Ulster Bank League Division 1B round-up

Bruff scored two superb tries on their way to handing out a notable 25-5 defeat to Ballymena in the opening round of Division 1B this afternoon.

Bruff scored two superb tries on their way to handing out a notable 25-5 defeat to Ballymena in the opening round of Division 1B this afternoon.

It was, nevertheless, a lively affair at Kilballyowen Park where two Ballymena players and one from Bruff were shown yellow cards.

Bruff did not take long to get going. After the visitors were penalised for going offside in the 13th minute, Brian Carroll landed his opening penalty.

A superb break by Mark Cosgrave paved the way for the game’s first try. He cut inside before offloading to full-back Brian Deady who, in turn, cut back inside to touch down. Carroll converted and he then landed a penalty in added time to make it 13-0 for half-time.

By this stage Bruff had earned dominance in the scrum and it was that platform that led to further scores in the second period.

The outcome of the match was effectively decided after 48 minutes with a brilliant individual try by centre Gary Leonard. He picked up a loose ball and raced 50 metres to touch down and make it 18-0.

Bruff were set to score a third try from a third close-in scrum but as they were about to drive over a Ballymena flanker kicked the ball away and the Limerick men were awarded a penalty try which Carroll converted. Niall Martin had a late try for a disappointing Ballymena side.

An exciting UCD outfit has moved straight to the top of the table thanks to their runaway 48-20 victory over hosts Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park.

The students outscored ‘Quins by seven tries to three in a free-flowing clash, with winger Sam Coghlan Murray and flanker Danny Kenny scoring a brace each.

At Dubarry Park, Ballynahinch remembered their late clubman Nevin Spence in fitting fashion with a rousing 27-17 win over a determined Buccaneers team.

‘Hinch benefited from three tries, scored by winger Aaron Ferris, replacement Aaron Cairns and second row Chris Napier. New winger Michael Lawton kicked 12 points, as did Buccs’ recent Connacht debutant Jack Carty.

Two productive spells just before and right after half-time saw Dublin University make an eye-catching start to life in this division as they got the better of Blackrock College, winning 29-11.

Scottish flanker Alan MacDonald was the standout player as Trinity built a 15-6 half-time lead with Ariel Robles and Jack Dilger claiming tries.

Two more touchdowns from Martin Kelly and Pierce Dargan, early in the second period, killed off ‘Rock’s challenge although Mark Scott-Lennon did muster a consolation score.

On Friday night, another of the promoted sides, Malone, made a purposeful start as they ran out comprehensive 36-13 winners over first division regulars Dungannon.

The Gibson Park tie marked Niall O’Connor’s debut for the home club and he finished with 16 points, converting two of Malone’s four tries from Glen Moore, Alan O’Connor, Neil Alcorn and Chris Leathem.

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