Set piece dominance established the platform for a well-merited Lansdowne win against a UCD side that competed well in the loose, but was never able to come to terms with the strength of a resurgent home pack on the back pitch last Friday night.
Three wins on the bounce see the Headquarters side consolidate second place in the table, while victory over the students also earned them the Billy Sutherland Memorial trophy on the night.
The showers that had fallen earlier in the evening relented, and a mild, drying wind created the opportunity for a high-tempo, entertaining match in which both sides played their part.
Lansdowne went on the attack from the offset, and a handling error from the kick off saw Collidge concede a scrum 10 metres out from their line. The Lansdowne tight five drove UCD backwards, and lively scrum half Alan Bennie darted over for a try with barely a minute on the score board. Scott Deasy, who had a great night with the boot, converted for a 7-0 lead.
UCD reduced the arrears with a penalty goal on 6 minutes through left winger Killian Burke, but it was the strength of the Lansdowne scrum that was beginning to dominate affairs, with former Buccaneer Jacob Walsh, hooker Tyrone Moran and captain Ian Prendiville ensuring a torrid night for their Collidge counterparts. Lansdowne’s dominance in the set piece set the tone, even though the lineout continued to malfunction far too often for comfort.
Hooker Moran was unfortunate to be sin binned in the 23rd minute for holding on to a UCD player after the tackle, where a penalty might have been sufficient sanction. Collidge used their numerical advantage to mount a series of attacks on the Lansdowne line, but they were held at bay by stout defence and two vital turnovers won firstly by Ian Prendiville and latterly by second row Willie Earle. Earl, indeed, had an outstanding match in what was his 101st AIL appearance for the club.
Lansdowne stretched their lead to 10-3 in the 33rd minute when the sure-footed Deasy slotted a penalty for 33 metres out. UCD then lost second row Brian Cawley to the sin bin and the home side pressed home their advantage, opting for a scrum from a penalty 10 metres from the visitors’ line. Under 20 No. 8 Paul Boyle controlled the advancing scrum well, and crossed beside the posts for Deasy to add the extras once again for a 17-3 half time lead.
If the match appeared to be well in Lansdowne’s control on the score board, had Collidge taken their chances it would have been a much closer affair. The home side realised there was little room for complacency, although a penalty count of 7-3 in their favour, mostly from scrums, was a distinct element to their advantage.
Lansdowne continued to boss their opponents up front, and a well-worked back move that saw full back Eamonn Mills make a fine thrust up the middle after good work by Deasy and Foster Horan almost led to a try for the supporting Earl. Shortly after Lansdowne won a turn-over off a UCD line out and Man of the Match Alan Bennie was not to be denied as he scampered through for his second try on the night. Once again, Scott Deasy was around to tack on the extras and the lead had stretched to 24-3 on 56 minutes.
Bennie was then held up just short, having regathered his own kick ahead as the students were pinned to their collar in defence. The ball was quickly recycled and Max Deegan was on hand to score and secure the bonus point as UCD ran out of defenders. Once again, Deasy ensured the maximum return with a well-struck conversion in the 60th minute.
Lansdowne, with Charlie Butterworth and Willie Earl to the fore, were rampant by this stage, and sub second-row Phil Donnellan was next to cross in the 64th minute. Yet again, the immaculate Deasy knocked over the conversion for a 36-3 lead.
UCD then reminded Lansdowne just how dangerous they could be on the break, as scrum half and captain Jamie Glynn sold an outrageous dummy and scooted home from 30 metres for a lovely solo consolation try which Burke converted.
Lansdowne were to have the last word, however, as winger Foster Horan simply refused to go down under a welter of UCD defenders and carried them all over the line in an astonishing show of determination and leg strength. Not to be outdone, sub out half Charlie McMickan converted from wide out to give Lansdowne 6 converted tries and a penalty (45) to UCD’s try, conversion and penalty (10) as the referee blew for no side.
Next Match: St. Mary’s College v. Lansdowne: Saturday the 26th of November, Templeville Road. Kick off 2:00pm.
P.S. Don’t forget to book your place for the Lansdowne Christmas Party on Saturday the 3rd of December at 5:30pm following the Young Munster’s match. As this will be a sell-out, book early to avoid disappointment! Tickets €40 each (players and partners €30) from the club office.
Match Report: Michael Daly
Match Details: Lansdowne FC 45 UCD RFC 10, Ulster Bank AIL Division 1A 2016-17, Aviva Stadium Back Pitch, Fri. 11th November 2016, k.o. 7:30pm, Referee: Stuart Gaffekin
Article related to 1st XV team.
Article related to 1st XV v UCD fixture.