Sport Rugby

Saturday 24 February 2018

McGrath hat-trick keeps 'Tarf on top


Michael McGrath was the hero as his hat-trick of tries ensured Clontarf held on to top spot.

McGrath crossed for 'Tarf in the opening minute but Young Munster quickly responded with a well-worked drop goal by Willie Staunton.

He added a further three points before the interval, but a brace of penalties by David Joyce gave the hosts a 13-9 advantage at the break.

Adrian D'Arcy and McGrath both crossed in the early stages after the restart, but the Limerick men forced their way back into the reckoning with a 53rd minute try.

McGrath registered his third try just past the hour mark, and their bonus point victory was effectively secured.

Young Munster did add a brace of converted tries, but further five-pointers by Ian Hirst and Ronan Dillon sealed a comfortable victory for Clontarf.

Old Belvedere maintained their excellent recent form with a well-deserved victory in an absorbing clash.

Belvo opened the scoring 11 minutes in when second-row Josh Eden-Whatiri went over in the right corner.

The visitors stretched their lead with a converted try by right wing Mark Corballis just shy of the half-hour mark, but a late try for the hosts from centre Robert Hudson meant that their lead had been reduced to 15-7 at the interval.

Philip O'Dwyer raced through with a well-executed try in the opening minute after the restart but Mary's quickly cancelled out this score when Hudson scored his second try on 45 minutes.

Five points from the boot of Gavin Dunne brought Mary's to within touching distance of the lead, but Jack Conan's try eight minutes from the end of normal time was enough to give Belvo the victory, as well as a hard-earned bonus point.

Dolphin bounced back to winning ways with a hard-fought seven-point victory.

Ballynahinch's David McIllwaine opened the scoring but tries from John Quill, Cian Bohane and James Kiernan had Dolphin 19-8 up at half-time. A try by Ross Adair closed the gap but the visitors went home with just a bonus point.

Lansdowne proved far too good for Garryowen as Jack O'Connell and Charlie Butterworth scored two tries apiece, with Brian Moylett also touching down.

Scott Deasy kicked two penalties and two conversions. Ronan O'Mahony got Garryowen's try.

UCD got back to winning ways with a six-point victory over a game Cork Constitution outfit. The sides were on level terms (3-3) heading into the second period.

A terrific try by UCD's Andy Boyle set the foundations for a thrilling second half. The excellent James Thornton helped the students open up a 20-point gap inside the final quarter. Cork Con finished with a brace of tries, but it wasn't enough to deny UCD.

Two tries from Steve MacAuley were crucial as Buccaneers came out on top of a 10-try thriller. Jack Carty also played his part, as he kicked 11 points on a memorable day for Buccaneers.

Table-toppers Terenure recorded their seventh win in a row in a six-try bonus-point triumph, with out-half Mark O'Neill scoring 27 points.

LUKE O'DEA'S stoppage-time try earned Shannon a dramatic victory at Coonagh against Quins, for whom Liam Cambridge kicked three penalties.

A tough encounter at Stevenson Park saw six players yellow-carded, four from the home side. The visitors took a 10-6 interval advantage and ran in converted tries from Kevin Flanagan, Kevin O'Byrne and Shane Boyne after the break.

Colt Carriaga and Jack Fitzpatrick were the heroes for Trinity at Sydney Parade as their tries handed the hosts their first victory of the season despite Malone tries from Michael Barker and Michael Ferguson. Out-half John Creighton also kicked a brace of penalties and conversions, but Trinity held firm.

Sunday Independent

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