Battling Belvedere turn on style to give Mary's a fright
ST MARY'S COLLEGE 24
OLD BELVEDERE 23
Battling Old Belvedere came within a whisker of overcoming their Division 1B status in the All-Ireland League when they just gave way to a Stephen Grissing try at a sun-drenched Templeville Road yesterday.
Their out-half Andrew Dunne set the tone for the day with a towering garryowen which caused consternation in the St Mary's defence, the player in front of the receiver giving away the penalty which was struck by Dunne for a 3-0 lead in the fifth minute.
It was soon erased when centre Grissing's flash pass tempted Belvo' to pile in from the side of a ruck. Full-back Gavin Dunne kicked the equaliser on the angle.
The Black and Whites played all the rugby for a solid 10 minutes. Then, St Mary's stole upfield through centre Mark Sexton's surge and Dunne banged over the penalty when Belvo' couldn't keep their discipline at a ruck.
It was classic counter-attack from St Mary's. Gavin Dunne made it three out of three in the 36th minute just before Belvedere captain Andrew Dunne was forced from the action with a leg injury, removing their goal-kicker, leader and playmaker in one fell swoop.
On the resumption, St Mary's No 8 Hugh Hogan played the ball in front of the receiver to give away a penalty, which Conal Keane stroked home. Then, Derek Keane powered up the right to draw another. Keane didn't miss to level it up at 9-9 in the 44th minute.
They just kept coming, No 8 Leo Auva'a moving through a ruck for lock Richie Leyden to take the ball to the posts. Keane's conversion made it 16-9 in the 47th minute.
It was shortlived. St Mary's transported the ball right and left for Sexton to cross. There was a definite sense of controversy over the successful conversion, Dunne's kick looking outside the right upright. His drop goal from 35 metres sent St Mary's to the front 19-16 in the 62nd minute.
Leinster scrum-half Chris Keane showed his game awareness from a show-and-go to outfox Stephen Bradshaw down the side of a ruck. Conal Keane kicked the extras. It wasn't over. Grissing showed up on the shoulder of Dunne in the 77th minute for the clincher.
Scorers -- St Mary's College: S Grissing, M Sexton try each; G Dunne 3 pens, dg, con. Old Belvedere: Chris Keane, R Leyden try each; Conal Keane 2 pens, 2 cons; A Dunne pen.
St Mary's College: G Dunne; R Doherty, S Grissing, M Sexton, D Fanning; S McCarthy, C McPhillips; J McGrath, Richard Sweeney, Robert Sweeney, G Logan, R Copeland, D Hall, P Nash, H Hogan (capt). Reps: C Donohoe for Sexton (37 temp), S Bradshaw for Logan (49), B O'Flanagan for Hall (73), G Hickie for Richard Sweeney (78).
Old Belvedere: E Devitt; D Keane, J Kennedy, Conal Keane, D Mongan; A Dunne (capt), Chris Keane; V Soden, M Cooney, S Maguire, R Leyden, P Spivey, J Slattery, J Risdon, L Auva'a. Reps: K Bardon for Dunne (37), K Hurrell for Devitt (61), T Sexton for Cooney (66), A Trenier for Spivey (67).
Referee: P Fitzgibbon, IRFU.
Cork Constitution 31
Cork Constitution's experience proved decisive at Temple Hill when they came from 18-13 down at half-time to run out convincing winners.
A try by Robbie Allen on the stroke of half-time converted by Barry Keeshan gave the visitors a surprise five-point advantage. Richard Lane reduced the deficit with a penalty early in the second half to go with his 13 points in the opening half and tries by Ed Leamy and Duncan Williams put the home side in front.
Prop Martin Gately sealed victory with his side's fourth try and so set up a final meeting with St Mary's College in three weeks' time.
Scorers -- Cork Constitution: R Lane try, con, 3 pens; E Leamy, D Williams, M Gately try each. Dolphin: E Moloney, R Allen try each; B Keeshan 2 pens, con
Cork Constitution: R Lane; A Horgan, A Ryan, E Ryan,C Healy;D Lyons,D Williams; M Gately, R Quinn (G Murray 57), S Archer,M O'Connell,B Hayes;I Nagle,E Leamy,F Cogan. Reps: G Murray for Quinn (57) T Kenneally for Ryan (71), C Jouve for Horgan (73).
Dolphin: N O'Driscoll; R Kenneally, E Moloney, K Lynch, P Hurley; B Keeshan,M Purcell; R O'Neill, A O'Driscol, C Condon;C Rowe,K O'Dwyer;F Stone,R Geoghan,R Allen. Reps: A Foley for O'Driscoll (53) D McCarthy for Purcell (73) C O'Flynn for Lynch (73).
De La Salle 8
Lansdowne bagged five tries as they qualified for the final thanks to a comfortable 32-point win in their last game at the RDS yesterday.
In front 6-3 at the interval, Bruff took control at Kilballyowen in the second half and qualified for the final with a well-merited 35-13 win.
Bruff had tries by Pat Thompson, Alan Burke, Peter Malone and Dave Gardiner and Brian Cahill converted three of the four and also landed three penalties.
Scorers -- Bruff: P Thompson, A Burke, P Malone, D Gardiner tries; B Cahill 3 pens 3 cons. Terenure: R O'Mahoney try; D McAllister 2 pens, 1 con.
Queen's qualified to meet Nenagh/Ormond in the final next Saturday when they gained a very flattering victory over fourth-placed Banbridge at Upper Malone.
The scoreline made Queen's look as though they were dominant but they were out-scrummaged by the visitors, who managed to restrict the students to a 22-17 interval lead.
Queen's: D McIlwaine; S Campbell, M Hooks, J Shiels, M Arneill; J McKinney (I Porter 60), M Pyper, P Karayiannis, M Boyd, M Sampson, M Ferguson, A Linton, P McGowan, M Robinson, C O'Neill
Banbridge: S Scott; D Black, A Irvine, A Finlay, C Leathem; R Thompson, M Farr; M Cromie, J Murphy, B Hanna, C Allen, C Bickerstaff, R Patterson, S Irvine, M Irvine
Referee: P Haycock
Nenagh Ormond 12
Nenagh Ormond edged out Midleton in an exciting semi-final at the Towns Park.
The home side led 5-3 at half-time thanks to a try from Jim Gogarty. In a pulsating final quarter in which the lead changed hands on five occasions, a penalty by David Delaney two minutes from time saw the Tipperary side through to the decider.
Scorers -- Midleton: J Gogarty try; J Hitchmough 2 pens. Nenagh Ormond: D Delaney 3 pens, d-g.
Midleton: T Smith; J Hitchmough, P Whelan, D Smyth, J Gogarty; P Brougham, R Smyth; K Brierley, D Lee, R McArdle; D O'Connor, A McCarthy; D Smyth, M Cronin, M O'Connell.
Nenagh Ormond: S Harvey; C McMahon, S Carey, J Kingston, T Connolly, G Hermes; D Delaney, D Corcoran; D Dunne, D Horan, F Brislane; D Gallagher, D Walsh; S O'Callaghan, B Williams, K Quigley.