Thursday 22 February 2018

Courtney's injury-time try secures victory for Trinity

Clontarf’s Rob Keogh scored an injury-time drop goal to deny Garryowen in the Ulster Bank League
Clontarf’s Rob Keogh scored an injury-time drop goal to deny Garryowen in the Ulster Bank League

Michael Courtney's classy injury-time try secured a rousing 32-27 bonus-point win for Dublin University over second-placed Young Munster yesterday afternoon.

The former Ireland Schools international's decisive solo run delighted the College Park faithful and made it three wins in four Ulster Bank League Division 1A games since Trinity's promotion.

The Cookies, who paired Munster's Dan Goggin and Cian Bohane together in midfield, led 10-8 at half-time, Craig O'Hanlon's converted try on the half-hour cancelling out Pierce Dargan's early effort for the students.

It was Trinity's turn to force the issue on the resumption, hooker Liam Cronin crashing over in the corner and out-half Jack McDermott converting with aplomb as the hosts retook the lead.

Colm Hogan then intercepted a pass and darted 80 metres for his third try of the campaign, but Munsters bounced back with two converted efforts from Jack Harrington and Bohane to lead 24-22 with 12 minutes remaining. Both sides chased the win and a try-scoring bonus point. A sin-binning for the visitors saw McDermott edge Trinity ahead with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Gearoid Prendergast's charges hit back with a penalty of their own from Alan Tynan, however the free-scoring students had the final say when centre Courtney brilliantly hared through a gap to match winger Hogan's three-try tally to date.

Lansdowne lost their grip on top spot in Division 1A, losing 31-13 as Cork Constitution cruised to their first win in three league games at Temple Hill. Out-half Tomas Quinlan's 16-point haul from the kicking tee, including three penalties in the second half, helped Brian Hickey's men get back to winning ways.

The omens were good for the hosts early on when second row Conor Kindregan crossed in the fifth minute. Kindregan's second try in the space of a week went unconverted, and Quinlan sandwiched in a penalty between two opening strikes from Lansdowne's Scott Deasy, who split the posts in the eighth and 12th minutes. Defences were on top for the remainder of the first half.

The visitors certainly missed the influence of captain Ian Prendiville and Leinster 'A' starters Tom Daly, Peter Dooley and Max Deegan, and they fell 15-6 behind for half-time when good continuity from Cork Con led to full-back Shane Daly going over in the corner in the 39th minute. Daly's third try of the campaign was added to by a James Murphy seven-pointer in the second half, with Murphy's back row colleague Brian Hayes producing a man-of-the-match performance for the victors.

Quinlan's left boot was hugely influential too, pushing Lansdowne indiscipline at every turn. The visitors did hit double figures, thanks to a try from flanker Joe McSwiney. But Con were far too good on the day.

Rob Keogh's right boot came to Clontarf's rescue again as his injury-time drop goal edged them 16-14 past Garryowen at Castle Avenue. The Light Blues were on the cusp of their third straight victory, thanks to two converted second-half tries from full-back Alex Wootton and young winger Liam Coombes.

But 'Tarf rescued a much-needed win from the jaws of defeat, thanks to full-back Keogh, whose 11-point tally took his league haul to 46 points in four outings. It was a slow-burning first half on the north Dubliners' 4G surface, a Keogh penalty after 20 minutes opening the scoring for Andy Wood's men.

They led 10-0 at the turnaround, courtesy of a try from Matt D'Arcy. The tall centre forced his way through midfield, breaking out of his own half for an inspirational solo score, converted by Keogh. Garryowen grabbed the first points of the second period through Wootton, who finished off a superb team move.

A long-range penalty from Keogh gave 'Tarf a six-point cushion, but they were in serious danger of losing for the third time on the trot after Coombes reached over in the corner. Garryowen captain Neil Cronin nailed a cracking conversion from the touchline for a 14-13 scoreline. Wood's side failed to panic and they got back into scoring range in the dying embers of the game, setting up Keogh for a winning kick.

At Belfield, second-half tries from forwards Kevin Sheahan and Cathal O'Flaherty steered St Mary's College to their first win in three outings - a narrow 19-13 triumph against under-strength UCD.

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