Mary’s crowned champs and return to top flight

By Stephen Leonard

ST MARY’S College secured the Division 1B title and, with it, a swift return to the top ranks of the Ulster Bank League following a nailbiting 9-5 victory over closest rivals Dublin University at Templeville Road on Friday night.

It was three first half penalties by Sean Kearns that ultimately saw them over the line in this top-of-the-table clash.

Marys V Trinity  1 of 59 

The homeside were first out of the blocks when Kearns converted a superb long range penalty attempt after eight minutes.

And a further two attempts at the post saw him propel them 9-0 in front by the halftime break, Tommy Whittle missing an opportunity to narrow the gap for the visitors.

The pace of the game was often frantic, leading to a number of dropped balls, and knock-ons.

Nearing the end of the first half Trinity had a good spell and came close to crossing the Marys’ line but were ultimately repelled.

David Aspil was in superb form for the hosts stealing balls and making some very effective tackles while captain Darragh Fanning led the way in all respects and was a contin-uous threat to TCD’s line.

The loss of full back Steve Toal-Lennon to injury was a setback for the 2012 Ulster Back League champions and they found their lead cut to four points when Tim Maupin made it over in the corner.

The homeside came close to extending their lead on several occasions with fine runs but could not make it over the whitewash.

Marys V Trinity  55 of 59

Both teams rattled the line a number of times with drives and mauls and near the end DU fought frantically to get that winning score.

Had Whittle not been denied by the post earlier in the second half, Dublin University might have mounted more of a serious threat, but as it was, St Mary’s held out for the win and automatic promotion.

Meanwhile, Trinity and their multi-talented team, led by Nick McCarthy (son of former St Marys’ captain, Noel Mc Carthy) have every reason to be confident of doing well in the playoffs.

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