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Lansdowne in driving seat

AIL Division 1A and Division 1B

Published 17/02/2013 | 04:00

A brace of tries from Cian Aherne proved pivotal on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch yesterday, as Lansdowne extended their lead at the top of the table with a bonus point victory over their nearest pursuers.

Lansdowne 34

Garryowen 22

A brace of tries from Cian Aherne proved pivotal on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch yesterday, as Lansdowne extended their lead at the top of the table with a bonus point victory over their nearest pursuers.

The hosts had enjoyed a near-perfect start to the proceedings when Ross McCarron touched down in the right corner, but the Limerick men responded well with a terrific JP Cooney try.

Aherne grabbed his first five-pointer after 26 minutes to restore Lansdowne's lead, added to by a try before the break from Cian O'Shea.

Craig Ronaldson managed to restore parity with a penalty, before a converted try from Mark Roche after the restart edged the Dubliners back into the ascendancy.

Lansdowne broke for excellent tries from Aherne and Matt Healy. Aaron McCloskey went over for Garryowen in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.

Young Munster 13

Dolphin 10

Young Munster held out in a tight finish to a lively contest at Clifford Park, despite Dolphin getting in for an intercept try after 83 minutes.

Young Munster had the game's opening try after 53 minutes. Mark Doyle touched down and Brian Haugh converted. Miah Cronin's try for Dolphin came with time almost up and it was not enough to save them.

Clontarf 32

Shannon 17

Shannon remain rooted to the bottom of the table after defeat to Clontarf at Castle Avenue.

The visitors attempted to claw back the result with a David O'Donovan try in the dying stages, but in the last play of the game, Matt D'Arcy settled the issue with a break through the Shannon defence. Richie Lane converted to finish with 17 points.

UL Bohemian 13

Old Belvedere 9

A try by Ed Kelly was the difference between the sides at Annacotty as UL Bohemian eased their relegation worries. They led 7-6 at the interval thanks to Kelly's try.

In the second half, Martin and Josh Glynn both kicked two penalties as Old Belvedere were left to rue a knock-on at the line in the final minutes.

Cork Con 12

St Mary's College 30

A devastating performance by St Mary's at Temple Hill eased their relegation worries.

The visitors totally dominated and led 17-0 at the break, with two tries from Stephen Toal-Lennon. Matt D'Arcy try, which Gavin Dunne converted, made it 30-0. Cork Con's Brian Hayes and Conor Desmond notched late consolation tries.

Ballynahinch 7

UCD 19

Ballynahinch suffered their first defeat in the league with a disappointing performance at Ballymacarn Park. The game was nearly postponed due to atrocious conditions but the students adapted better to the terrible heavy ground.

Ballymena 5

Dublin University 42

Ballymena are still firmly entrenched at the bottom of the table following a one-sided win by Dublin University at Eaton Park. Once again, winger Niyi Adeolukan showed his pace with two excellent tries.

Dungannon 22

Buccaneers 24

Jack Carty kicked 14 points for Buccaneers in their win at Stevenson Park. The home team scored three tries to their opponent's two but at least earned a losing bonus point.

Blackrock College 23

Belfast Harlequins 23

Rob Keogh was the hero for Blackrock College in Stadbrook, as his late penalty grabbed a share of the points after an impressive comeback from Harlequins. A Lawrence Babe try gave the visitors the lead for the first time midway through the second half. A Keogh three-pointer 15 minutes from time set up a tantalising finish, and with Holmes restoring Belfast's cushion with a 68th-minute penalty, Keogh rose to the occasion.

Bruff 17

Malone 21

Twice at Kilballyowen, Malone were reduced to 14 players, but they held off a late surge from the home side, who trailed 21-5 at half-time.

Irish Independent

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