.

An injury-time John Kennedy try was converted by Dunne to make it 12-3 to Belvo at half-time.

The second half continued to see the Dublin 4 outfit make better distribution of the ball, and within 11 minutes of the restart they had quickly built up a 21-point lead.

Tries from Mongan in the 42nd and 51st minutes were backed up with a second Dunne conversion.

Although UCC dominated possession in the closing quarter, they lacked quality finishing to their moves with the final pass often going astray.

Old Belvedere, who sit top of the pile in Division 1B, face a tricky away assignment against Buccaneers next weekend, while UCC host Ballymena at the Mardyke.

SCORERS:

Old Belvedere: Tries: David Mongan 3, John Kennedy; Cons: Andy Dunne 2

UCC: Pen: Andrew Burke

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