One-point difference at table top as St Mary's win

Lansdowne 22 St Mary's College 27, Aviva Stadium back pitch

Lansdowne 22 St Mary's College 27, Aviva Stadium back pitch

St Mary’s College struck for three converted tries in the second half of their Division 1A victory over Lansdowne at headquarters this afternoon.

Backs Philip Brophy, Conor Hogan and Darren Hudson all crossed the Lansdowne whitewash as St Mary’s maintained the pressure on leaders Clontarf at the top of the table.

With four rounds of matches remaining, Peter Smyth’s men are just one point worse off than ‘Tarf with the sides set to meet at Castle Avenue in mid-April.

Lansdowne, who throttled Blackrock 40-12 last time out, took an early lead thanks to a penalty from out-half Craig Ronaldson.

The fit-again Gavin Dunne levelled for the visitors, but Ronaldson’s deft cross-field kick played in winger Cian Aherne for the opening try for Mike Ruddock’s charges.

A second penalty from Dunne closed the gap to 10-6 for half-time, but a dominant display in the third quarter sent St. Mary’s ahead and they did enough to hold on in the end.

A relentless bout of pressure on the Lansdowne defence was too much for them to handle and St Mary’s out-half Brophy broke through for their first try.

Dunne converted and also added the extras to two more touchdowns from Hogan and the Leinster-capped Hudson, who was used as a replacement in the province’s win over Aironi last night.

Now 27-10 adrift, Lansdowne had a huge task on their hands. Credit to Ruddock’s youngsters, they battled back to earn a losing bonus point by adding two more tries.

A classy try from centre Sean Carey gave them renewed hope and replacement Alan Matthews tagged on their third of the afternoon in injury-time.

Scorers: Lansdowne: Tries: Cian Aherne, Sean Carey, Alan Matthews; Cons: Craig Ronaldson 2; Pen: Craig Ronaldson

St. Mary’s College: Tries: Philip Brophy, Conor Hogan, Darren Hudson; Cons: Gavin Dunne 3; Pens: Gavin Dunne 2

HT: Lansdowne 10 St. Mary’s College 6

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