Porter a key man in driving UCD to five wins in succession
UCD had the measure of local rivals Old Belvedere for the third time in recent weeks, as a three-try salvo steered the table-topping students to a terrific 23-6 victory at Anglesea Road. Ireland under 20 prop Andrew Porter raced clear in the final play to seal UCD's fifth win on the trot, adding to their Ulster Bank League and Leinster Senior League Cup final successes against 'Belvo from last month - 20-12 at Belfield and 23-13 at Donnybrook.
There was not much between the sides during the opening half, the difference on the scoreboard (13-6) being a try from UCD's flanker Peadar Timmins, who took a great line to dive over by the posts. Jamie Glynn, who started at scrumhalf in place of Leinster's Nick McCarthy, was also influential as the Division 1A leaders established a seven-point buffer. His half-back partner, Liam Bourke, converted the try and kicked two penalties, with Belvedere No 10 Steve Crosbie slotting two place-kicks.
Lovely hands across the backline gave winger Barry Daly enough space to go over in the left corner for his seventh try of the league season. 'Belvo were still very much in the game, though, as they tried to take advantage of a yellow card for UCD blindside Josh Murphy.
But the likes of Timmins, Sean McNulty and Porter came up with some vital turnovers as the College defence remained on top. Daly also did really well to prevent a certain try for 'Belvo's scrumhalf Charlie Rock, and loosehead Porter added the final gloss with his late try. Noel McNamara's youngsters are now three points clear at the summit following Clontarf's loss to Garryowen. Garryowen enjoyed an encouraging start to the New Year when they got the better of 'Tarf, 10-3, at Dooradoyle. The result moved Conan Doyle's men up one place to third in the Division 1A table.
Neither side could manage a score in a dour first half. The best chance fell to the Light Blues just on the interval, but their goal-kicking scrumhalf Neil Cronin was unable to convert, with Clontarf having missed two penalties of their own. Garryowen conjured up the game's only try on the back of some excellent interplay between the forwards. It gave winger James McInerney the opportunity to knife through and touch down by the posts, with Cronin converting. 'Tarf got off the mark, thanks to a penalty from fullback Rob Keogh, but David Johnston punished a high tackle with a closing three-pointer, which brought the visitors' four-match unbeaten run to an end.
Lansdowne got their Ulster Bank League season back on track with a 29-24 bonus-point triumph over Ballynahinch. Elusive winger Ian Fitzpatrick bagged a brace of tries on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch.
Lansdowne were in clinical form in the first half as they cruised into a 24-9 lead. Former Ireland under 18 Schools captain James Ryan, who paired up with Philip Donnellan in the second-row, touched down for the second game running, while Lansdowne captain Scott Deasy contributed 14 points in all - a try, three conversions and a penalty.
Galwegians outscored Young Munster by three tries to none in a well-judged 15-12 win at Crowley Park.
Munsters, who had their hooker and captain Ger Slattery red-carded late on, fell to their first defeat in five Division 1A games. Gearóid Lyons (three penalties) and David O'Mahony (drop goal) kicked the visitors' points. Former Young Munster player Ed O'Keeffe grabbed Galwegians' opening try four minutes in, a quick turnover allowing him to hack through and score his sixth of the campaign.
Centre Lyons cut the gap to 5-3, but a penalty reversal and yellow card for Young Munster lock Mike Madden invited 'Wegians forward again. Blindside flanker Kelly duly got over out wide at the end of a lineout maul. The hosts had to battle through Anthony Ryan's sin-bin period. They leaked a drop goal to Cookies outhalf O'Mahony and then, just before the break, Lyons reduced the arrears to a single point - 10-9.
Pressure in the scrum yielded a further penalty for Lyons, early in the second period, and the Ireland Sevens international converted to move David Corkery's men in front for the first time. However, 'Wegians had some good firepower on the bench in the form of Doron McHugh, Aidan Moynihan and New Zealander Api Pewhairangi, and from another close-in set-piece, a second unconverted effort from Kelly proved decisive with five minutes left.
Sunday Indo Sport