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Instonians fail in bid for All-Ireland League

By Ronnie Ingram

Instonians must wait at least another year for their return to the AIL.

In their final round-robin game, in which the lead changed seven times, they lost to Clonmel 38-27 but undefeated Dundalk won the league.

The Leinster champions will now travel to DLS Palmerston in the play-off for the final place in Div 2C next season.

Wilbur Leacock, the Inst head coach, was pleased with his team's efforts throughout the season

"I thought our defence let us down on a couple of occasions and the loss of No 8 Rory McCurry through injury did not help. But there were plenty of positives and with such a young squad we have plenty to build on for the future," he said.

Inst took the lead with a converted Paddy Marks try after five minutes but Clonmel fought back to claim a 14-12 interval lead.

The last two of the Munster team's five tries came in the final 10 minutes to make the result rather flattering.

Inst's other try scorers were Fraser Wright, Matthew Keane and Conor Gallagher while David Scott converted the first and Andrew Keane had a penalty and a conversion.

In the other Qualifying 1 game, game Dundalk defeated Connemara 48-28 to top the table with 13 points, Clonmel had 10 and Instonians seven.

Elsewhere, Limavady beat Larne 46-8 in the Gordon West Cup final at Kingspan, Ballymena V won the Forster Cup for the third successive season with a 20-3 win over Randalstown II, Bangor II are the first name on the Crawford Plate following their 28-13 win over Clogher Valley II at Lisburn and Instonians III overwhelmed Ballymoney III 52-18 in the Forster Plate final.

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