Ulster Bank Rugby Divisions 1A & 1B Reviews – Young Munster beat St Marys in thriller

For the third consecutive week of play, there are new leaders in Ulster Bank League Division 1A after Young Munster moved to the top spot with a thrilling 34-32 bonus point success at St. Mary’s.

Munsters capitalised on Dublin University’s loss to Lansdowne, hitting the summit on the back of another high-scoring display. Gearóid Prendergast’s Cookies have scored 11 tries and 98 points in their last three outings, their Munster centre Dan Goggin doing a good deal of damage against Mary’s with a first half brace.

Conversely, the Limerick team’s defence has been overly charitable, leaking the most points so far in the top flight. They allowed Mary’s to come storming back at them with five second half tries. However, scrum half Rob Guerin’s 76th-minute try was enough to get them over the finish line.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cork Constitution moved into the top four with a 31-15 bonus point win over bottom side Terenure College. Flying full-back Shane Daly crossed for his fourth try of the campaign.

Daly’s Ireland Under-20 colleague James Ryan touched down and had a starring role in UCD’s hard-earned 23-16 victory over Garryowen. Impressive 18 year old centre Tommy O’Brien also scored his second try in as many games.

Round 5 leaders Trinity were kept scoreless in the second half as 11 unanswered points guided Lansdowne to a 25-14 triumph at College Park. Backs Éamonn Mills and John O’Donnell notched tries either side of half-time and the ever reliable Scott Deasy kicked five penalties.

Buccaneers swapped positions with UL Bohemians at the top of Division 1B after running in six tries to emphatically end the Red Robins’ winning start to the season.

Off-colour Bohs lost for the first time in six league matches as the Buccs back-line cut loose at Dubarry Park, winger Jordan Conroy’s first half brace – the Tullamore youngster now has seven tries in all – helping them coast to a fantastic 49-17 win.

Forwards Mark Rowley, Iain McGann and Conor Maguire raided in for three of Old Wesley’s four tries as they outlasted promotion rivals Ballymena by 27-25 at Eaton Park. The Braidmen, who have fallen to sixth place, were left to rue a late missed penalty.

Galwegians blew a 14-point first half lead as Ballynahinch came from behind to take the spoils in a 30-24 bonus point victory at Crowley Park. ’Hinch’s revival was sparked by an excellent breakaway try from Ulster’s scrum half recruit Angus Lloyd.

Replacement Michael Skelton scored a crucial 70th minute try, following up on good approach play by player-coach Johne Murphy and Henry Bryce, as Naas held onto fourth place with a 10-6 home success against UCC.

Shannon opened their win account for the league season in rousing fashion with a late surge to see off close rivals Dolphin 17-10 on Thomond Park’s back pitch. Barry Keeshan’s 64th-minute sin-binning preceded converted tries from Shannon winger Richie Mullane and prop Conor Glynn and a clinching penalty from full-back Ronan McKenna.


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