Last against first Lansdowne were away to bottom club UL Bohemians. A tale of 2 fortunes - Lansdowne chasing title dreams whilst Bohs scrapping for their 1A lives.
Playing with a strong wind at their backs Lansdowne showed little sympathy for Bohs plight and piled on the pressure from the start with penalties from Craig Ronaldson, in the 12th, 16th and 18th minutes giving the away team a commanding 9-0 lead. Things got worse for Bohs when their Munster star JJ Hanrahan was sinbinned. The first try of the match came shortly afterwards from Simon Morrissey following a fine individual run. Ronaldson made good with the conversion. Lansdowne were now totally dominant in all facets of play not least of which the scrum and only the referee will know how he didn't award at least one penalty try after several collapsed scrums close to the UL Bohs line.
UL Bohs defended with great spirit but could not live with the pace. Craig Ronaldson as he has done so well this season cut through a scrambling UL Bohs defence to score just right of the posts and easily converted his own try. Another sinbinning for UL Bohs (Flanker Ian Condell) and some changes in personnel for Lansdowne kept saw Marcus Walsh nip over from a close in ruck for his first Lansdowne try. The try went unconverted but left Lansdowne with a handsome 28 nil lead at half-time.
The break saw more changes with Ronaldson and Moore taking a breather, replaced by Conor O'Donnell & Darren O'Reilly respectively. Lansdowne made light of the changes and despite playing into a strong wind opened the 2nd half with a penalty try from a close in scrum. Ed Torrie playing against his former club was on hand to convert the try. The try gave Lansdowne their ninth try-scoring bonus point in 15 Ulster Bank League matches.
UL Bohs came back into things and desperately went in search of points. They were finally rewarded with an excellent converted try from Sean Rennison under the posts. Despite more pressure from UL Bohs it was Lansdowne who closed out the game with what must surely be a candidate for try of the season when Ron Boucher finished off some fantastic series of play that began with some amazing defence and counter attacking from well within the Lansdowne half. Torrie converted to cap another very professional performance from this Lansdowne team. Job done Ross McCarron was presented with the Mick English cup by Pauline English (wife of the late Mick English).
Next up is Clontarf at home - a match that will ultimately decide the fate of this years league. Clontarf are the only team that can catch Lansdowne and must win to keep their title chances alive. After a slow start to the league they are in great form at the moment scoring 155 points in their last four games. Lansdowne on the other hand know that a victory will give them the title. It just does not get any bigger than this in club rugby - a game against one of our closest rivals to win the league. See you Saturday - Get there early as we expecting a big big crowd.
Article related to 1st XV team.
Article related to 1st XV v UL Bohemians fixture.