A 70TH-MINUTE penalty from Noel Reid gave Clontarf a narrow victory at the Aviva Stadium, but St Mary’s win meant that the Castle Avenue outfit came up just short.
In a pulsating 80 minutes of rugby, Lansdowne raced into a 20-10 half-time lead thanks to tries from Matt Healy, Sean Carey and Craig Ronaldson. A Tim McCoy five-pointer kept Clontarf in touch.
Clontarf fought back, cutting the Lansdowne lead down to two with a Lane try before Lansdowne pulled back ahead with another Ronaldson try.
But Clontarf refused to let their heads drop, and a 58th minute converted try by Aaron Dundon put the tie firmly back in the melting pot and a Noel Reid penalty on 70 minutes was enough to give Clontarf victory.
Lansdowne: C Ronaldson 2 tries, 2 cons, 1 d/g, M Healy, S Carey try each.
Clontarf: R Lane 1 try, 2 pens, 2 cons, T McCoy, A Dundon try each, N Reid pen.