Tuesday 20 February 2018

Leinster Club Rugby: Malahide complete maximum

Malahide have replaced Kanturk in the Ulster Bank League. Photo: Stock photo
Malahide have replaced Kanturk in the Ulster Bank League. Photo: Stock photo

Dermot O'Mahony

Malahide completed the formalities of qualifying for the Ulster Bank League by winning 46-38 in Ballina and thus became one of the few teams to win the AIL Round Robin with the maximum 15 points.

The Dublin club looks well primed for Division 2C and following their impressive romp through Division 1A of the Leinster League this year, after their promotion from Division 1B, it would be no surprise if they were to be promoted again at the first attempt.

On Saturday in Mayo they were pushed all the way by the Connacht champions and only secured victory with two late tries to maintain their 100pc record.

The bonus point was in the bag by half-time as the visitors led 24-17 with full-back Dave Mongan and winger Marcus McAllister each netting a pair of tries but the hosts matched them score for score.

Despite replacement winger Donal Murray's try soon after the resumption, the home side had edged four points ahead with their sixth try five minutes from the end but lock forward Leo Weiss and No 8 Chris O'Brien touched down for the decisive scores.

Malahide have replaced Kanturk in the Ulster Bank League, the Co Cork side having finished bottom of Division 2C and the final AIL place is up for grabs tomorrow when Boyne, second last in Division 2C, welcome Omagh, runners-up in the Round Robin, to Shamrock Lodge. The Drogheda club will be trying to extend their six-year stay in the AIL while Omagh will be trying to reach the national stage for the first time.

And to add to the drama, four clubs that lost play-offs last month in the Leinster League will be hoping that Boyne prevail as a win for the Louth club will see the quartet play in higher divisions next season.

The clubs waiting anxiously are Clondalkin, Co Carlow, Wexford Wanderers and Ardee who would be promoted to Divisions 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B respectively with a Boyne victory tomorrow.

The Ulster Bank League divisional play-off finals are all scheduled for tomorrow and Tullamore is the only Leinster club involved with the Offaly team having to travel to Magherafelt in Derry to play Rainey Old Boys for the right to be promoted to Division 2B.

The Bateman Cup Final will also be played tomorrow when Old Belvedere host Cork Constitution in Anglesea Road and this is the first of two late-season opportunities for the Dublin 4 club to win some silverware.

Tomorrow week Donnybrook will be the venue for the Leinster Senior Cup Final when Old Belvedere will meet Lansdowne in a repeat of the Senior League Division 1 decider which Belvo won 19-16 way back in September. Finally, the Senior League Division 2 Final between Naas and Greystones will be played next Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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