Deasy on target as Lansdowne edge leaders UCD in thriller
Published 31/01/2016 | 02:30
UCD's lead at the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A was cut to four points after Lansdowne got the better of them in a tight 22-20 verdict.
The students' six-match winning streak in the competition came to an end on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch, with Lansdowne captain Scott Deasy playing a central role with a 17-point haul. Outhalf Deasy kicked five penalties and converted a second-half try from Leinster's Cian Kelleher as Mike Ruddock's men climbed to fifth place.
It was tough for the league leaders to take as they outscored Lansdowne by three tries to one - forwards Liam Hyland and Josh Murphy and centre Jamie Glynn touched down - but former Munster player Deasy took on the mantle of match-winner once again. It was tighthead Hyland's try on the stroke of half-time that nudged UCD into a 8-6 lead after a fast-paced first half. A move straight off the training ground saw flanker Murphy make it 13-6 on the restart.
Lansdowne were level when Kelleher collected Deasy's cross-field kick for his converted try, and two penalties from the latter made it 19-13.
Glynn's intercept try, converted by Liam Bourke, saw UCD move back in front on 73 minutes, but they fell just short as, despite missing two more place-kicks late on, Deasy's 77th-minute strike proved to be the decisive score of an entertaining encounter.
Meanwhile, Clontarf put an end to a losing streak in the Ulster Bank League with a hard-earned 17-5 victory away to Galwegians. This Division 1A game will go down in the record books as there were two 'Anthony Ryans' on the Crowley Park pitch, both wearing No 8! The 'Tarf forwards exerted a lot of pressure but outhalf David Joyce could only land one of four penalty attempts.
Galwegians enjoyed a strong start to the second period; however young Clontarf tighthead Vakhtang Abdaladze forced his way over for a 50th-minute try. Joyce converted and five minutes later, 'Tarf's front-row were celebrating again when loosehead Ivan Soroka grabbed a second seven-pointer.'Wegians were quick to respond, Connacht recruit Api Pewhairangi breaking through to set up an unconverted score for full-back John 'Luigi' Cleary, but 'Tarf did enough to get back to winning ways.
Young Munster pipped Cork Constitution by a single point as they took the spoils - 18-17 - at Temple Hill.
A try on half-time from Munster Academy hooker Max Abbott gave Con a 7-6 lead at the break. It got better for the hosts when a Ned Hodson break teed up try number two for Niall Kenneally, which Tomás Quinlan also converted.
However, Munster had the better of the final quarter with powerful forwards Sean Duggan and Alan Ross crashing through for vital tries.
Gearóid Lyons converted the first one on the hour, adding to two earlier penalties, and that proved enough.
Out-of-sorts Old Belvedere slumped to their fourth Ulster Bank League defeat on the trot as Garryowen ran out 27-14 bonus-point winners at Dooradoyle.
The Light Blues went ahead thanks to Neil Cronin's 10th-minute penalty and they were rewarded for their good forward work after 20 minutes through winger Steve McMahon, who touched down close enough for Cronin to convert.
The home forwards were well on top and their Kiwi captain Josh Hrstich notched their third try with 36 minutes on the clock. Just before half-time, an O'Byrne kick was blocked down at halfway and his opposite number Willie Staunton raced through for a try which he also converted for a 15-7 scoreline.
However, the Limerick side dominated the second half and tries by centre David Johnston, after a powerful burst from No 8 Hrstich, and winger James McInerney, with Cronin converting the first one, ensured their five-point return. 'Belvo's only consolation was a late effort from replacement Aaron Sheehan.
Bottom side Ballynahinch dug deep in defence as they toppled Terenure College 20-9 at Lakelands Park.
Wind-backed 'Hinch did all of their scoring in the first half, an early converted try from their No 8 and Ireland Sevens international David McGuigan, who profited from an advancing five-metre scrum, setting them on their way.
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