Thursday 23 November 2017

Teenage titan Tynan kicks Cookies back into contention

UCD’s Jeremy Loughman tackles Ned Hodson of Cork Con during the Ulster Bank League game. Photo: Gary Carr/INPHO
UCD’s Jeremy Loughman tackles Ned Hodson of Cork Con during the Ulster Bank League game. Photo: Gary Carr/INPHO

Young Munster reduced Lansdowne's lead at the top of Division 1A to a point following their impressive 19-10 win over the table-toppers at Tom Clifford Park.

Multi-talented Tipperary teenager Alan Tynan showed coolness under pressure by kicking 14 points in a huge game for his club, coming on the back of last month's 30-24 loss at Lansdowne.

The Cookies did themselves a big favour with this hard-earned victory which moves them above Munster rivals Cork Constitution into second place.

Almost all of the scoring came in the first half, but Lansdowne were unable to make the most of the attacking qualities possessed by the four Ireland Sevens internationals in their back-line - Mark Roche, Tom Daly, John O'Donnell and Alan Bennie.

Munster duo Dan Goggin (another Sevens international) and Cian Bohane provided plenty of work for the Lansdowne defence in midfield, and it was the latter who broke through for a 23rd-minute try, converted by outhalf Tynan for a 13-3 lead.

Tynan had opened the scoring with successive penalties after 8 and 10 minutes, before Scott Deasy split the posts with 21 minutes on the clock.

Limerick man Bennie sniped through in typical scrumhalf fashion for a Lansdowne try, with Deasy supplying the extras; however a third successful penalty from Tynan closed out the first half 16-10 in Munsters' favour.

The second period was just as gripping, although scores proved hugely difficult to come by. In the end, a fourth and final penalty goal from the left boot of Tynan was enough to see the home side over the line and send Lansdowne home pointless, with their head coach Mike Ruddock still awaiting his first victory at Greenfields.

Clontarf, meanwhile, were the only team in the Division 1A to win both back-to-back fixtures either side of Christmas as they whitewashed Dublin University 29-0 at College Park.

Hirsute winger Mick McGrath grabbed the headlines with four tries, including a second-half hat-trick, as 'Tarf followed up on their 33-0 home win over the students in the last round. Aided by other results yesterday, Andy Wood's men have climbed back into the top four.

Elsewhere, a sterling defensive performance in the first half was followed by tries from Peadar Timmins and Stephen Murphy as UCD turned the tables on Cork Constitution at Belfield.

UCD's last two league encounters with Constitution ended in whopping defeats - 58-15 at this venue last February and 50-25 on Leeside before Christmas.

However, a reinforced starting line-up, bolstered by the presence of Billy Dardis, Hugo Keenan, Jeremy Loughman, Sean McNulty and Peadar Timmins, who were all back from Leinster 'A' duty, helped the students to carve out a determined 17-3 victory.

St Mary's College snapped their four-match losing streak in the Ulster Bank League with a much-needed 27-18 bonus-point victory over south Dublin rivals Old Belvedere at Templeville Road.

After the teams traded penalties, Shane McDonald conceded a penalty try and was sin-binned trying to stop Conor Hogan scoring down the wing.

Willie Staunton then opened Belvo's account off the tee before Hogan touched down from a Paddy O'Driscoll assist for Mary's second seven-pointer.

The margin stood at 22-6 at the turnaround, with Staunton landing his second penalty following a yellow card for Mary's Jack Dilger. From their very first attack of the second half, Belvo's McDonald drifted in off his right wing to collect a pass and dot down in style for Staunton convert.

However, Mary's kept their discipline and just before the hour mark Brian McGovern recovered a loose ball to get the bonus-point try.

Meanwhile, Adam Kennedy's 75th-minute penalty steered Ashbourne to their first ever Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup title as they overcame defending champions Enniscorthy 22-20 in a pulsating final at Donnybrook.

Ashbourne's scrumhalf and captain landed four penalty goals in all, adding to tries in each half from back-rowers James Rooney and Jake Wall, in what was a tremendous advertisement for Leinster and Irish junior club rugby.

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