Sunday 25 February 2018

McGrath's Clontarf hat-trick halts Young Munster charge

Declan Rooney Ulster Bank AIL round-up

A Mick McGrath hat-trick saw Clontarf retain their lead at the top of division 1A after a 46-28 bonus point win over fellow title hopefuls Young Munster.

The home side led narrowly at the break thanks to McGrath's first try and the same player added two more touchdowns after the restart to see them canter to a sixth win of the season.

Champions Lansdowne continued their climb up the table after a 35-10 win at Garryowen. Without a victory all season, Garryowen's prospects of retaining their top-flight status look slim, but two tries each for Jack O'Connell and Richie Boucher saw Lansdowne move up to fourth.

Dolphin picked up a 25-18 win over Ballynahinch at Musgrave Park, as John Quill, Cian Bohane and James Kiernan all touched down in the first-half, but a late surge from the Ulster side sealed a losing bonus point.

UCD also saw their stock rise after a 23-17 win over Cork Con, in a game which exploded into life in the second-half after the sides were level at 3-3 at the break. James Thornton's late try sealed the win for the Students, who climb to third.

In division 1B, UL Bohs continue to improve as Mossie Lawler and Shane Boyle tries helped them to a 29-13 bonus point win over Dungannon, while Shannon triumphed 19-9 over Belfast Harlequins, with Rob Gueiren's score securing the win.

UCC lost ground on the division 2A leaders after their 17-14 loss to NUIM Barnhall, while, at the other end of the table, Highfield moved out of last place by virtue of their 28-19 win over Old Wesley.

They were replaced at the bottom by Bruff, who lost for the sixth time in a row, this time by 29-19 to leaders City of Derry. But there was better news for both Old Crescent and Cashel, who emerged victorious from ties with Seapoint and Rainey Old Boys respectively.

Nenagh Ormond continue to blaze a trail through division 2B as they retained their unbeaten start to the season with an 18-17 win away to Skerries, while Thomond moved into third place with a comprehensive 27-14 triumph against Boyne.

A 16-11 defeat to Sligo saw Midleton slip to seventh, while Sundays Well's 22-22 draw with Tullamore did little to help their season.

Richmond's 25-19 win over De La Salle Palmerston helped them keep pace with their rivals.

Irish Independent

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