independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Ronaldson class decisive as Lansdowne cut loose

Lansdowne 36

UL Bohemian 13

A 16-point haul from Craig Ronaldson was crucial as Lansdowne maintained their place at the top of the table with a bonus-point triumph over a spirited UL Bohemian on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch yesterday.

UL had enjoyed a dream start with a try on five minutes from winger Martin McPhail, converted superbly by Ben Martin. Lansdowne eventually settled into the proceedings when Marc Feeley crossed the whitewash on 15 minutes.

UL did respond well with a Martin penalty on 20 minutes, but Lansdowne took the lead for the first time four minutes later thanks to a seven-point salvo by Ronaldson. Sean Carey followed up with another converted try, but a second Martin place-kick reduced the margin to six (19-13) at the break.

The second half proved to be rather scrappy, although Lansdowne did cross for a fourth try seven minutes after the re-start through Cian Aherne. Ronaldson's tricky conversion on the sideline was confidently secured, and he increased his side's cushion to 16 heading into the final quarter with his first penalty.

The final try arrived in stoppage time through the ever-dangerous Aherne, giving Mike Ruddock's men another impressive win.

Dolphin 18

Clontarf 20

A dramatic penalty by Darragh Fitzpatrick in the tenth minute of injury time earned victory for Clontarf in a closely fought contest.

Tries by Michael McGrath and Tim McCoy sandwiched between a Dolphin try by Miah Cronin had the visitors 10-5 up at half-time but Dolphin will rue Barry Keeshan's conversion miss.

Keeshan was on target with a penalty after four minutes of the second half but a second try by McGrath extended Clontarf's advantage and Fitzpatrick converted.

Dolphin rallied and a try by Rory Scannell and a conversion and a penalty had Dolphin ahead until Fitzpatrick's late strike.

Old Belvedere 44

Cork Constitution 13

Danny Riordan's hat-trick of tries helped Old Belvedere towards a comprehensive win over Cork Constitution at Anglesea Road.

Cork Con took the lead after two minutes when the reliable Jonathan Holland kicked between the posts from 35 metres. But Belvo responded impressively with their first try three minutes later when Riordan finished off a fine move across the Cork Con line. Glynn fell short of the target with his conversion attempt.

Con's outhalf Holland added a penalty on 17 minutes, but a successful three-point attempt by Glynn three minutes later was enough to give Belvo a slender 8-6 advantage heading into the second period.

The 2011 champions really opened up after the re-start, however, as early five-pointers from Riordan and flanker Kieran O'Gorman turned the screw on their Munster counterparts. There was a real sense that this game was starting to slip away from Con, and they found themselves 24 points behind by the hour mark as a result of a second penalty from Glynn, and a third try by the outstanding Riordan on the left flank.

This effectively killed off the game as a contest, and even though Gerry Hurley broke through for a 66th-minute try, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation, as late tries from the powerful Jack Conan and second-row Josh Eden-Whatiri eased Belvo over the line for a bonus-point win.

Dublin University 33

UCD 14

Late tries from Brian Du Toit, Ian Hirst and Niyi Adeolukun proved decisive in College Park yesterday as Dublin University continued their perfect start to the division.

Bruff 21

Belfast Harlequins 17

Bruff held an 18-10 lead at one stage but were hard pressed in the end to gain a precious win as Belfast Harlequins picked up a losing bonus point at Kilballyowen.

Brian Cahill and Rory Scholes exchanged penalties before Tom O'Callaghan had a Bruff try which Cahill converted to leave it 10-3 at half-time.

Dungannon 8

Blackrock 9

Blackrock gained their second win in the division thanks to a very poor performance by Dungannon at Stevenson Park.

The home team led until two minutes from time when Rob Keogh kicked his third penalty. Earlier he had put his team ahead but Dungannon scored the only try when scrumhalf Sean Conway broke away to touch down. The visitors made it 6-5 at half-time but a Stuart McCloskey penalty regained the advantage for Dungannon.

Malone 12

Buccaneers 24

Malone suffered their third successive defeat in this clash at Gibson Park.

Malone gave away far too many penalties especially in the second half after they led 12-3 at the interval. The visitors gradually upped their game and ran in two excellent second-half tries. Malone had no answer with a number of offsides giving Jack Carty the opportunities to show his skills.

Ballymena 24

Ballynahinch 43

Ballynahinch strengthened their place at the top of the division with a bonus-point win at Eaton Park. They started firm favourites against the bottom-of-the-table team but full credit to Ballymena, who, after trailing 36-3 at the interval, fought back towards the close.

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