The men’s Leinster Division One title race was blown wide open as Clontarf struck a last-minute winner to beat UCD, inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on the students.
Indeed, the Bulls have been a particular thorn in UCD’s side this season as the latter have earned just one point from their two meetings.
Davyn Keuter put the Bulls one up from a 10th minute penalty corner drag which John Guilfoyle replied to for 1-1. Luke Hayden, though, restored the advantage at half-time from play.
The second half was pretty even but UCD got back to 2-2 with 15 minutes to go via Andrew Meates. Tarf then saw a couple of late cards reduce their ranks to nine and they ended with 10 but managed to summon one last corner.
It came from a debated decision as a goalkeeper clearance was deemed dangerous, giving Clontarf a corner which Keuter eventually whopped home down the stick side. As the ball was retrieved, the final whistle was blown.
Chasers Railway Union and Corinthian ran up big wins to leave the top three covered by three points with five games each still to play with UCD facing both of their rivals later this month.
Railway were 4-0 winners over Kilkenny with Rob Devlin, David Sheill, Kenny Carroll and Andrew McGregor all scoring.
For the reds, Davy Howard scored four while Ian Stewart got a hat trick – passing the 30 goals for the season mark – and Josh Greaney got two in a 9-0 success against Portrane.
Elsewhere, Oisin O’Sullivan scored the only goal as Avoca held off a concerted Rathgar challenge for a 1-0 win. The goal came against the run of play when Jonathan Elmes laid on the pass for a diving O’Sullivan to get an edge on the ball, putting it over the goalkeeper 10 minutes into the second half.
Stefan Gallagher had a fine game between the posts as he and his Avoca defence withstood six penalty corners with O’Sullivan and Kevin Mellott to the fore.
Dublin University got a last minute winner from Liam Bean to beat Dublin North 3-2. In a well-matched contest, Samuel Boggio and Felipe Comprodon efforts were countered by a Shane Dempsey’s double.
Dempsey’s first came from a drag-flick which rebounded back to him and he fired home on the reverse into the bottom corner.
His second came just before half-time following a good spell of possession, Eamonn Bane getting to the base-line and then picking out Dempsey for a first-time finish.
The second half was a much tighter affair with Dublin North having a goal disallowed in the last five minutes after initially being awarded. Trinity went up the other end with Ben Arrowsmith assisting with a ball in from outside the D to Ben who deflected over the goalkeeper.
Leinster Division 1: Avoca 1 (O O’Sullivan) Rathgar 0; Clontarf 3 (D Keuter 2, L Hayden) UCD 2 (J Guilfoyle, A Meates); Dublin University 3 (S Boggio, F Comprodon, L Bean) Dublin North 2 (S Dempsey 2); Railway Union 4 (R Devlin, D Sheill, K Carroll, A McGregor) Kilkenny 0; Portrane 0 Corinthian 9 (D Howard 4, I Stewart 3, J Greaney 2)