There were wins for Terenure College, Cork Con, Ballynahinch, Young Munster and Lansdowne at the weekend. The battle for fourth place is really starting to heat up. Trinity is hanging on, while both Ballynahinch and Young Munster are lurking in the shadows. Could fortunes be changing in Lansdowne who recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Let us look at the weekend’s action.
Dublin University 7-12 Terenure College, College Park
This game didn’t play out the way that many would have expected. Much of the pre-match billing suggested that it was going to be a high scoring open game of rugby, on the contrary, it was quite low scoring and a real slugfest.
The scores were level 7-7 at halftime. The home side struck first when left winger Ronan Quinn found himself on the end of a well measured kick through from Aran Egan. Quinn has scored nine tries already this season.
Nure responded with a try from Jordan Coughlan. The big number eight found himself at the back of the rolling maul before he touched down for his sixth try of the season. Terenure got their second and decisive try in the second half and like their first score, they used their powerful forwards again to maul their way to the try line. Hooker Levi Vaughan was the scorer this time.
Sean Skehan would have been delighted that they grinded out the result. That’s ten wins out of eleven games for his team. Trinity, on the other hand, are in desperate need of a win, having lost four out of their last five games. The pressure is mounting on them from teams just outside the playoff places.
Clontarf 12-24 Cork Constitution, Castle Avenue
Cork Con avenged their defeat to Clontarf earlier in the season by beating them 12-24 away in Castle Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts had a slender 7-5 advantage at the break. Con scored the first try of the contest, but Tarf responded through their try scoring machine, also known as Dylan Donnellan.
In the second half, Jonny Hollands lads went up a gear. They scored three more tries. Louis Kahn, Cathal O’Flaherty and Max Abbott all getting on the scoresheet in a very impressive performance.
The experienced Angus Llyod crossed the line to a consolation try for the hosts. A disappointing third defeat of the season for Tarf, who only lost one game in their entire AIL campaign last season.
Lansdowne 23-20 University College Dublin
Lansdowne made it two wins on the bounce after a back-and-forth battle with UCD, under the lights on Friday night.
Sam Prendergast made his first start of the AIL season and the Irish u20’s looked very sharp. The Leinster duo of Tadhg McElroy and Cormac Foley scored for the home side, with Prendergast making a thirteen-point contribution from the kicking tee.
Despite the defeat, the students were much improved from their last performance, but it was only enough to get them the losing bonus point.
Young Munster 31-27 Shannon, Tom Clifford Park
Gearoid Prendergast’s Young Munster came out the right side of an entertaining Limerick derby, beating Shannon 31-27 on Saturday evening.
The Cookies put in a strong first half performance. They have one of the most exciting back threes in the league. Munster’s Patrick Campbell’s scored a brace, along with tries for wingers Conor Phillips and Conor Hayes. The victory keeps them in sixth place and makes sure that they are still right in the mix for the playoff places.
Shannon fought back well, securing what could prove to be two crucial bonus points. Jade Kriel, Alan Flannery, Cian O’Halloran and Killian Dineen all getting tries to help get the try bonus point.
Ballynahinch 24-7 Garryowen,
Ballynahinch are on a four-game winning streak after beating Garryowen 24-7 in the changed venue of Newforge 4g pitch.
The Ulstermen are piling the pressure on Trinity in fourth, with only two points separating the sides now.
Cormac Izuchukwu, Ethan Graham, and Zac Ward were the Hinch try scorers. Are they the surprise package of 1A this season?