ROUNDUP: Ballynahinch still in control of Division 1B
Ballynahinch remain in control of Division 1B after digging deep to see off a committed Dublin University side 26-22 at Wallace High School.
The game went ahead at Wallace High School due to the unplayable pitch at Ballymacarn Park, and ‘Hinch had a battle on their hands trailing 12-6 at the break.
Four penalties from David Joyce had Trinity ahead. The tide seemed to be turning when Adam Craig and Rodger McBurney picked off tries for the County Down outfit.
20-12 down, the students rallied superbly with another Joyce penalty and a sixth try of the campaign from tricky winger Niyi Adeolukan.
Joyce converted to complete his 17-point haul and move Trinity back in front. But two late penalties from Michael Lawton, who finished the game with 16 points, gave ‘Hinch a tight verdict and sent them eight points clear at the summit.
Belfast Harlequins and Buccaneers shared out five tries in a lively second half at Deramore Park, at the end of which ‘Quins prevailed on a 27-15 scoreline.
Jack Carty and Michael Heaney exchanged first half penalties before the hosts blazed into a 27-3 lead by the 64th minute.
Ulster scrum half Heaney started the ball rolling with a second penalty and then converted tries from Michael Kirkwood (52 minutes) and impressive flanker Daryl Marshall (62 and 64).
Late tries from Mark Dolan and skipper Kolo Kiripati were mere consolation for Buccaneers who have slipped to fifth in the standings.
‘Quins are now third, ten points behind leaders ‘Hinch, with UCD a further point behind following an excellent bonus point defeat of struggling Ballymena.
At Belfield, the students made light work of the Braidmen who could only muster a first half penalty from out-half Rory Drysdale.
UCD coasted to a 32-3 success with winger Sam Coghlan Murray helping himself to two tries, while fellow wide man Barry Daly and flanker Conor Gilsenan also crossed the whitewash.
Blackrock College’s recent resurgence continued at home to Malone as they held on for a 23-20 triumph.
They made it two wins on the trot, solidifying themselves in seventh place thanks mainly to tries from back rowers Job Langbroek and David Gannon and replacement Billy Glynn.
Rob Keogh’s accurate place-kicking gave them a 13-3 buffer at the break, but they had to weather a storm from Malone who managed to go 20-18 ahead.
This was despite losing inspirational captain Glenn Moore to the sin-bin. The Belfast club put wingers Chris Leathem and Michael Barker through for second half tries.
Centre Josh Pentland also kicked well for the visitors, finishing with 10 points, but Malone had to settle for a losing bonus point as Glynn’s score decided it in Blackrock’s favour.
Meanwhile, Dungannon ended a five-match winless streak in the league with a late 12-10 win over Bruff at Stevenson Park.
The home pack forced a decisive penalty try in the dying minutes, and Stuart McCloskey crucially converted from in front of the posts.
This was ninth plays eighth and given the stakes involved, it was a real scrap throughout with Bruff taking a 10-0 half-time lead - winger Mark Cosgrave crossed for the only try.
But Dungannon eased their relegation worries, moving up to eighth in the process, with a Derek Hall touchdown and a dose of late heroics from the forwards.
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