Saturday 24 March 2018

McEvoy inspires Lansdowne on weekend of drama

Rob Keogh. Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Rob Keogh. Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE Sortsdesk

Division 1A got off to a fiercely competitive start over the weekend with all five games won by the away teams and seven points being the biggest winning margin.

2015 champions Lansdowne top the table after a 32-25 bonus-point win at Garryowen. Winger Daniel McEvoy weighed in with two of their four tries; the Light Blues' late blitz - tries from Johnny Keane and David Johnston and a 75th-minute penalty from Neil Cronin - ensured they got something out of the game.

New Cork Constitution skipper Niall Kenneally scored a try and had a hand in two others as the Leesiders opened with a 20-16 victory at St Mary's. They needed a final penalty from Tomas Quinlan to settle the issue, though, as Sean Kearns inspired a stirring fightback from Mary's with 13 second half points.

Full-back Rob Keogh (pictured) came to Clontarf's rescue as his late penalty saw the champions edge out UCD 22-20 at the Belfield Bowl. Keogh and UCD winger Cillian Burke gave a fine display of place-kicking, amassing 27 points between them.

Rob McGrath's early opportunist try for the visitors was cancelled out by Stephen Murphy's score from a clever dummy, leaving it 10-all at the break. Ireland U-20 flanker Greg Jones touched down from a maul to move the students in front, but Keogh's reliable boot got 'Tarf out of trouble with three closing penalties.

Old Belvedere pipped Young Munster 36-35 in a thriller at Greenfields, with former Cookies star Willie Staunton kicking 16 points - including two drop-goals - and both sides claiming try-scoring bonus points.

Young Munster's new flanker Dan Walsh got his second try late on but the touchline conversion was missed. Daniel Riordan and Shane McDonald both got a brace of tries for Belvo.

UL Bohemians lead the way in Division 1B thanks to their six-try 41-10 demolition of Dolphin in Cork.

Ballynahinch's second half display to run out 35-13 winners over Buccaneers at Ballymacarn Park. Ulster's Sam Windsor bagged a second half-brace.

Fionn Carr marked his return to the league with a try as Johne Murphy's Naas ground out a hard-fought 18-13 victory over Galwegians at Forenaughts. Scrum half Peter Osborne nailed penalties in the 72nd and 74th minutes to decide it.

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