Saturday 24 March 2018

Slick Mary's reign supreme in the J1

FIRSTLY, it should be said that last weekend we had a disappointing record number of walkovers given, with 11 in all.

Whether that was due to the re-fixed international, some league matches that were dead rubbers or just a reflection of what's happening at Junior rugby level -- it's hard to know, but it certainly is a cause for concern for Leinster Rugby.

Despite this, there were some cracking ties, none more so than in Metro J1, where three went ahead, with league winners Mary's playing UCD, Lansdowne hosting 'Tarf and Belvo, Trinity.

St Mary's were crowned at Templeville Road last Sunday (above), after a hard-fought 44-31 victory over UCD.

In Section 'B', we had a stewards enquiry and the postponed game between Navan and Naas must now go ahead on March 25 to settle the league.

Surprisingly, DLSP lost to Sutton and so the postponed game put Naas ahead. Salmo needed a win to secure the title, so by virtue of rescheduling the Naas/Navan match, the title won't be settled until that match occurs.

In the O'Connell Cup (J2), Mary's prevailed in their first-round tie against Clontarf -- 34-12.

In recent years, it's been a ding dong between these two at most levels and none more so than J2, where the Shirley twins of Mary's masterminded a reversal of last year's defeat at the hands of the boys from Clontarf.

The sporting contests continue in the weeks ahead between these two clubs when they meet in the Metro Cup and also in a possible AIL League decider in early April.

In the only other O'Connell Cup tie -- high-flying Stillorgan won handsomely against UCD.

In Junior 3, Wesley's narrow win against Lansdowne was not enough to stop Lansdowne taking the title -- Wesley won 13-11 but having tied on 55 points, Lansdowne were crowned winners via a tie-breaker.

One disappointing note was that of four matches at J3 level last weekend, only the tie between the two table-toppers went ahead, with St Mary's, Suttonians and Old Belvedere all conceding.

Clontarf were crowned winners of J3 Section 'B' after hammering DLSP in Castle Avenue.

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