ALL IRELAND LEAGUE: Malone back on track after edging out Thomond

Among the Malone tryscorers against Thomond, Andy Bryans
Among the Malone tryscorers against Thomond, Andy Bryans

MALONE 31 THOMOND 27

Malone bounced back from their agonising cup defeat against Belfast Harlequins last week with a bonus point victory over Thomond in Ulster Bank AIL Division 2A.

Full back Mark O’Connor missed two early penalties for the home side before they made their early dominance count on 11 minutes.

Following a slick handling move that created space on the right wing centre Adam Liddell used his power and pace to go under the posts with O’Connor converting.

Thomond got their first points on 17 minutes when out half Fionn McGibney knocked a simple penalty over.

Malone got their second try on 22 minutes after Thomond had prop Finton Cross sin binned.

Malone kicked to the corner, from the lineout out half Josh Pentland made a sniping break, he was stopped short and the ball was quickly recycled with winger Rory Campbell popping over from close range while O’Connor converted

McGibney landed a long range penalty for the visitors before Malone got their try on 33 minutes.

Again they kicked to the corner and from the driving maul following the lineout prop Gary Crawford rumbled over but O’Connor couldn’t convert.

Malone wrapped up their bonus point a minute before the interval, slick handling from the forwards created space for No8 Ross Todd to touchdown for an unconverted try to give the home side a 26-6 lead at the break.

Thomond got the opening points of the second half when replacement hooker Geoff O’Donoghue powered over from a driving maul and McGibney converted.

Neil Alcorn’s powerful break set up Malone’s fifth try, the captain fended off a couple of tackles to break into the 22 the ball was worked to the wing and Andy Bryans went over.

Malone had lock Richard Millar sinned binned and Thomond to immediate advantage with Kevin O’Mahony scoring a converted try.

Centre Niall Sheehan converted try with the last play of the game earned the visitors a losing bonus point.

Malone: M O’Connor, R Campbell, A Liddell, N Brown, A Bryans, J Pentland, S Kelly; G Crawford, T King, P Eadie, C Tipping, R Millar, M Porter, N Alcorn, R Todd

Replacements: A Blackburn, B Halliday, L Barlow, J McMurty, R McCullagh

Thomond: C Cody, D O’Brien J McGarry, N Sheehan, E O’Carroll, F McGibney, M D’Arcy; S Gavin, D Fitzgerald, TJ Relihan, C Liston, W Muullaney, S McGrath, D O’Halloran D Ryan

Replacemnts: A Slijepcevic, G O’Donoghue, E Cunnane, F Cross, K O’Mahony