AIL Roundup: Division 1B Week 12

Buccaneers restored their lead at the top of the table with a strong win at home, as City of Armagh dropped to second with defeat to Old Belvedere, while Naas put in a strong showing over Banbridge.

Buccaneers 31-24 St Mary’s College, Dubarry Park

Buccs began brighter and an early converted try moved them 7-0 clear, but Mick O’Gara stepped up and dissected the posts to reduce the deficit to four. Back came the hosts however and with a solid attack crossed for their second converted try of the afternoon to lead 14-3.

The hosts were looking dangerous in attack and after a strong lineout they worked their way over to notch a third converted try to lead 21-3, Marys ended the half by getting over for their first try of the contest to make it 21-10 at the interval.

Buccs added a bonus point try a short while after the second half got underway, Mick O’Gara added two tries in the half for Mary’s but after the hosts kicked a penalty in between it would do enough to see them go back top of the table.

Highfield 24-3 Malone, Woodleigh Park

Highfield took an early try from a converted try scored by Luke Kingston, James Taylor successful off the tee for a 7-0 lead after 10 mins, the hosts were looking to put the foot down early in the tie Amhlaoibh Porter, crossed for their second converted try as Taylor made it 14-0 after 25 mins.

Malone added a penalty to get on the board to try and mount a comeback, but Highfield just had their number all afternoon, after the break Liam McCarthy added their third try on the hour mark to make it a 19-3 lead, eight minutes later Porter added a second to cap off a strong showing as they remain third.

Naas 47-34 Banbridge, Forenaughts

Five minutes transpired before the games opening score as Naas got under the sticks for a converted try, Ryan Casey crossing the whitewash as Craig Ronalson added the extras after four minutes, six minutes later they doubled their lead Cillian Dempsey this time getting over before Ronalson kicked the two.

Banbridge got on the board after 15 minutes as they were awarded a penalty try, James Humphreys kicked a penalty later in the half to bright them within four of the hosts. Charlie Sheridan capped off a great opening half for Naas as his try made it 21-10 at the break with Ronalson adding the conversion.

Naas started the second half with a flurry, Sheridan added a second before Bryan Croke crossed to see them ahead 33-10 with Ronalson adding the conversion. Banbridge replied through Josh and Peter Cromie as they both added tries to reduce the arrears to 33-24.

Sheridan however six minutes later completed his hattrick after spotting a gap in the defence to get over for a converted try, into the final ten minutes Sheridan crossed for his fourth try in a spirited display as the hosts moved 47-24 clear, Aaron Kennedy and Michael Cromie added late tries to give them a try scoring bonus point.

Old Belvedere 15-0 City Of Armagh, Ollie Campbell Park

Old Belvedere made the first half count as they wrapped up the tie with all of their scoring done in the opening 40 minutes, as they are five points off the top of the table.

Belvo started the better as they shoved their way over from a 5m lineout to get an early score, but the conversion just went wide, just after the half hour mark Belvo powered over for a second try Pete O’Brien making it 10-0 as the conversion again went wide. Their third try came in the 38th minute as Cal Dowling picked up a loose ball off the back of a line out and sprinted clear from 50 meters to score.

Old Wesley 18-19 UCC, Energia Park

UCC crossed with a well worked team try to take an early lead, Sean Condon getting over in the corner after carving open a gap, the conversion went to the right as they failed to add the extras. Wesley managed to reply with a penalty to reduce arrears to two points.

Big pressure off the UCC scrum saw them get their second try of the contest, the conversion made the mark to put them ahead 12-3. Wesley came right back at the Cork students with a converted effort of their own pulling it back to a two point game.

Into the second half and UCC took first blood as they got a penalty try with Wesley down to 14 men as a result, Wesley notched a penalty before they drove UCC back and their maul ensured they got a second try, the conversion was missed and that became a huge let off as UCC managed to claim the win.

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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