Friday 6 December 2019

Glory day for McGrath brothers as Clontarf get off to perfect start

AIL round-up -Division 1A

Mick McGrath on his Pro12 debut for Leinster. Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Mick McGrath on his Pro12 debut for Leinster. Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Saturday was quite a day for the McGrath family as Mick made his Pro12 debut for Leinster and older brother Rob scored a try as Clontarf began their Ulster Bank League title defence with a bonus-point win over Young Munster.

Mick (23) was top try scorer in Division 1A last season and his 24-year-old sibling seems eager to follow in his footsteps, getting on the scoresheet in a 37-19 victory at Castle Avenue.

Lansdowne started their campaign with a 37-6 bonus point defeat of Dolphin on the main pitch at the Aviva Stadium.

Dolphin were due to host Mike Ruddock’s men in Cork but owing to their pitch not being ready just yet, Lansdowne had home advantage on Saturday and former Munster player Scott Deasy shone at out-half.

Meanwhile, Old Belvedere led from start to finish as new Cork Constitution head coach Tom Tierney watched his charges lose 24-8 at Anglesea Road.

Belvo, last season’s runners-up, started well, with ex-Connacht centre Aidan Wynne landing two early penalties.

In the fifth Division 1A game to take place in Dublin over the weekend, promoted Terenure College opened their account at home to Ballynahinch.

A superior second-half display saw 'Nure put some daylight between themselves and 'Hinch as they earned a deserved 32-20 success.

Both sides had players in the sin-bin and the hosts seemed to cope better as two final penalties from replacement Mark O’Neill settled the issue.

Division 1b

Galwegians – the only team to gain a try-scoring bonus point in the opening round – are the early pacesetters in the second tier.

All four of their tries in a 25-17 triumph over Dublin University were scored by backs as wingers Jerome Harimate and Matt Dever were joined on the scoresheet by centre Gary O’Brien and scrum-half Caolin Blade.

Kalani Moore came off the bench to score a late match-winning try for UL Bohemians as they got the better of Belfast Harlequins 22-19 on Thomond Park’s back pitch.

Andy Graham’s Ballymena were too strong for visitors Corinthians as they ran out comfortable 20-0 winners. Graham is hoping his side can build some “early form and momentum” in the league.

Malone lie fourth in the table after seeing off the challenge of Buccaneers on a 29-11 scoreline at Gibson Park.

Full-back Andy Bryans raced on to Josh Bingham’s chip in behind the Buccs defence to score the opening try in the 15th minute.

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