Joyce centre stage as in-form 'Tarf storm back to the summit
OUT-HALF David Joyce once again played a major role as Clontarf chalked up a fifth successive victory to return to the top of Division 1A.
Joyce contributed 21 points to help Clontarf beat Cork Constitution 26-13 at Temple Hill. He landed seven penalties, with his side's only try coming from left-wing Max McFarland.
Clontarf were always in control. Former Cork Con flanker Brendan Cutriss and young prop Keith Donoghue were outstanding in the pack, while Joyce controlled matters from out-half.
McFarland's try, plus three penalties from Joyce, allowed them to move 14-6 clear at the interval.
That advantage was extended to 26-6 with four penalties from Joyce before Conor Desmond crossed for a late consolation try for Cork Con.
Darragh Lyons was responsible for the remainder of the home side's points, kicking two penalties and converting Desmond's try. The victory means that Clontarf now lead the table by a point from Old Belvedere, who briefly went top following their 22-13 victory over Lansdowne on Friday night.
Young Munster moved into third spot, two points behind Old Belvedere, after a hard-earned 18-7 home win against Dolphin. Brian Haugh, operating at scrum-half, emerged as their hero.
Haugh scored a try, conversion and a penalty as Young Munster had to come from behind. Dolphin made a really good start to lead 7-0, Cian Bohane going over from a try which Rory Scannell converted.
But Young Munster hit back with two tries from Haugh and Kolio Hifo, one of which was converted. A penalty by Haugh and a drop-goal from Willie Staunton completed the scoring.
The only other Division 1A game played on Saturday saw Ballynahinch defeat Garryowen 18-6 in a bottom-of-the-table encounter at Ballymacarn Park. It was a well-deserved first win for the Ulster outfit.
Ross Adair and Aaron Ferris scored tries with David McIlwaine landing a conversion and two penalties. A disappointing Garryowen could only manage two penalties from Jamie Gavin.
The Limerick outfit now lie six points adrift of Ballynahinch at the bottom of the table without a win in any of their six outings.
Terenure College and Corinthians continue to lead the way in Division 1B. They both recorded their sixth straight win, Terenure defeating Shannon 25-17 at Lakelands Park, and Corinthians accounting for UL Bohemians 13-10 at Annacotty.
Leaders Terenure did all the damage in the first half with Shane Donovan crossing for two tries to enable them to lead 25-7 at the interval. Shannon were much improved after the break but they faced too big of a task.
A second-half penalty from Finn Gormley enabled Corinthians win a tight game against UL Bohs, while Buccaneers, Blackrock College and Belfast Harlequins also secured victories. Buccaneers' resounding 50-7 home success over Dungannon leaves them in third spot.
Blackrock recorded a much-needed 32-25 away win over Malone, while Belfast Harlequins beat bottom of the table Dublin University 13-8.