Monday 18 December 2017

Donnellan gets ball rolling as Mary's justify favourites tag

St Mary's College 29

Jody Moylan

St Mary's were good value for this convincing win at Donnybrook last night, as their higher league level than their opponents had a telling effect.

Having already battered competition king-pins Lansdowne earlier in the competition the Templeogue men ran into this one as firm favourites and within two minutes Mary's had the Belfield outfit on the back foot through an Ian O'Neill penalty.

Mary's nudged further ahead when a dubious call from the touch judge resulted in David Kilbride putting into the line-out and the resulting maul saw captain Michael Donnellan crash over at the bottom of the pile, O'Neill missing the conversion.

Simon Gillespie opened the College account with a penalty but St Mary's were dominant up front and broke through for a second try on the hour mark through flanker Gareth Austin.

Austin touched down after a series of close-in crashes and O'Neill converted off his left to put 12 between the sides.

Gillespie struck three from the tee for College, but it was to prove academic as Mary's immediately regained the ascendancy.

With a torrent of pressure on the College defence, it finally gave way with four minutes left on the clock when second-row Robert Fields barrelled over and O'Neill did the rest from the conversion.

Deep into stoppage time, full-back Paul Gillespie touched down to add another try to a contest that was already done and dusted.

St Mary's College -- P Gillespie; C Hogan (M Holihan 50), C Morrin, R Hudson, I O'Neill; P Brophy, C Quinn (P Barrett 40+ 5); K Carroll, D Kilbride, N Murphy (C Donahue 57); R Fields, G Logan (C Lillie 15); S Bradshaw, G Austin, M Donnellan.

UCD -- S Gillespie; C Doherty (J Conroy 44), E Conran, R Allwright, R Ensor; J Murray, M Jennings; K Moloney, A Pollard, L Hyland (S Conway 28); M Cawley, S O'Dwyer; K McKenna, T Gleeson, L Hickey.

Ref -- K Henley Willis (LRR).

Irish Independent

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