Clontarf move four points clear as Mary’s hammer Shannon

CLONTARF followed Cork Constitution’s lead in the AIL Division 1B at Castle Avenue on Saturday, defeating nearest rivals Buccaneers to retain leadership of their section.

Clontarf’s 25-15 victory did not yield a bonus point but it was enough to push them four points clear, as Buccs took a hit because of UL Bohemian’s win over Lansdowne.

There was plenty of excitement elsewhere in the section too, not least in Galway where Dungannon shaded a tough encounter (26-25) against Galwegians and in the Mardyke where Bruff just about got the better of UCC (15-13). The shock result of the day came in Dublin where St. Mary’s College trounced Shannon.

Things have not been going well for the Limerick club lately but nobody could have expected this one to end in a 53-0 victory for the home side. The hosts ran in for eight tries, four of them from Darren Hudson and one each from David Campbell, Rob Sweeney, Hugh Hogan and Ronan Doherty as Shannon completely capitulated, in what arguably was the darkest day of their illustrious AIL history.

Old Belvedere bounced back from their recent defeat by Constitution to secure a 29-20 win over Dublin rivals Blackrock College. While Leinster’s Brendan Macken (try) and Ian Madigan (two penalties, two conversions) did their best to guide ‘Rock, the visitors proved too strong. Tries from Richie Leyden (2), Daniel Riordan and Alan Trenier were enough to secure a winning bonus point and pushBelvo up the table above Young Munster – their opponents next week – and into second place.

Garryowen got themselves back on track with a 45-27 win over Dolphin at Dooradoyle in what was a lively encounter. The light blues scored six tries and that proved the major difference, even as Dolphin only managed two tries themselves, relying on the boot of Barry Keeshan to keep them in the hunt.

Ballynahinch enhanced their position at the top of the table with a bonus point win over Clonakilty (34-8), but Ballymena matched them stride for stride by securing a 37-23 win away to Bective.

With UCD, Corinthians, Malone and Belfast Harlequins all in the upper reaches of the division, the best Munster club is Midleton. They beat Malone 18-7 at Towns Park and switch places with Bective from eighth to seventh position.

Meanwhile, in division three, City of Derry secured another bonus point win at home to Ulster rivals Banbridge, while Instonians pushed into third place with a derby win over Ards. Wedged in between are Sundays Well, who came through a tough battle at Musgrave Park before taking the points at the expense of Seapoint.

Highfield had an away win over Rainey Old Boys and Nenagh Ormond drew away to Suttonians.


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