Thursday 22 February 2018

Cronin brothers inspire Garryowen to end Lansdowne's unbeaten run

All Ireland League round-up

Brothers Neil and Liam Cronin helped Garryowen end Lansdowne’s long-standing unbeaten record in the league (stock picture)
Brothers Neil and Liam Cronin helped Garryowen end Lansdowne’s long-standing unbeaten record in the league (stock picture)

Saturday was a day to remember for the rugby-loving Cronin family as brothers Neil and Liam helped Garryowen end Lansdowne's long-standing unbeaten record in the league, before watching elder sibling Sean play in Ireland's dramatic Six Nations victory in Paris.

Scrum-half Neil inspired the Light Blues' 24-16 defeat of the Division 1A leaders, kicking 14 points.

The fifth-placed side carved out an early 10-point lead at Dooradoyle with James McInerney touching down in the 16th minute.

Lansdowne had tries in each half from Foster Horan and Willie Earle, the latter's score bringing them level

However, captain Cronin landed his fourth penalty and it was his turnover which led to Tim Ferguson setting up winger Liam Coombes' clinching try.

Still 11 points clear at the summit, Lansdowne remain hot favourites for a home semi-final. Cork Constitution are leading the chase behind them, with Rob Jermyn scoring two of their six tries in a runaway 41-6 win over Dublin University.

Bottom side Buccaneers blew a 17-point lead as second-half tries from James O'Donoghue, Robbie Smyth and Robert Duke saw third-placed Terenure prevail 24-20 in Athlone.

Centre Evan O'Gorman's brace helped Young Munster beat St Mary's 38-26, and flanker Tony Ryan's closing try gave Clontarf a 19-8 verdict against UCD.

Meanwhile, what Johnny Sexton does for Ireland, Richard Reaney does for Ballynahinch. Reaney coolly dropped an 84th-minute goal for 'Hinch as they edged out Naas 27-24 at Forenaughts to move top of Division 1B.

Shannon were knocked off their perch after drawing 15-all with Banbridge at Rifle Park. Tries from Kieran Dunne and Darren Gavin had the visitors leading from the 27th minute, but a late penalty try denied them.

It was also honours even in Cork where a penalty try saw bottom side Dolphin draw 13-13 with Old Wesley.

Ballymena were brought down to earth by a 58-12 loss to UCC, who had braces from Paul Kiernan and Peter Sylvester and 12 points from out-half James Taylor.

UL Bohemians climbed out of the bottom two thanks to a brilliant 34-19 bonus-point success against Old Belvedere.

Irish Independent

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