While both the Heineken Champions and Challenge Cups may have garnered most attention this weekend, there was plenty action throughout the country in the All-Ireland League.
Tom Hayes’ Shannon achieved their second successive Division 1A win, beating Terenure College 41-14 at Lakelands Park, with teenage out-half Jake Flannery starring with a 14-point contribution, including an intercept try. Nathan Randles, Aran Hehir, Eathon Moloney and replacement Pa Ryan also touched down for five-pointers to add to a penalty try.
League pacesetters Cork Constitution had a 24-13 bonus point win over Dublin University at Temple Hill thanks to JJ O’Neill’s two tries either side of half-time. Rob Jermyn scored the opener and Sonny Dwyer dotted down in the 28th minute, while Thomas Clarkson and full-back Robert Russell scored the Dublin side’s tries.
Clontarf’s Mick McGrath opened his try-scoring account for the season as his side overcame Garryowen 28-10 at Castle Avenue. The Light Blues lost their grip on a 10-3 lead as the Dubliners had tries from McGrath, Declan Adamson and Conor Jennings, as well as 13 points kicked by David Joyce.
First half tries from Éamonn Mills and Daniel McEvoy, along with 10 points from out-half Scott Deasy, gave Lansdowne their opening win in All-Ireland League Division 1A on Friday night with 20-6 clear over UCD at the Belfield Bowl.
The same night, Young Munster rebounded from their derby loss to Shannon with a 23-17 victory over UCC at Tom Clifford Park.
Credit: Irish Rugby @irishrugby
Meanwhile in Division 1B, Ballymena, Buccaneers, City of Armagh and Ballynahinch all achieved their first wins.
Out-half Tim Small scored 25 points – a try, all four conversions and four penalties – as Ballymena beat St. Mary’s 40-22 at Eaton Park.
Buccs ran in five tries, including three from Darragh Corbett, Rory O’Connor and Thomas McGann, in their 41-14 win over Old Wesley.
Armagh shocked their Ulster rivals Malone 32-3 at Palace Grounds with tries from forwards Andrew Smyth, Josh McKinley, Nigel Simpson and Peter Lamb.
Peter Cromie took his season’s try-scoring tally to five as he achieved a brace in Banbridge’s 20-16 victory over leaders Naas, while Bradley Luney and James Simpson’s late scores clinched a 32-17 Ballynahinch bonus point win away to Old Belvedere.
Terenure College 14 Shannon 41
Cork Constitution 24 Dublin University 13
Clontarf 28 Garryowen 10
UCD 6 Lansdowne 20
Young Munster 23 UCC 17
Ballymena 40 St. Mary’s College 22
Buccaneers 41 Old Wesley 14
City Of Armagh 32 Malone 3
Naas 16 Banbridge 20
Old Belvedere 17 Ballynahinch 32