RUGBY: AIB LEAGUE DIVISION 1A
Clontarf 21 UL Bohemians 12, Castle Avenue
Clontarf winger Michael Keating delivered an impressive performance, scoring two tries to give his side a much-needed 21-12 victory over UL Bohemians in AIB League Division 1A this afternoon.
As expected, the recent bad weather left quite a mark on the pitch at Castle Avenue, however this did not prohibit a free-flowing encounter between two struggling teams.
'Tarf's previous league fixture at Castle Avenue ended with a disappointing defeat to Shannon which could have easily gone the other way. Therefore, this must have been a welcome result for director of rugby and Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman.
Bohs, despite being second last in the league, are one of only two teams to beat long-time league leaders St. Mary's this season and they were hoping to reproduce a performance like that against Clontarf.
However, by the end of the first half, Bohs were in serious difficulty - trailing 14-0 after conceding two soft tries.
Keating was first to score after he intercepted out-half Fergal Lawlor's sluggish pass and the former Ireland Under-20 wide man finished off easily with a clear run to the line.
Two minutes before half-time, centre Henry Bryce capitalised on a loose ball, using his footballing skills to kick ahead and he pounced on it to score 'Tarf's second try.
The Limerick team, with Ian Costello as their director of rugby, were a different side altogether in the second half, playing an impressive brand of quick-running rugby which seriously troubled the home side.
The visitors converted this pressure into points when promising number 8 Kieran Essex took control of Lawlor's chip through to score Bohs' first try of the game.
UL could not keep the pressure up and they went through a slight lull after 15 minutes of the second half. Things considerably tightened up and with 'Tarf giving the ball away on numerous occasions, the game lost some of its intensity.
The two stand out back-line performers for 'Tarf, Bryce and Keating, linked up well together with Keating following up on Bryce's chip through to score his second try and put further daylight between the teams.
Essex managed to score a second for the Limerick side but with only two minutes to go, there was no way Bohs could mount a serious late challenge.
Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Henry Bryce, Michael Keating 2; Cons: Martin Dufficy 2, Daragh O’Shea
UL Bohemians: Tries: Kieran Essex 2; Con: Daniel Riordan