AIL Roundup: Division 1A Round 17

The semi finals in 1A will be contested between the heavyweights of Terenure, Cork Con, Clontarf and Lansdowne, who booked their ticket with an emphatic win at the weekend. At the bottom Trinity were relegated as Shannon were bonus point winners on Sunday. That means Shannon and City of Armagh will look to avoid the relegation play-offs on the final day.

Cork Constitution (1T) 10-7 Ballynahinch (1T)), Temple Hill

Hinch fell just short of keeping their hopes of a semi-final alive as a James Taylor penalty in the second half ensured Cork Con took the points.

It was the visitors who drew first blood as Aaron Sexton crossed for the opening try after 14 minutes as Conor Rankin slotted over the conversion. With half an hour on the clock Cork Con with a lovely intercept try levelled the tie. Matthew Bowen with the try, Taylor converting, the game level 7-7 at the interval.

A real closely fought battle between these two sides, yellow cards did get brandished in Temple Hill and the concession of a penalty by Hinch saw Taylor dissect the posts shy of the hour mark. Con able to grind out the clock and secure the points.

Dublin University (3T) 22-13 UCD (1T), College Park

Despite winning their colours clash with UCD, Trinity were relegated from 1A as Shannon claimed a valuable win on Sunday.

Matthew Lynch and James Tarrant exchanged early penalties before Zach Baird snipe for the opening try for the hosts which went unconverted. Tarrant added a second penalty as Trinity were ahead 8-6 at the interval.

After the hour mark Conor O’Tighearnaigh crossed the whitewash for UCD and Tarrant had the visitors ahead 13-8 with the conversion. Trinity dug deep to see out the game in those final 15 minutes, James Dillon and John Vinson crossing for converted tries by Harry Colbert to grind out the result.

Lansdowne (8T) 64-31 City of Armagh (5T), Aviva Stadium Back Pitch

Lansdowne confirmed their spot in the 1A semi-finals as they produced an emphatic win to get past City Of Armagh.

The hosts started strong with Charlie Tector slotting an early penalty. It was followed by their opening try with Cillian Redmond going over and Tector made it 10-0 from the tee. Andy Marks crossed for their third try before a brilliant maul led to Tom Barry securing the bonus point, Tector converting the latter for a 22-0 lead.

It was all one way traffic in the opening half, Peter Sullivan, Liam Foster and a second try from Barry putting Lansdowne 43-0 ahead at the interval as Tector converted all three tries. The energy was still with Lansdowne and early in the second period Jack Matthews powered over for a try and Tector slotted the extras.

Peter Sullivan soon added a second try which Tector converted. City Of Armagh did produce a late fightback to secure a vital bonus point Andrew Willis, Evin Crummie, Kyle Faloon, Lewis Finlay and Barry Finn all crossed the whitewash with Shea O’Brien slotting three conversions. Donough Lawlor crossed for an eighth and final try for the hosts with Tector converting all eight.

Terenure College (3T) 29-15 Clontarf (2T), Lakelands Park

Terenure moved to top spot as they overcame Clontarf in a titanic tussle in Lakelands.

Clontarf did take the early advantage when Conor Kelly dissected the posts from a penalty. Nure found their opening score minutes later as John Mckee dotted down from a lineout maul. The conversion stung the upright but Aran Egan did land a penalty after 12 minutes for an 8-3 lead.

A beautiful kick in behind by San Berman sent Conor Phillips on his way and put on the burners to dot down for their second try of the contest. Nure ahead 13-3 at the interval.

Tarf drew first blood in the second half, Aitzol King crossing and Kelly converted to cut the gap to three points. Egan slotted a penalty in reply but Clontarf were in again as Mikey McGiff glided over in the corner, the conversion missed and the gap down to a single point 16-15.

This proved the last score Tarf would grab in this tie as Terenure powered home to victory. Egan slotted his third penalty to move Nure four ahead before Matthew Caffrey crossed for their third try. Egan slotted the conversion and dispatched his fourth penalty to cap off the win minutes later.

Shannon (5T) 37-22 Young Munster (3T), Thomond Park

Shannon secured a vital win to see the relegation play-off battle go down to the final day between them and City of Armagh, securing an impressive win over Young Munster on Sunday.

The hosts started well and two minutes in Stephen Kiely crossed for the opening try with two minutes elapsed and Mike Cooke converted. Minutes later and Young Munster were level, James O Brien down the wing to dot down, Tony Butler with the extras to make it 7-7.Two penalties from Cooke had Shannon ahead by six approaching the half hour mark. The Cookies would grab a second try in response. 

O’Brien down the wing for his second try as Shay McCarthy set up the move with a terrific break, the try unconverted. Shannon grabbed a try just before the break as Jordan Prenderville crossed off the back of a maul, Cooke converting for a 20-12 lead. James Horrigan sniped in stoppage time for a third Munsters try and Butler converted to make it 20-19 at the interval.

Shannon did strike first in the second half as Stephen Kiely went over for a third Shannon try which went unconverted. Butler cut the deficit with a penalty in reply but over went Shannon again as The Cookies went scoreless for the rest of that second half. Inside the final ten minutes Prenderville sniped his second try at the back of the maul and Cooke converted for a 32-22 lead. Daniel Okeke put the icing on top with a fifth try near the end of normal time.

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.

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