Moloney makes the difference
OLD BELVEDERE'S opening match in their defence of the Division 1A title ended in disappointment as Young Munster snatched a late 23-19 victory at Tom Clifford Park.
Full-back Ray Moloney scored the decisive try in the final minute. Earlier, Willie Staunton had landed six penalties for Young Munster and Old Belvedere responded with a try from substitute Kevin Buckley and four penalties and a conversion from Conal Keane.
Elsewhere, Clontarf showed they could emerge as real contenders with a comfortable 30-6 victory over Blackrock College at Stradbrook. Their recruitment of Frank Cogan and Richie Lane has strengthened their Cork connection -- and it was another of their players from the Rebel county, flanker Barry O'Mahony, who scored one of their tries, the other coming from Killian Lett. Out-half Martin Dufficy kicked the remainder of their points.
St Mary's College and Shannon also got winning starts. St Mary's recorded a hard-earned 13-9 away success over Garryowen with Matt D'Arcy scoring the crucial try, while Shannon came from behind to edge out Dolphin 21-18 at Coonagh.
All of Shannon's points came from the boot, Garrett Quinn-McDonagh landing five penalties and Ben Sargent getting two more.
In Division 1B, it proved to be a very good opening weekend for the Ulster clubs, with all four of them winning.
Dungannon trounced UCD 35-13, Ballynahinch comfortably saw off Galwegians 33-17, while Belfast Harlequins got the better of UL Bohemians 14-12, and Ballymena pipped UCC 8-6.
The final game saw Buccaneers come from behind to record a very useful 17-11 home victory over Bruff with Conor Lavelle scoring the all-important second-half try.