Staunton hits his targets to push Young Munster four points clear at top
YOUNG MUNSTER moved four points clear at the top of the Division 1A table following an impressive 23-16 victory over Cork Constitution at Temple Hill.
They were in control from an early stage. The accurate goal-kicking of Willie Staunton and a try from Shane O'Neill enabled Young Munster to establish an 16-6 interval advantage, and they added a penalty try, converted by Staunton, in the second half.
Cork Con did manage a late rally, scoring a try though centre Niall O'Driscoll which earned them a bonus point. They drop to fourth, level on points with Garryowen, who had to dig deep to beat bottom side Blackrock College 20-13 at Dooradoyle.
Blackrock led 13-3 early in the second half after Cian Culliton got over for a try, converted by Rob Keogh, and a shock was on the cards.
But Garryowen responded with tries from Conor Hartigan and substitute Paul Neville to turn the game around.
Three first-half tries, from Jason Kelly, Ross McCarron and John Cooney, and some excellent goal-kicking from Craig Ronaldson enabled Lansdowne beat Shannon 25-16 at Coonagh.
It was a fitting reward for the young Lansdowne outfit who came within a whisker of upsetting Young Munster in Limerick the previous weekend.
Shannon have lost their way somewhat after an encouraging start to the season. Their only try came late on from Paddy Butler.
In the remaining Division 1A encounter, Dolphin came good to inflict yet another defeat on defending champions Old Belvedere, winning 20-13.
At one stage in the first half at Anglesea Road, Belvo led 10-0 following a try from Peter Woods, but they were unable to see their effort through.
Dolphin got back into contention with a try from John Quill and some good goal-kicking from Barry Keeshan, before prop Christy Condon powered over for the match-winning try in the second half.
There are new leaders in Division 1B, with Ballymena taking over at the top following a hard-fought 6-3 home win over Ballynahinch.
Two penalties from John Semple proved decisive.
Ballynahinch drop to second, level on points with Buccaneers, who returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 33-20 success over Dungannon at Dubarry Park.
Galwegians continued their recent good form with a 41-18, five-try Crowley Park success over UCC, while Bruff secured an overdue 10-6 home victory over Belfast Harlequins.
The final game saw UCD stage a second-half fightback to overcome UL Bohemians 24-20 at Belfield.