O’Neill’s try pivotal as Terenure tame Clontarf

Stephen O’Neill’s first-half try was the difference at Lakelands Park as Terenure College’s dream start continued in Division 1A with a 14-9 win over champions Clontarf.

Terenure’s fifth victory of this campaign extended their winning streak in the Ulster Bank League to an incredible 28 games, and in the process dented Clontarf’s title defence with a second defeat.

The hosts went ahead thanks to two James Thornton penalties. O’Neill’s 37th-minute try from a kick through made it 11-0 at half-time. Improving ‘Tarf opened their account with a 54th minute penalty from replacement Alan Hughes, before a strong break by Connacht loanee John Cooney paved the way for Thornton’s third penalty, 13 minutes from time.

Hughes responded with his second and third penalties to make life difficult for James Blaney’s men once again but despite their best endeavours, Clontarf had to be content with a losing bonus point.

Ballynahinch are now fourth in the table after a brilliant final quarter effort against St. Mary’s College saw them run out 33-13 bonus point winners at rain-soaked Ballymacarn Park.

Dolphin avoided defeat for the first time in this season’s league with a deserved 22-22 draw with Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road. The levelling score was a last-minute penalty from ex-Old Christians scrum half Stuart Lee.

Ireland U20 out-half Ross Byrne contributed a try and three penalties as UCD won 19-10 on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch to condemn Lansdowne to their second successive defeat.

Meanwhile, Ballymena are the new leaders in Division 1B after beating former front runners Galwegians 23-22 at Crowley Park.

The Braidmen picked up their fifth and most significant win of the season despite being outscored by four tries to two. In the end, an excellent injury-time penalty from replacement Tim Small, struck from the 10-metre line, was the difference.

Malone gained their second victory with a 23-10 dismissal of UL Bohemians at Gibson Park. Their 20-point first-half included a brace of tries from scrum-half John Creighton.

Belfast Harlequins held off a late Shannon surge to win 26-21 at Thomond Park. ‘Quins centre Eamon Lane took his league tally to 46 points as he landed four penalties and converted tries from Caleb Montgomery and Peter Dunlop.

In Friday’s Connacht derby at Dubarry Park, two second half tries from Eoghan Masterson and Pat O’Toole saw Corinthians hosts Buccaneers 14-10.


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