UCD in action against Galwegians at Belfield in the semi-final of the Bateman Cup last weekend

Two second-half penalities from James Thornton, one from 48m, proved worth their weight in gold for UCD when the Students claimed their place in the Bateman Cup final against Galwegians at Belfield last weekend.

However, things were decidedly close at the finish, with a converted try in injury time for the visitors leaving just a solitary point between the teams as time ran out.

Galwegians came to Belfield sitting on the top of Division 2A, having lost just once this season, and with ambitions of taking a Division 1A scalp and, in the process, a place in the Bateman Cup final.

Collidge were infrequent visitors to the Galwegians’ 22 in the first half, but still managed to register 10 points through a James Thornton penalty converted from 30m, which was followed by a sniping Jamie Glynn try in the 24th minute when the scrum half adjudged the wet surface conditions perfectly to slide in under the cover from three metres out. Thornton added the extras from the conversion kick.

As the first half drew to a close, a yellow card was the signal for Galwegians to attack the Collidge line with purpose and they were rewarded with a converted try to add to their 2 earlier penalties, which had been slotted by their number 10, Ross Shaughnessy, to leave the half-time scores at UCD 10, Galwegians 13.

As the rain continued to pour incessantly, UCD began the second half with increased intensity and used their possession to good effect.

On 61 minutes, following a break from Eoin Joyce, Alex Kelly combined well with Tom Fletcher to allow the full back to take the off-load and touch down in the corner. Thornton narrowly missed the conversion.

A late offensive from the Corrib men yielded a converted try, but with last play called just after the re-start, a knock-on signalled the final whistle, much to the relief of the home supporters.

UCD will make their All-Ireland final appearance in the prestigious Bateman Cup against holders Cork Constitution on the weekend of April 26 and 27, and the Corkonians will also provide League opposition next Saturday in Cork).

UCD: 15 Tom Fletcher; 14 Barry Daly; 13 Alex Kelly; 12 Jordan Coghlan; 11 Stephen Murphy; 10 James Thornton; 9 Jamie Glynn; 1 Kieran Moloney; 2 Adam Clarkin; 3 Liam Hyland; 4 Brian Cawley; 5 Emmet MacMahon; 6 Shane Grannell (Capt); 7 Josh van der Flier; 8 Eoin Joyce. Subs: 16 Sean McNulty; 17 Rory Harrison; 18 Gordon Frayne; 19 Donagh Lawler; 20 Bobby Holland; 21 James Murray; 22 Adam Byrne.