Limerick sides Garryowen and Shannon began the New Year with two excellent results in their respective Energia All-Ireland League games.
With eight rounds to go, second-placed Garryowen are on the course for a home semi-final in Division 1A after Munster pair Diarmuid Barron and Alex Wootton scored two tries each in a 40-14 bonus point win over UCD.
Conan Doyle’s men outscored the students by six tries to two at Dooradoyle, bagging their fourth try-scoring bonus point in as many league matches.
Ireland Under-20 prospect Jack Crowley kicked eight points, supplementing tries from Brian Hayes and replacement Barry Galvin, as leaders Cork Constitution defeated Young Munster 18-3 for their tenth straight win of the campaign.
Tim Schmidt, son of former Ireland head coach Joe, bowed out with an early injury in Terenure College’s 13-6 loss at Dublin University. Leinster scrum half Rowan Osborne made a crucial break to set up hooker Mark Nicholson’s decisive 58th-minute try for the students.
Bottom side Ballynahinch joined Trinity and UCC on 18 points after winger Aaron Cairns scored a crucial try to edge out Clontarf 11-10. UCC fell to a second successive one-point defeat to Lansdowne who had tries from forwards Mark Hernan, Dan Sheehan and Jack O’Sullivan in a nail-biting 19-18 triumph.
In Division 1B, Jake Flannery returned from shoulder surgery to help Shannon shock leaders Highfield, winning 31-13 at home. Out-half Flannery kicked nine points and fellow Tipperary man Eathon Moloney scoring two of their four tries.
Ulster’s Angus Kernohan crossed the whitewash as Malone completed the double over second-placed Old Wesley, winning 12-9, while first half scores from Andrew Smyth and Shea O’Brien steered City of Armagh past Ulster rivals Banbridge by 12 points to five.
Navan lost 10-19 at home to Naas, while Old Belvedere overcame St. Mary’s 15-10 after Jack Kelly and Jack Keating chipped in with their fifth tries of the league season.
Ballynahinch 11 Clontarf 10
Cork Constitution 18 Young Munster 3
Dublin University 13 Terenure College 6
Garryowen 40 UCD 14
Lansdowne 19 UCC 18
City Of Armagh 12 Banbridge 5
Navan 10 Naas 19
Old Belvedere 15 St. Mary’s College 10
Old Wesley 9 Malone 12
Shannon 31 Highfield 13
Buccaneers 10 Old Crescent 12
MU Barnhall 21 Dolphin 3
Ballymena 16 Rainey Old Boys 16
Nenagh Ormond 8 Queen’s University 24
UL Bohemians 28 Cashel 24
Galwegians 10 Wanderers 29
Ballina 0 Sligo 38
Blackrock College 17 Greystones 9
Dungannon 17 Belfast Harlequins 17
Malahide 28 Galway Corinthians 17
Bangor 15 Enniscorthy 14
City of Derry 10 Midleton 6
Clonmel 12 Skerries 13
Sunday’s Well 19 Omagh 7
Tullamore 13 Bruff 3