Ulster Bank AIL review: Division 1A leaders UCD had the measure of local rivals Old Belvedere for the third time in recent weeks, as a three-try salvo steered the students to a terrific 23-6 Ulster Bank League victory at Anglesea Road.
Ireland Under-20 prop Andrew Porter raced clear in the final play to seal UCD’s fifth win on the trot, adding to their league and Leinster Senior League Cup final successes against ‘Belvo’ from last month — 20-12 at Belfield and 23-13 at Donnybrook. The difference at half-time (13-6) was a really well-taken try from UCD’s superb flanker Peadar Timmins who took a great line to dive over by the posts.
Lovely hands across the back-line gave winger Barry Daly enough space to go over for his seventh try of the league run. Daly also prevented a certain try for ‘Belvo’s nippy scrum half Charlie Rock, and hard-working loosehead Porter added the final gloss.
Ed O’Keeffe touched down against his former club and flanker Marc Kelly bagged a brace of tries as Galwegians kicked off 2016 with a well-judged 15-12 win at Crowley Park.
Lansdowne got their league season back on track with a 29-24 bonus point triumph over bottom side Ballynahinch. Elusive winger Ian Fitzpatrick had a try double and captain Scott Deasy and young lock James Ryan also crossed the whitewash. Tomas Quinlan contributed 12 points off the bench, including the bonus point try, as Cork Constitution ran out impressive 32-22 winners over Terenure College at Lakelands Park.
Meanwhile, a late Will Leonard try was not enough for Shannon to prevent Dublin University from coming away from Limerick with a 25-22 victory. Tries from Tim Maupin, captain Nick McCarthy and Tom Ryan steered Trinity to an eighth straight win.
Ballymena blew promotion rivals Old Wesley away in a 48-0 demolition job at Eaton Park. The second-placed Braidmen stayed just two points behind leaders St. Mary’s College, with winger James Beattie running in two of their seven tries. Blackrock College staged a gritty two-try comeback to squeeze past Dolphin on a 14-13 scoreline at Stradbrook, with a touchline conversion from out-half Peter Quirke proving crucial.
Winger Rory O’Connor weighed in with two tries either side of half-time — taking his league tally to eight overall — to guide Buccaneers to an 18-7 success against UL Bohemians at Dubarry Park.
A 38-13 bonus point win at home was a fitting way for St. Mary’s College to pay tribute to departing head coach Peter Smyth as they completed a season’s double over Belfast Harlequins.
Smyth, who is leaving to manage the Leinster Rugby Academy, watched the Division 1B leaders tally up five tries, including two from impressive number 8 Mark Fallon.
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