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Hudson brace puts Mary's in control

The Ulster Bank League Division 1A title will go down to the final week of the season after St Mary's won at Castle Avenue yesterday.

Clontarf dominated the first half but failed to create many scoring chances and it was Mary's who registered the first points of the game, with a Gavin Dunne penalty almost 20 minutes in. Clontarf came back with Tim McCoy at the start of a fine move, which saw Noel Reid play in Killian Lett, who showed tremendous strength to charge over despite the attention of three St Mary's players, with Richie Lane adding the extras.

Although Clontarf looked to be in control, Mary's went in with a one-point advantage at the break after a fantastic try by Conor Hogan. Collecting the ball just inside the Clontarf half after a poor clearance that failed to find touch, Hogan sprinted past Lett and then chipped the ball over Reid before collecting his kick and crossing the line.

St Mary's then added two tries within 10 minutes of the restart -- Ben Reilly failed to secure a dropping ball, which resulted in Darren Hudson gathering the loose ball to dash for the line, while five minutes later, Hudson crossed the line again after great hands by Hall. Clontarf came back after sustained pressure helped Niall Treston bundle over, but Lane missed the much-needed conversion. St Mary's defended well for the rest of the game, with Hugh Hogan putting in some vital tackles, and for all of Clontarf's possession, they failed to find that elusive try.

Scorers -- Clontarf: K Lett, N Treston tries; R Lane con. St Mary's: C Hogan, D Hudson 2 tries; G Dunne pen

Clontarf: R Lane; M McGrath, K Lett (D O'Shea 78), E Ryan, T McCoy; N Reid, S Cronin (D O'Meara 78); K Dorian, A Dundon, N Treston; B Reilly, J Chipman; S Crawford, B O'Mahony (A D'Arcy 66), F Cogan

St Mary's: G Dunne; D Hudson (C Lilly 73), S Grissing, M O'Driscoll (M Sexton 73), C Hogan; P Brophy, M D'Arcy; C McMahon, Richie McSweeney, Rob McSweeney; D Hall, S Bradshaw; B O'Flanagan (C Ruddock 30), G Austin, H Hogan

Referee: L Colgan (IRFU)

Sunday Indo Sport