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Ballynahinch continue to find it tough at the top

By Michael Sadlier

No-one was under any illusion that the step-up would be tough and Ballynahinch have, so far, failed to profit from their time in the top flight after they fell to in-form Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park.

This was only the second round of games in Division 1A, and even last season's champions Lansdowne are also still without a win, but coach Derek Suffern will still be eager for a positive response when the AIL returns on the last Saturday of the month which sees Hinch again on the road, at St Mary's College.

Hinch got the first score in Limerick through a Ritchie Lobb penalty but from there it was pretty much one-way traffic until later on in the game with Young Munster pushing on to lead 19-6 at half-time.

Matters didn't immediately improve for the Co Down side as Derry O'Connor's second try made it 24-6 to Young Munster and the game looked as good as over with Shane O'Brien then crossing for the hosts' bonus point try which, at that point, took it to 29-9 with all Hinch's points coming from the boot of Lobb.

But, to their credit, Hinch managed to get into double figures when substitute hooker James McBriar got a late touchdown which Lobb converted to narrow Young Munster's lead to 13 points which is how it all ended.

In Division 1B, Malone came away from Buccaneers on Saturday night with a respectable losing bonus point after staging a late comeback in their 23-20 defeat to the Connacht side.

The Gibson Park side trailed Buccs at the break with Ulster squad member James McKinney kicking two penalties and then tries from Michael Ferguson and Mark Gribben, both converted by McKinney, proved to be just not enough to salvage an away win.

Dungannon bounced back at Stevenson Park from last weekend's opening defeat to Malone with a convincing 21-6 victory over Dublin University which they achieved despite having Ulster player Sean Doyle sent off.

The action could hardly have started in more upbeat fashion for Gannon, who scored from the kick-off when Peter Nelson got over the students' line and converted his own effort.

Chris Farrell was next on the Gannon score-sheet as his first outing in club colours this season saw the powerful Ulster centre put the ball down in the corner with Nelson's excellent conversion making it 14-3 to Paddy Johns' men.

After leading 14-6 at the turnaround, Farrell's fellow Ulster squad member Chris Cochrane – who was playing alongside him at outside centre instead of his usual wing position – got Gannon's third try which, again, Nelson converted for a win which puts Gannon up to sixth.

Belfast Harlequins had to make do with a losing bonus point from their journey to Limerick when UL Bohemians prevailed 23-17 in a closely contested encounter.

The sides were locked at 10-10 at half-time with Quins having scored a try from out half Liam Cambridge, which he converted along with a solitary penalty.

A try at the death from Andy Pollack which Cambridge converted couldn't deny Bohs, leaving Quins in eighth, just above Shannon and bottom side Dublin University.

Div 1A: Clontarf 33 Garryowen 3; Cork Con 33 Lansdowne 16; UCD 33 Old Belvedere 26; Young Munster 29 Ballynahinch 16, Dolphin 15 St Mary's 10

Div 1B: Blackrock 19 Terenure 20; Corinthians 30 Shannon 16; Dungannon 21 Dublin University 6; UL Bohs 23 Belfast Harlequins 17; Buccaneers 23 Malone 20

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