Perfect start continues as Lansdowne sink students
Ulster Bank League
Lansdowne have hit the two-thirds mark of the regular season with a perfect 12-out-of-12 record at the top of Division 1A, while Shannon's lead at the summit has been cut to a single point in Division 1B.
With the three teams directly below them all losing, Lansdowne moved 16 points clear as they came through a very tough test at Lakelands Park.
Tries from Josh O'Rourke and Aaron Conneely steered them to a 12-8 win over third-placed Terenure College, who had led through a 21st-minute maul score from captain Robbie Smyth.
Barring a big collapse, Mike Ruddock's men are cruising towards a home semi-final.
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At the opposite end of the table, St Mary's College climbed out of the bottom two with an 18-16 defeat of defending champions Cork Constitution. Flying full-back Dave Fanagan starred with a brace of second-half tries.
Clontarf's poor start to 2018 continued when they went down 25-16 to a fired-up Young Munster side on Castle Avenue's 4G pitch. Tries from Gavin Coombes, Dan Goggin and captain Alan Kennedy helped the Cookies move back into the top half of the table.
UCD staved off a late revival from bottom side Buccaneers to end their four-match losing streak with a 17-14 success at Belfield. Forwards Alex Penny, Sean McNulty and Brian Cawley - one of College's latest centurions - scored a try each.
Ireland international Luke Marshall scored a second-half try as Ballymena came from behind to beat Division 1B leaders Shannon 10-5 at home.
Second-placed Ballynahinch are now just a point behind the Limerick men after a 23-7 dismissal of UCC, during which Ulster 'A' regulars Zack McCall and Rory Butler both got tries.
Skipper Ian Porter landed two penalties to guide Banbridge to an 18-12 victory over Old Wesley, with centre Andrew Morrison scoring a first-half double. Prop Mike Lynch's 20th-minute try saw UL Bohemians win their Munster derby clash with Dolphin 7-3.
Meanwhile, out-half Donal Crotty tallied up 13 points as Ashbourne defended their All-Ireland Junior Cup crown with an 18-9 win over Kilfeacle & District at Portlaoise RFC.