Marsh marshals Mary's to fine victory over Garryowen
Leinster out-half Cathal Marsh kicked 12 points as St Mary's ran out convincing 27-7 winners over Garryowen in Ulster Bank League Division 1A yesterday.
Conor Hogan, Richard Halpin and Darren Moroney all crossed for tries at Templeville Road to see the Dubliners climb to fifth place in the table and lift the Shay Deering Memorial trophy.
There was a lot of tactical kicking early on in the wet conditions. Marsh opened the scoring with two close range penalties as Mary's attempted to avenge November's 43-38 defeat to the Light Blues.
Just when it looked like Garryowen might be getting a grip on proceedings with a converted try from winger Liam Coombes, the latter's direct opponent Hogan hit back in the 24th minute for Marsh to convert and make it 13-7.
The presence of the Johnston brothers, David and Bill, in the visitors' back-line ensured that Mary's had to be on their toes throughout, but the Mary's pack made a telling impact early in the second half, driving through for hooker Halpin to touch down from a 49th-minute maul.
Garryowen tried to score the same way but Mary's maul defence worked a treat and forced turnover possession. The disciplined defensive work of Jamie Cornett's side continued to frustrate the Limerick men and fittingly, Mary's had the final say when centre Moroney made it over in injury-time Flanker Harrison Brewer was Terenure's late hero as his try sealed a vital 28-17 bonus point victory for them away to high-flying Young Munster yesterday.
Second-placed Munsters, meanwhile, suffered a rare defeat at Greenfields as the 21-year-old Brewer struck in the very final play of this absorbing Division 1A clash.
It looked like the Cookies would continue their rich vein of form when teenage out-half Alan Tynan crossed for a second-minute try, however 'Nure centre Robbie Murphy responded within six minutes.
The visitors' hard-working captain Kyle McCoy, who played in the second row, added their second try to cancel out a Tynan penalty, and a well-struck three-pointer from Mark O'Neill had the Dubliners 13-10 ahead at half-time.
The gap was out to 10 points after McCoy's fellow lock Mike Murphy reached over just two minutes after the restart. Munsters made a real fight of it with their ever impressive pack earning a penalty try from a maul which Tynan converted for 20-17.
However, James Blaney's men have got used to winning games of late and they should great composure in the closing stages with out-half O'Neill coolly landing another penalty and Brewer touching down right at the death.
Elsewhere, 'Nure remain bottom of the league despite their third straight win, although the gap between themselves and the mid-table sides is now just four points. Munsters have lost ground on leaders Lansdowne who are six points clear.
In Division 1B Ballymena, with the help of a strong wind, built up a nine point interval advantage but Galwegians claimed a losing bonus point with a late try as the game finished 14-13.
It was a game that the visitors should have won as they pressurised inside the home '22' in the final 10 minutes when Ballymena were without the carded Brian Young.
Meanwhile, in the Women's Six Nations World champions England scored 11 tries as they crushed Wales in Cardiff to make it two successive wins this season.
Wales had no answer at the Arms Park in front of a 4,000-strong crowd as England's women followed up last weekend's Twickenham victory over France by blitzing their opponents 63-0.
Worcester wing Lydia Thompson led the way by scoring three tries, while Amy Wilson-Hardy and Danielle Waterman both crossed twice.
And the one-sided success was further underlined through touchdowns from Amy Cokayne, Natasha Hunt, Katy McLean and Sarah Hunter, with Emily Scarratt kicking four conversions.
England led 36-0 at half-time, and it was always damage-limitation for a Wales team outgunned in every key department.
Sunday Indo Sport