Sport Rugby

Thursday 23 November 2017

Byrne hails UCD's second-half surge

UCD 22 Dolphin 7

UCD produced an outstanding second-half display to record a bonus-point victory and move back to the top of the table at Belfield.

UCD produced an outstanding second-half display to record a bonus-point victory and move back to the top of the table at Belfield.

Dolphin trailed by just 5-0 after playing into the strong wind in the first half, with UCD only managing an early try from prop Rory Harrison.

However, UCD were a much changed team at the start of the second half. Despite the difficult conditions, they produced some brilliant rugby to score two excellent tries through centre Alex Kelly and No 8 Eoin Joyce.

Full-back Andy Boyle's strong running set up Joyce's try. With out-half James Thornton landing one of the conversions, UCD had moved 17-0 clear within 15 minutes of the restart.

By then Dolphin had really blown their chance of victory, but they did apply a good deal of pressure and were rewarded with a try from Rory Scannell with 10 minutes left, which was converted by Barry Keeshan.

Any chance they had disappeared when Paddy Ryan, John Quill and Eamonn Mills were all shown yellow cards by referee Mark Patton.

UCD got their bonus point in injury-time when substitute Adam Clarkin went over for the fourth try.

"We didn't take full advantage of the wind in the first half and to be only five points ahead at half-time wasn't great, UCD coach Bobby Byrne admitted.

"But our performance after the interval was as well we have played this season."

UCD – A Boyle; S Coghlan-Murray, A Kelly, S Murphy, T Fletcher; J Thornton, J Glynn; R Harrison, R Byrne, L Hyland, S Grannell (Capt), E MacMahon, D Leavy, C Gilsenan, E Joyce. Reps: K Moloney, A Clarkin, M McGroarty, B Shanley, N Earls.

Dolphin – E Mills; D Sweetnam, S Hansel, J Gleeson, A O'Leary; R Scannell, E O'Shaughnessy; B Scott, N Scannell, C Condon (Capt), D O'Mahony, D O'Shea, M Cronin, R Murphy, J Fitzgerald. Reps: B Keeshan, P Ryan, C Bannon, J Quill, W Foley.

Ref – M Patton.

Irish Independent

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