THERE were disappointing defeats for both Garryowen and Shannon, but an excellent win for UL-Bohemian, on a day of fixture disruption in the Ulster Bank League.
In Division 1A, Garryowen went down 39-25 to Clontarf in a free-scoring game at Castle Avenue. The fourth-placed ‘light blues’ did at least have the consolation of picking up a try bonus point from the fixture.
Young Munster’s scheduled 1A fixture with Galwegians at Tom Clifford Park was postponed on Saturday morning due to an unplayable pitch as a result of the heavy rain.
In Division 1B, resilient UL-Bohs scored a terrific 20-13 come-from-behind win over Buccaneers on the 4G pitch at UL. The game had earlier been moved from Annacotty which was unplayable.
Shannon had their four-game winning run in 1B ended in an emphatic 36-11 defeat to Dublin University at College Green.
Meanwhile, in Division 2A, Thomond’s scheduled fixture with UCC at the Mardyke was postponed due to an unplayable pitch.
Leinster winger Mick McGrath was in dominant form for Clontarf, helping himself to a hat-trick of touchdowns in a 10-try thriller with Garryowen in the top flight.
‘Tarf led 15-8 at half-time advantage with Garryowen winger James McInerney scoring for the Dooradoyle side.
McGrath and Garryowen’s Munster Academy recruit Conor Oliver swapped tries before the former followed up on an excellent Evan Ryan break to complete his hat-trick. The ‘light blues’ produced a strong finish, though, battling their way to a try-scoring bonus point as replacement Ronan O’Halloran and impressive scrum half Neil Cronin both crossed the whitewash in a second successive defeat for Garryowen.
Tenacious UL-Bohs moved up to eighth place in Division 1B after producing a stunning comeback win over Buccs. UL-Bohs hopes of claiming a third league win looked slim when Gearoid Prendergast’s side trailed by 10 points, 3-13, when playing into a gale force wind and driving rain. However, a tremendous final quarter performance saw UL-Bohs score three tries through outstanding captain Ian Condell (2) and Philip Dowling. Robbie Burke added a conversion to Rick McKenna’s first half penalty goal for the home side.
Meanwhile, Shannon sit fifth in 1B, after their 25-point defeat to Dublin University.
Shannon trailed by eight points, 19-11, at half-time.
Ollie Lyons scored a first half try for the Limerick side, while Tadhg Bennett kicked two penalties. The students pulled clear in the second half, however, adding 17 unanswered points.
In Division 2C on Friday night, leaders Old Crescent scored a dramatic 14-12 derby victory over Bruff at Rosbrien.
A late Shane O’Brien drop goal helped the home side secure victory and cement their place at the top of the table.
In wet and windy conditions, Bruff had led 12-3 at half-time with a try from Jake Considine followed by a penalty try and conversion from Tony Cahill.
However, the home side fought back strongly in the second half with a try from Shane Monaghan and a second Larry Hanly penalty goal reducing the Bruff lead, before O’Brien struck for his match-winning drop goal.