Cork Constitution blitzed Clontarf in the first half, with Frank Cogan and Richie Lane both scoring tries, as the AIB Cup champions started the league in good form at Temple Hill.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 14
CORK CONSTITUTION 20 CLONTARF 10, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Con: Tries: Frank Cogan, Richie Lane; Cons: Daniel Nethery 2; Pens: Nethery 2
Clontarf: Tries: Martin Garvey, Philip Purdue
In a repeat of last season's league semi-final, captain and number eight Cogan touched down after 17 minutes to help Con on their way to a 20-0 half-time lead. Right winger Lane raced over in first half injury-time.
The visitors, who had full-back Niall O'Brien yellow carded, had tries from pack men Martin Garvey and Phil Purdue.
Interestingly, Australian-born brothers Daniel and Matt Nethery were in direct opposition - centre Daniel kicked two conversions and two penalties for Con.
Backed by a sizeable wind, Brian Walsh's hosts controlled the majority of the first half, gelling well despite the fact that they had eight new players on show, including Nethery who flung over a fifth-minute penalty for the lead.
'Tarf lost centre Niall O'Brien to the sin-bin for some aggressive play and Con went 10-0 in front on 17 minutes when half-backs Peter McKee and Conor Quaid combined, with the latter spearing through a midfield gap, to put skipper Cogan crashing over in the left corner for the game's first try.
Nethery, a product of former Munster coach Alan Gaffney's home club Randwick in Sydney, converted and added a 32nd-minute penalty and just before the break when last April's AIB Cup final hero Cronan Healy intercepted a pass in his own half, Con put ball to hand with Merle O'Connell, Cogan and Quaid all involved in putting Lane over for his score. Nethery converted.
'Tarf, who were left cursing referee Alain Rolland late in the opening half when he called play back to speak to a Con player when the vistors had a clear overlap, inevitably came back after the resumption.
Their superiority at the lineout allowed them to build the foundations for tries for lock Garvey (48 minutes) and back row Purdue (54). The Dubliners' mauling was excellently controlled and the best facet of their play all afternoon. Unfortunately, Matt Nethery missed both conversions and a losing bonus point slipped away from them.
Con's defence came to the fore in the closing stages - their new midfield partnership of Tom Gleeson and Nethery was particularly impressive - as they saw out what could prove to be a vital win when the league reaches the spring.
Cork Con: D Hurley; R Lane, T Gleeson, D Nethery, C Healy; C Quaid, P McKee; C Murphy, R Quinn, Tim Ryan, M O'Connell, S O'Connor, R Noonan, B Cuttriss, F Cogan.
Subs used: L Hill for Quinn, Tom Ryan for Tim Ryan, E Leamy for O'Connor, D O'Kane for Nethery.
Clontarf: D O'Shea; P Howard, M Nethery, N O'Brien, D Keane; M Hewitt, F O'Loughlin; A Clarke, N Carson, A O'Donnell, A Trenier, M Garvey, S Crawford, D Quinn, P Purdue.
Subs used: J Wickham for O'Donnell, M Rantz-McDonald for Nethery.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Leinster)