Four out of the seven local side claimed vital winning points
Garryowen, Shannon, UL Bohs and Old Crescent were all victorious over the weekend with some important points picked up in the lead up to tough December fixtures.
Dublin University 28 Garryowen 37
Garryowen defeated Dublin University at College Park on Saturday thanks to a hat trick from winger Liam Coombes. The home side started the better of the two sides and were rewarded for their efforts when they went over for the opening score after a well worked maul. The light blues responded five minutes later when Dave Johnston went over for his side’s first score.
Neil Cronin added a penalty for his side before Coombes went over twice in the space 10 minutes before half time to leave the the Dooradoyle outfit leading 20-7 at the break.
Trinity started the second half in a similar fashion to the first when Michael Silvestre went over for his side’s second score of the afternoon. However, DUFC then went to sleep on two occasion with their wide defence found wanting with tries from Coombes again and substitute James McInerny increasing the gap to 20 points.
The college side did reply with two tries to earn themselves a try bonus point but anoth Cronin penalty 10 minutes from time sealed his side’s fifth victory of the campaign moving them up to second in the table.
80m/Closing BP Try and Conv for DUFC. BP win for GFC. Score 28-37
— Garryowen FC (@GarryowenFC) November 25, 2017
Young Munster 22 Clontarf 23
Young Munsters were defeated with a last gasp conversion on Saturday afternoon in an exciting encounter with Clontarf at Tom Clifford Park.
After an early David Joyce penalty for the visitors, they went further in front after two nice tries from Rob McGrath and Munster academy back Jack Power before the home side got bak into the game.
The cookies replied with a try from the instrumental Ger Slattery with two minutes left in the first half which was converted by Alan Tynan to cut Tarf’s lead to just 10 points. Shortly after their first score, Gearoid Prendergast’s side went over for another through back row Dan Walsh which cut the gap down to a single point at half time.
Five minutes into the second half, Slattery went over for his second which meant his side lead for the first time in the game even after Tynan missed to conversion.
However the Greenfields outfit couldn’t manage to capitalise on the opportunities they were creating which cost them in the end as a Tynan penalty simply wasn’t enough to stop the 2015 champions, who scored a try, which was soon followed by a penalty in the last play to come away from Limerick with all four points.
Last kick of game pen tarf f/score ym 22 tarf 23
— Young Munster RFC (@YoungMunsterRFC) November 25, 2017
Shannon 27 Ballymena 15
Shannon returned to winning ways at the weekend when they came out 27-15 winners over Ballymena on Saturday at Thomond Park.
Former Aurillac back row Kelvin Brown started off the scoring for Tom Hayes’ side, while second half tries from Keith Kavanagh and Jack O’Donnell helped to seal the win. Fly Half Conor Fitzgerald kicked a penalty and two conversions.
— Shannon RFC (@Shannon_RFC) November 25, 2017
Dolphin 6 UL Bohemians 13
UL Bohemians got their second win of the campaign on Saturday as they defeated fellow strugglers Dolphin 13-6 at Irish Independent park. Bohs started the brightest in Cork with a first half try from Harry Fleming converted by Robbie Bourke which was then followed by a penalty from Bourke’s boot to leave the sides 10-6 at the break thanks to two penalties from Dolphins Barry Keeshin.
The only points scored in the second half went to Christy Neilan’s men when Bourke knocked over another penalty on 60 minutes which meant the away side move up two place in the table to 8th with Dolphin routed to the bottom with one win to their name.
Belfast Harlequins 27 Old Crescent 29
Old Crescent made it eight wins from eight on Saturday afternoon when they defeated bottom side Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park. On Paper it looked as if Crescent wouldn’t have to worry about keeping their 100% record in tact in the North, with the home side bottom before kick off with no wins to their name, however it was a different story for Brendan Guilfoyles men with Harlequins pushing them very close in the end.
First half tries from Guilfoyle, Val McDermott and Tevita Tioa along with two successful conversions from Ronan McKenna saw the away side lead 19-10 at half time after the home side scored two unconverted tries themselves.
The second half was a much tighter affair, with Darragh O’Brien going over for a score in the 45th minutes to leave the sides 26-10 apart, but the county down side responded with two tries shortly after to set up a tense finale for the league leaders.
With 15 to go, Harlequins were awarded a penalty, which they knocked over to leave just one point between the two side’s, however, Crescent showed why they are top of the table with a perfect record when two minutes later they went up the other end of the field and earned themselves a penalty which McKenna slotted to give some breathing space for the final ten and eventually the all important win.
Full time. B Harlequins 27 Old Crescent 29. Scary stuff!
— Old Crescent RFC (@OldCrescentRFC1) November 25, 2017
Thomond 32 Omagh 39
It was a disappointing afternoon for Thomond on Saturday, as they were defeated by now third place outfit, Omagh, at Liam Fitzgerald park. The away side started the brightest with an early counter attack which led to a 5-0 lead, but the home side responded quickly with a try from centre Ger Finucane which was converted by Evan Cusack.
The sides then traded penalties before tries from in form Darragh O’Neill and David O’Halloran, along with another penalty from Cusack left the sides at 25-13 at the break with Omagh knocking over a penalty before the interval.
In the second half, James Hickey’s side didn’t get off to an ideal start, first losing top try scorer O’Neill to a hamstring injury, which was closely followed by a penalty try conceded after good pressure from the County Tyrone side scrum. This left the score at 25-20 with roughly the first quarter of the second half played.
Thomond’s worries were put at ease for a few minutes when Out-half Cusack scored a break away try which saw the gap increase to 12 points with about 20 to go. However, it wasn’t to be a fourth successive win for the soda cakes, as 19 unanswered points from the Northern Ireland outfit condemned the home side to their second defeat at Liam Fitzgerald park this season, their first coming in round 1 against leaders Sligo.
Here are Thomond’s tries from their loss to Omagh. (Warning: Bad Language in clip)
Not to be today. 2 points keep us 2nd and actually close the gap at the top. Congratulations to @OmaghAcciesRFC on the win and the fantastic travelling support. See ye in Jan
— Thomond RFC (@RFCThomond) November 25, 2017
Malahide 21 Bruff 0
Bruff suffered a second defeat in as many matches on Saturday as Malahide outscored them three tries to one at Estuary Road. It was a quiet first half in terms of scores with the home side notching up the only score in the first half after a sustained period of pressure, leaving the sides 7-0 at the break, with the game still completely in the balance.
However, the home side demonstrated why they are undefeated at their Dublin headquarters so far this year in the second, with two unanswered tries in the second forty to down the County Limerick side, and move above them to fifth in the table in doing so.
— Malahide Rugby Club (@malahiderfc) November 25, 2017