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AIL Division 1A: Blackrock back on track after grounding St Mary's

A sterling second-half display got Blackrock College's season back on track, as they saw off the challenge of high-flying St Mary's College in this lively and competitive clash at Templeville Road.

Robert Sweeney drove over for St Mary's after a long spell of pressure for a try to start the scoring, but Blackrock soon hit back through scrum-half Mark MacGinty. Robert Sweeney and 'Rock back-row Alex Dunlop then swapped tries, before a penalty from Gavin Dunne handed Mary's a 15-14 lead.

However, Blackrock raced into a 12-point lead by the hour mark following tries from Mark Scott-Lennon and Jan Simon-Byrne. Matters got even worse for Mary's on 67 minutes when Simon-Byrne got in for another try for 'Rock.

Scorers -- St Mary's: Robert Sweeney 2 tries, G Dunne pen, con. Blackrock: J Simon-Byrne 2 tries, R Keogh 3 cons, M Scott-Lennon, M MacGinty, A Dunlop try each, D Fitzpatrick pen.

St Mary's College: P Gillespie; R Doherty, S Grissing, M Sexton, D Hudson; G Dunne, M D'Arcy; C McMahon, Richard Sweeney, Robert Sweeney; C Ruddock, D Hall; K Sheahan, P Nash, H Hogan.

Blackrock: J Barretto, C Culleton, A Lyons, D Dillon, M Carroll, A Dunlop, B Kelly, M Noone, A McGinty, D Fitzpatrick, J Simon-Byrne, R Keogh, L Ellison, D Rowan, M Scott-Lennon.

Old Belvedere 16

Dolphin 16

Old Belvedere had to settle for a draw on their home patch after this hard-fought encounter at Anglesea Road.

Danny Riordan crossed in the 13th minute after Simon Keogh had hit Andy Dunne with a slick pass inside the Dolphin 22. Dunne missed the conversion and Barry Keeshan narrowed the gap with a penalty on 22 minutes.

Dunne kicked a penalty two minutes later but Dolphin were rewarded when Keeshan converted his own try after crashing over the Belvo line in the 27th minute.

The home side were three points in front after Eddie Devitt made the touchdown just before the whistle and should have strolled away in the second half. Riordan should have off-loaded for a certain try late on and a number of such decisions proved costly when Keeshan split the posts at the death to cancel out Conal Keane's 74th-minute penalty kick.

Scorers -- Old Belvedere: D Riordan, E Devitt try each; A Dunne, C Keane pen each. Dolphin: B Keeshan 3 pens, try, con.

Young Munster 16

Shannon 3

Young Munster maintained their winning ways with a deserved win against arch-rivals Shannon in a lively derby at Clifford Park.

Willie Staunton dropped a goal after six minutes to the delight of the sizeable home support and a penalty by Alan Kingsley stretched the advantage after 10 minutes.

Four minutes later Garreth Quinn McDonagh kicked a Shannon penalty, but this was cancelled out by a Kinglsey penalty after 28 minutes. Ten minutes from the break, Munster scored the only try when Ray Moloney went in straight under the posts.

Scorers -- Young Munster: R Moloney try, A Kingsley, 2 pens, 1 con, W Staunton dgl. Shannon: G Quinn McDonagh pen.

Lansdowne 16

Clontarf 23

Bernard Jackman's Clontarf continued their push towards a play-off spot as they put in a battling performance to see off Lansdowne in the Aviva Stadium.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with a try from Eoin Cremin that was converted by Noel Reid.

Lansdowne replied after 14 minutes with a Kieran Lewis try, with Eoin Hickey converting. Two penalties from Hickey then gave Lansdowne the lead, but Clontarf were in front at the break as a converted try from Aaron Dundon had them 17-13 ahead.

Clontarf eventually prevailed as two penalties from replacement Martin Dufficy sandwiched a similar effort from the home side by Hickey, to keep the Castle Avenue outfit ahead of the chasing pack.

Scorers -- Lansdowne: E Hickey 3 pens, 1 con, K Hickey try. Clontarf: N Reid pen, 2 cons, E Cremin, A Dundon try each, M Dufficy 2 pens.

UL Bohemian 20

UCC 23

Two late tries were not sufficient for UL Bohs to peg back UCC at Annacotty after the visitors led 13-3 at the interval.

Andrew Bourke landed an early penalty for the visitors, who had a try by John Ryan after 22 minutes which Bourke converted; he made it 13-0 with another penalty two minutes before the interval.

Ed Torrie kicked a penalty for the home side just on the half-time whistle. Three minutes into the second half David Moloney had a try which Torrie converted. But two tries inside five minutes by Joe Holland and Michael Kenneffick made sure of the win for the Cork side.

Scorers -- UL Bohemian: E Torrie, try, pen, 1 con, K Essex, D moloney try each. UCC: J Ryan, J Holland, M Kennefick, try each, A Bourke 2 pens 1 con.

Dungannon 21

Bruff 8

A much-needed win for Dungannon came about mainly through an outstanding performance by Michael Lawton.

The former Ards player, who has made such a big impact since moving to Dungannon, was on the bench for Ulster Ravens during the week and his contribution yesterday afternoon was 11 points.

Dungannon had taken a 7-3 interval advantage following a Ronan Halsall try.

After the restart Chris Cochrane showed his pace before a spirited Bruff team were awarded with a Dave Horan try.

In the last minute of the game, Lawton showed his speed and determination when he ran in from 70 metres to add the points.

Scorers -- Dungannon: R Halsall 1 try, C Cochrane 1 try, M Lawton 1 try 3 cons. Bruff: D Horan 1 try, T Cahill 1 pen.

Sunday Indo Sport