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What a match! Play swinging from end to end, blink twice and you miss a try (15 in total, or one approximately every five minutes), records broken and, the best of entertainment for all of those fortunate enough to be present. [spacer height=”20px”] Many Lansdowne AIL Club records were set over this pulsating 80 minutes. The points match aggregate of 102 was the highest in Lansdowne’s history; the 76 points scored was also the Club’s greatest individual total in a match. Lansdowne also topped their previous try scoring record with 11 touchdowns as they ran riot against a Trinity side which, to be fair, never gave up and which made a serious contribution to the spectacle. [spacer height=”20px”] Two tries in either half saw the visitors come away with a precious and well-deserved try bonus point, which will be invaluable to them in their campaign to sustain their Division 1A status.[spacer height=”20px”] Those who lingered over their Cointreau at the well-attended pre-match lunch, where Dick Spring was made an Honorary Life Member of the Club, missed the early action; Trinity kicked off, prop Peter Dooley broke the line from the ensuing ruck and covered 40 metres before releasing to the supporting Jack Dwan, who passed to flanker Charlie Butterworth. A quick recycle and winger Mark O’Keeffe was over in the left corner – all within the first minute of the match.[spacer height=”20px”] Out half Scott Deasy was unable to convert from the touchline but went on to kick 9 from 11 goals and add a second half try for good measure. Deasy’s 24-point haul was the highest by a Lansdowne player since Eoghan Hickey scored 26 against UCC in the 2010-2011 season, and his season total of 184 points to date, with a minimum of three matches remaining, is only 12 off Craig Ronaldson’s all-time AIL record of 196 points, set in 2012-13, when Lansdowne won the League. [spacer height=”20px”] 7-0 up before many of the supporters were in place, Lansdowne returned to the offensive through an Eamonn Mills punt that took play from one ’22 to the other. Harry Brennan made good ground from the subsequent line-out ball to set up Mills for the first of his two tries, this one wide on the right. Scott Deasy, who had a sublime match, caressed the conversion across the wind for the most perfect of starts for the League leaders – 10-0 up after only 5 minute’s play.[spacer height=”20px”] Nor had the delighted home supporters long to wait for more; Peter Dooley was again the initiator with a telling thrust up the middle and, from the recycle, Deasy sent a neat chip through for Mills to cross again in the 11th minute. Deasy obliged with the extras to set his side 17-0 ahead.[spacer height=”20px”] The Students were visibly stunned by the relentless pace and power of the rampant Lansdowne pack, and a breakdown in communications led to a spilt ball on the 10-metre line. Home No. 8, Aaron Conneely gratefully pounced upon the loose ball to race away and score. [spacer height=”20px”] With Deasy’s conversion, the Headquarters side were 26-0 ahead after 14 minute’s play and had the bonus point in the bag in record time. [spacer height=”20px”] To their credit, Trinity dug deep and worked extremely hard to staunch the leaks that were rapidly turning into a torrent and which were threatening to overwhelm them. Their pack upped their game, none more so than No. 8 Tom Ryan, who had a strong match, and they managed to assert some structure into their play. They worked a neat move down the left on 16 minutes, and some good inter-passing saw winger Evan Dixon cross for a try, which was converted by out half Jack McDermott after 17 minutes. [spacer height=”20px”] Having repulsed another Lansdowne attack, the Students got motoring again on 25 minutes and took play to the Lansdowne posts. Lively scrum half Angus Lloyd darted through a scattering of his own and several Lansdowne players for a somewhat fortuitous try, given the amount of blocking that appeared to go on up ahead of him. McDermott converted for 26-14, and it appeared that Trinity had weathered the storm and were back in the match. [spacer height=”20px”] This was before the Lansdowne scrum took over, however. Lansdowne shrugged off the loss of the influential Butterworth, whose replacement, Josh O’Rourke, added plenty of grunt to the forward exchanges. Good play by hooker Tyrone Moran brought pay to the Trinity 5 metre line and, following several repeat scrum infringements, referee Sean Gallagher awarded Lansdowne a penalty try – 33-14 after 35 minutes’ play. [spacer height=”20px”] There was still time for a Jack O’Sullivan try in injury time as Lansdowne extended their half-time advantage to 38-14. [spacer height=”20px”] The tempo of the game and the fierceness of the contest resulted in both sides suffering several injuries, with Daniel McEvoy, Conneely, Harry Brennan and sub prop Ntinga Mpiko all going off. [spacer height=”20px”] If the home side had to reshuffle several times, it didn’t upset their momentum, and the score-fest continued unabated after the break. Tyrone Moran broke from the side of a line-out maul to canter over from the 22, Deasy again obliging – 47-14. [spacer height=”20px”] Next up was scrum half Alan Bennie, who benefitted from a great thrust from captain Ian Prendiville, who had a great match. Prendiville’s break was carried on by winger O’Keeffe, who passed to Bennie for the try. The ever-reliable Deasy knocked over the conversion – 52-14 on 45 minutes. [spacer height=”20px”] Four minutes later Bennie was in again, this time Dowling was the provider of the scoring pass as another Trinity move broke down – 59-14. Two minutes later it was Deasy’s turn to capitalise on some strong forward play to scramble over and convert his own effort – 66-14. [spacer height=”20px”] Trinity could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel at this stage, but they refused to do so. Following several attacks down the right, out half McDermott crossed wide out for a try to reduce the score line to 66-19. The Lansdowne injuries were beginning to take their toll, however, and the reluctance of the home side to take any further risks was epitomised when Deasy kicked a penalty at goal after 64 minutes. [spacer height=”20px”] Trinity sensed their opportunity and ran a penalty deep out of defence. Several rucks later, hooker Dan Sheehan broke from the side of a maul in a similar fashion to his counterpart Moran earlier on and crossed for a fine individual effort. Sub Tommy Whittle slotted the conversion from the corner and it was 69-24 after 69 minutes. Trinity had their bonus point and were their supporters happy about that. [spacer height=”20px”] Fittingly, it was Lansdowne who had the last say; winger O’Keeffe bookending the try scoring with his second following a strong burst from the 10-metre line, simply refusing to be taken down and hustling his way over for his side’s 11th, record-breaking try. [spacer height=”20px”] A brilliant Lansdowne performance, with every man playing his part. The number and extent of the injuries sustained will be a source of concern for the team management, however, and next weekend’s break from action will be much appreciated as recovery time. [spacer height=”20px”] Match Report: Michael Daly [spacer height=”20px”]

Match Details[spacer height=”20px”]

Ulster Bank Division 1A 2017-18 Season LANSDOWNE 76 DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 26 [spacer height=”20px”]

Venue: Aviva Stadium back pitch [spacer height=”20px”]

Referee: Sean Gallagher [spacer height=”20px”]

Scorers:[spacer height=”20px”]

Lansdowne: Tries: Mark O’Keefe 2, Eamonn Mills 2, Aaron Conneely, Penalty try, Jack O’Sullivan, Tyrone Moran, Alan Bennie 2, Scott Deasy; Cons: Scott Deasy 8, Pen try con; Pen: Scott Deasy [spacer height=”20px”] Dublin University: Tries: Evan Dixon, Angus Lloyd, Jack McDermott, Dan Sheehan; Cons: Jack McDermott 2, Tommy Whittle[spacer height=”20px”]

HT: Lansdowne 40 Dublin University 14[spacer height=”20px”]

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Fergal Cleary, Mark O’Keeffe; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Peter Dooley, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt.); Oisin Dowling, Jack Dwan; Jack O’Sullivan, Charlie Butterworth, Aaron Conneely.[spacer height=”20px”]

Replacements: Adam Boland, Ntinga Mpiko, Josh O’Rourke, Gareth Molloy, Tom Roche. [spacer height=”20px”]

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Jack Kelly; Evan Dixon, Michael Courtney (capt.), Kyle Dixon, Darragh Porter; Jack McDermott, Angus Lloyd; James Bollard, Dan Sheehan, Joe Byrne; Jack Burke, Alex McDonald; Paddy Finlay, David St Leger, Tom Ryan. [spacer height=”20px”]

Replacements: Darragh Higgins, Dylan Doyle, Paddy Nulty, Rowan Osborne, Tommy Whittle, Niall O’Riordan. [spacer height=”20px”]

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