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Sunday 4 December 2016

Students fall to fifth as Lansdowne teach them a lesson

Published 06/11/2016 | 02:30

Lansdowne’s Foster Horan is tackled by Eric O’Sullivan and Sam Pim of Dublin University. Photo: Donall Farmer/INPHO
Lansdowne’s Foster Horan is tackled by Eric O’Sullivan and Sam Pim of Dublin University. Photo: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dublin University's spell at the top of Division 1A lasted just a week after Lansdowne consigned the high-flying students to a rare 25-14 defeat at College Park.

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Trinity, who led 11-3 during the first half, have fallen from the summit to fifth place in the top-flight standings, with 2015 champions Lansdowne climbing to second on the back of Scott Deasy's decisive 15-point kicking haul.

Trinity started strongly with winger Colm Hogan pressing for a try in the corner. Outhalf Jack McDermott slotted over a penalty, which was quickly cancelled out by his opposite number Deasy.

McDermott restored the students' lead before they conjured up the opening try, prop Andy Keating's initial carry giving them momentum and some neat interplay between Tom Ryan, Jack Kelly and Bryan Mollen saw fullback Kelly eventually crossing. Deasy's right boot clawed back six points to reduce the arrears to 11-9, and with Trinity coughing up possession after a fine defensive stand, Lansdowne worked fullback Eamonn Mills over for a try in the corner.

Despite a positive start on the resumption, the league leaders continued to give away cheap ball at times and Lansdowne needed no second invitation, centre and Ireland sevens international John O'Donnell darting through for his third try of the campaign.

After missing the conversion, Deasy was back on target with a subsequent penalty. A final penalty in the dying minutes from Deasy took the losing bonus point away from misfiring Trinity.

St Mary's College strung together five second-half tries but still fell just short of Young Munster in a stunning 66-point, nine-try contest at Tempeville Road.

A first-half brace from Munster centre Dan Goggin laid the foundations for the Cookies' breathless 34-32 victory, a result which has sent Gearóid Prendergast's charges right to the top of the table.

Scrumhalf Rob Guerin's 76th-minute try was just enough to get the visitors over the finish line, with Mary's two-try centre Darren Moroney closing out the scoring in the dying seconds.

Meanwhile, Cork Constitution swept clear of Division 1A's bottom side Terenure College in the second half to register a 31-15 win at Temple Hill yesterday.

Constitution won for the third time in as many games, claiming their first try-scoring bonus point thanks to a late breakaway score from Niall Kenneally.

Jake Swaine's fourth-minute penalty was the game's only score until Terenure flanker James O'Neill was the victim of what the visitors felt was a harsh yellow card.

Constitution quickly took advantage, mauling hooker Max Abbott over for a 27th-minute try which Tomás Quinlan converted. It gave the Leesiders a considerable boost, playing into a strong wind.

That score seemed to open the floodgates somewhat, Brian Hayes and Kevin O'Neill swapping tries for a 14-10 half-time scoreline.

The second period was just as physical, a 20-metre penalty from Quinlan breaking the deadlock while 'Nure's Willie Devane was in the sin-bin for a high and early tackle. Leading by seven, Brian Hickey's men needed to make the result safe and they did with two converted tries in a seven-minute spell.

Ireland U-20 captain James Ryan had a starring role in UCD's hard-earned 23-16 success at home to a durable Garryowen side. Ryan's second-half try helped the students end their three-match losing streak, with captain Jamie Glynn and teenage centre Tommy O'Brien also touching down.

As the half wore on and with Garryowen still on the back foot, Burke made no mistake with a close-range penalty for 8-0. But the visitors suddenly came to life nearing half-time, outhalf David Johnston slicing through a gap on the right for an excellent five-pointer.

But UCD issued the perfect response. Fresh from a try-scoring league debut last week, O'Brien added to his tally by racing through from deep to score by the posts. Cronin lessened the blow with a late penalty for a 15-10 deficit.

Cronin's second successful penalty gave the Light Blues a glimmer of hope and they moved into losing bonus point territory with another accurate Cronin kick in the 73rd minute.

But the margin remained at seven points with UCD standing firm for a deserved and much-needed triumph.

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