GRITTY UL-Bohemian pushed holders St Mary’s College all the way before going down 17-13 on their return to the top flight of the All-Ireland League at Templeville Road.
UL-Bohs’ picked up a precious losing bonus point against the Dubliners, a confidence-boosting result ahead of the Limerick side’s first home fixture of the League against Cork Constitution this Saturday.
Visitors UL-Bohs’ went in front in the 21st minute when Munster out-half JJ Hanrahan opened the scoring with a close-in penalty.
The visitors’ defence was eventually breached in the 25th minute when St Mary’s replacement Marcus O’Driscoll drove over the line.
Chris Lilly converted and added a well-struck penalty to give the Dubliners a 10-3 interval advantage.
UL-Bohs’ cut into the Mary’s cushion just four minutes after the restart when Hanrahan kicked another penalty before Mary’s bagged a second try through number eight Kevin Croke.
Crotty added the conversion, but Bohs’ hit back superbly with a well-deserved try courtesy of replacement Rory Whyte.
The ever-reliable Hanrahan added the extras which made it a four-point game heading down the home stretch.
Hanrahan had a chance to reduce the margin even further with a 74th minute penalty, but he was wide of the mark with his kick from the left.
SCORERS – St Mary’s College: Tries: Marcus O’Driscoll, Kevin Croke; Cons: Ray Crotty, Chris Lilly; Pen: Chris Lilly
UL-Bohemian: Try: Rory Whyte; Con: JJ Hanrahan; Pens: JJ Hanrahan 2
ST MARY’S COLLEGE – Conor Hogan; Ray Crotty, Stephen Grissing, Philip Brophy, Darren Hudson; Andrew Burke, Matthew D’Arcy; Jack McGrath, Dylan Fawsitt, Robert Sweeney; Ciaran Ruddock, Gareth Logan; Kevin Sheahan, Gareth Austin, Kevin Croke. Replacements: Chris Lilly, Marcus O’Driscoll, Peter Starett, Kurt Haupt, Colm McMahon.
UL-BOHEMIAN – Ben Martin; Martin McPhail, Mossie Lawler, Niall Kenneally, Darren Moroney; JJ Hanrahan, Derek Farrell; Tom Doyle, Sean Henry, Alex Simpson; Ed Kelly (Capt), David Foley; Ed Rossiter, Ian Condell, Sean Rennison. Replacements: Garry Walsh, Conor Kindregan, Brian Walsh, Tim Rafferty, Rory White.