Tuesday 12 December 2017

O'Sullivan factor fades as Garryowen face trap door after Dolphin defeat

Ulster Bank League

Alan Gaughan, who scored for Garryowen against Ballynahinch
Alan Gaughan, who scored for Garryowen against Ballynahinch

GARRYOWEN's hopes of staying in Division 1A were effectively dashed after their 26-12 defeat to Dolphin at Musgrave Park.

The loss means that Garryowen trail Ballynahinch by 10 points with two games left. With Ballynahinch having a far superior points difference, there now seems no way that Garryowen can avoid filling the automatic relegation spot.

It looked as though the introduction of former Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan would help them move away from the bottom. Initially, they went on a good run winning three out of four games to draw level on points with Ballynahinch, but unfortunately they have lost the last two.

To add to their problems, Ballynahinch have won their last two in decisive fashion; their latest success saw them demolish Cork Con 35-8 at Temple Hill.

Garryowen came up against a Dolphin side determined to return to winning ways. Garryowen had tries from Shane Buckley and Alan Gaughan, one of which Andrew Byrne converted, but fell short.

A disappointing Cork Con proved no match for Ballynahinch. The visitors ran in five tries with two of coming from wing Robin Harte.

The victory also means that they are in range of third from bottom St Mary's College; and the latter must hope to pick up on their effort after losing 30-17 to Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park.

Meanwhile, Terenure College made it 16 straight victories at the top of Division 1B by beating Corinthians 21-12 at Lakelands Park. They have already secured the title and promotion and the 'Nure eventually pulled clear to win with tries from Mark O'Neill, Kevin O'Neill and Gary Hamilton.

Corinthians drop from second to third spot. They are now a point behind Buccaneers who continued their recent impressive run with a 32-18 bonus-point home victory over struggling Blackrock College.

UL Bohemians are a further three points back from Corinthians after trouncing bottom side Dungannon 41-17 at Thomond Park.

Dublin University recorded a vital 12-8 away victory over Malone, while Shannon beat Belfast Harlequins 16-15 at Deramore Park.

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