Sport Rugby

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Lansdowne hold out to seal title

AIL round-up Division 1A

There were joyous scenes on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch yesterday, as Lansdowne were crowned champions for the first time following a thrilling encounter against Clontarf.

Clontarf 25

There were joyous scenes on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch yesterday, as Lansdowne were crowned champions for the first time following a thrilling encounter against Clontarf.

A second-minute penalty from Richie Lane got the ball rolling for the visitors. Mike Ruddock's charges eventually opened their account after 22 minutes, as wing Sean Carey touched down for a converted try. Mark Roche crossed again to increase the lead three minutes later, but 'Tarf rallied just past the half-hour mark with a try from No 8 Frank Cogan.

Lane converted and, even though Craig Ronaldson brilliantly slotted a drop-goal, a second penalty from Lane cut Lansdowne's lead to 17-13 at the break. The north Dubliners were threatening to spoil the party for their southside counterparts, and they regained the lead eight minutes after the restart with a converted try from Simon Crawford.

This threw down the gauntlet to Lansdowne, but a Ronaldson penalty levelled matters 51 minutes into the contest and then Ron Boucher drove over for his side's third try, with Roche adding the extras.

Clontarf refused to throw in the towel and broke through once again in the first minute of injury-time through replacement Collie O'Shea. Lane had the chance to restore parity with his conversion, but his kick hit the post, and when replacement scrum-half Marcus Walsh grounded in the dying seconds, Lansdowne's triumph was secured.

Old Belvedere 25

St Mary's College 13

Old Belvedere triumphed over St Mary's in a hard-fought derby at Anglesea Road. Mary's were first off the mark, with Gavin Dunne kicking an early penalty, but Belvedere responded with a try from Danny Riordan. Josh Glynn was unable to convert, yet made amends with a penalty moments later.

Aidan Wynne soon added a second try, with Glynn's conversion giving them a 12-point lead. However, a try from Chris Lilly and a conversion and penalty from Dunne cut the gap to two points.

But Belvo upped the ante with a penalty from Glynn and a converted try from the pacy Riordan to spark wild celebrations.

Irish Independent

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