Monday 20 January 2020

Dolphin pulverise Garryowen on an opening day of shocks

Declan Rooney

There were plenty of shocks on the opening day of the Ulster Bank League, with four of the five top-flight wins going to the away sides, including massive triumphs for Dolphin, Cork Con and Young Munster.

The Cookies got their campaign off to a dream start with an eight-point win over 2011-12 champions St Mary's College at Templeville Road.

Tries in each half from Derry O'Connor and Hugh McGrath put Munsters in control, but the boot of Brian Haugh – who landed four penalties and converted both of their tries – proved the difference.

Both Cork sides impressed mightily in victories to get their seasons off and running, with Dolphin destroying Garryowen by 30-13, while Cork Constitution recorded an inspirational 24-17 win on their trip to Ulster side Ballynahinch.

Eamon Mills' try pushed Dolphin into an 11-0 lead early on, but last year's runners-up Garryowen hit back through Andrew Byrne to make it 11-7 at the break.

However, the Cork men pulled clear in the second-half and further tries from Rory Scannell, a penalty try and James Kiernan got Dolphin off the mark for the season with a bonus point victory.

And Cork Con also got off to a winning start, with two tries from Shane O'Connor and second year Munster academy star Jonny Holland giving them the victory after the home side had taken a 6-0 lead from two Richie Lobb penalties early on.

Record Division 1A title winners Shannon lost their first ever game in the second division by 23-16 at the hands of Blackrock College, thanks largely to tries from Sam Cooke and Adam Griggs.

The news wasn't much better for UL Bohemian as they tasted a hefty defeat away to Terenure.

In Division 2B, Cashel were the sole Munster winners after defeats for UCC, Highfield, Bruff and Old Crescent, while Nenagh Ormond took the honours in their derby tie with Midleton, while Thomond picked up a big win over Sunday's Well.

Irish Independent

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