Late try clinches win for Old Belvedere

OLD BELVEDERE 10 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 9

OLD BELVEDERE 10 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 9

Winger David Mongan came to Old Belvedere's rescue as his 77th minute try clinched a narrow victory over Blackrock College and puts his side back on top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

Mongan, who made few contributions in the preceding minutes, came good in the end and showed remarkable skill to evade two tackles and grab the decisive score.

Blackrock were very unfortunate to come out on the losing side as they responded astutely after a disappointing 32-16 defeat to Dolphin last week. Their centre Rob Keogh had the first say of this evening's clash at Anglesea Road, with a nicely struck-penalty after six minutes.

Old Belvedere had a chance to reply when they were given a penalty on the ten-metre line but instead opted to kick to touch. Their lineout could not deliver possession and the visitors were sparked into life by a scintillating burst from lock Mick Carroll who showed tremendous pace to race down the line to set up another surge by Keogh.

'Rock could not make it over the try-line but were rewarded for their efforts with another penalty from Keogh to put the scoreline at 6-0. Out-half Conal Keane managed to reduce the visitors' lead and get 'Belvo off the mark with a straightforward penalty after Jonathan Barreto was penalised for not rolling away.

As expected, the game soon developed into a scrappy dogfight given the difficult conditions, but 'Rock seemed to better manage the situation in the first half. Jan-Simon Byrne almost notched a try for 'Rock before half-time when he took a good line onto full-back Mark Scott-Lennon's pass, but the winger was taken down five metres short of the line.

Into the second half, Old Belvedere turned the tables and inflicted a steady onslaught on 'Rock's line, yet several infringements at the breakdown prevented the breakthrough try. Phil Werahiko's men were encouraged by some good counter attacking from winger Eddie Devitt and full-back Daniel Riordan who helped to keep 'Rock in their own 22 for most of the third quarter.

Blackrock almost capitalised on Andy Dunne's sluggish pass, which did not go to hand, and centre Leon Ellison kicked the loose ball up to the five metre line. However, the covering Devitt did well to gather the ball and set up the clearance.

The home side had the opportunity to reduce Blackrock's lead to three points in the 70th minute when they were awarded a penalty just outside the 22. Again though, they kicked for touch and failed to follow up off the back of a lineout.

The match-winning seven-pointer eventually came three minutes from the end. Old Belvedere turned over a scrum inside 'Rock's 22 and number 8 Leo Auva'a powered his way towards the line - only to be stopped five metres short.

The ball was moved out to Mongan who showed excellent strength and skill to finish off and give captain Dunne a kickable conversion to win the match for 'Belvo.

Blackrock will be thoroughly disappointed with their late defensive lapse, but they will be encouraged by an improved overall performance which showed plenty of passion and determination.

Scorers:

Old Belvedere: Try: David Mongan; Con: Andy Dunne; Pen: Conal Keane

Blackrock College: Pens: Rob Keogh 3

HT: Old Belvedere 3 Blackrock College 9

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