Eleven points from the boot of Gavin Dunne proved crucial at Templeville Road yesterday as St Mary's held on to the top spot in Division 1A table with an impressive 21-8 victory over Cork Constitution.
Playing against a strong breeze, Con had the chance to take the lead when Jerry Hurley had a penalty from just outside the '22', but his kick dropped short. Dunne missed a similar attempt on 11 minutes, before opening the scoring two minutes later with a penalty.
A second Dunne penalty on 20 minutes increased Mary's lead and they crossed for the first try after 27 minutes, when Hugh Hogan drove over to give them an 11-0 interval lead.
Constitution started the second period brightly and opened their account on 55 minutes when Niall O'Driscoll got a simple try, but a third Dunne penalty settled Mary's.
Hurley kicked over with three minutes remaining, but it wasn't enough to deny the home side victory, as Damien Hall added an injury-time try.
Meanwhile, a great second- half comeback from Dolphin put a dent in Young Munster's title ambitions with a 26-20 victory at Musgrave Park. A try from Ger Flaherty and a conversion and penalty from Willie Staunton gave Young Munster a 10-0 interval lead.
Dolphin were awarded two penalty tries and Eric Moloney and Dave O'Callaghan also scored tries to secure a winning bonus point. Barry Keeshan converted three of the tries. Munster replied with a try from Mark Doyle and Staunton added a conversion and penalty.
Elsewhere, Clontarf notched a 35-7 victory over rock-bottom Old Belvedere, who are still looking for their first win of the season.
Clontarf's only showing for early pressure were two penalties comfortably converted by Richie Lane, who added to the 72 points he had already racked up this season.
The second half was livelier, with Clontarf's Noel Reid breaking through the Belvedere back line two minutes in. Richie Lane converted and then added a penalty three minutes later.
Belvedere's Eddie Devitt was sin-binned for a deliberate slap-down with 45 minutes played. By this stage the game was effectively over. Further tries followed from Killian Lett, Sam Cronin and Reid, with a consolation try from Danny Riordan for the visitors.
Lansdowne bagged nine tries as they staged a strong second-half display for a bonus-point victory on home soil after beating Blackrock 55-13.
Darragh Fitzpatrick kicked Blackrock to a 6-0 lead after just four minutes and claimed all of the visitors opening-half scores, including a 38th-minute try as his side led by 13-10 at the break.
Foster Horan and Jordi Murphy claimed Lansdowne's first-half tries and they punished Blackrock hugely in the second half, with Neilus Keogh, Sean Carey, Cian Aherne (2), Alan Matthews and John Cooney (2) adding further tries to move to third spot.
Sunday Indo Sport