Dunne shines for new boys Old Belvedere
OLD BELVEDERE have wasted little time in proving that they are more than able for Division 1A.
In fact, their 17-9 opening victory over last season's beaten finalists St Mary's College at Templeville Road suggests that the promoted outfit can be real contenders in the top flight. Once again, the contribution of their player-coach Andy Dunne was vital.
Old Belvedere have recruited well, bringing in another former representative player Simon Keogh to partner Dunne at half-back.
Ahead 10-0 at the interval, Old Belvedere scored two tries through wing Kieran Hurrell and flanker Richie Leyden. Dunne kicked the two conversions and added a penalty as Old Belvedere took revenge for last season's semi-final defeat. St Mary's could only manage three penalties, from Shaun McCarthy and substitute Ian McKinley (two), in reply.
Elsewhere, Dolphin made an excellent start to their campaign by beating Shannon 16-9 at Musgrave Park. Unsurprisingly, Munster back-row James Coughlan made a big impact, scoring the game's only try to give Dolphin a 10-3 interval lead.
Out-half Barry Keeshan contributed the remaining points with the conversion, two penalties, and a drop-goal. Given that they have lost two major players in scrum-half Sam Cronin and flanker Barry O'Mahony to Clontarf, this was a very useful opening victory.
Shannon, by comparison, seem to be struggling. They could only manage three penalties from Gareth Quinn-McDonagh.
In Division 1B, relegated Clontarf already seem to be the side to beat. They were very impressive in beating a decent Bruff outfit 26-11 at Castle Avenue.
New signings Sam Cronin and Evan Ryan scored two of the tries with the third coming from Michael Keating. U-20 international Noel Reid's accurate boot was responsible for the remainder of the points.
It was a good weekend for the Connacht clubs with Buccaneers upsetting newly promoted Lansdowne 22-16 at Dubarry Park and Galwegians beating UL Bohemians 14-13 at Thomond Park.
UCC also started with a very fine victory by defeat Dungannon 33-29 at the Mardyke. Andy Burke contributed 18 points with four penalties and three conversions.