CORK CONSTITUTION 17 CLONTARF 13, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Cronan Healy, Tim Kenneally; Cons: Peter Brougham 2; Pen: Daragh Lyons
Clontarf: Try: Aaron Dundon; Con: Daragh O'Shea; Pen: Daragh O'Shea; Drop: Peter O'Brien
Cork Con had to do it the hard as they were without nine first choice players due to provincial and international commitments and injury.
They have six players on duty with Munster in Newport and centre Tom Gleeson is also away with the Ireland squad at the Sevens World Cup in Dubai.
Adding to their problems, the Leesiders lost their team captain Brendan Cuttriss to a shoulder injury during this game and a strong start from Clontarf had them leading 13-7 at half-time.
'Tarf made the early running and despite calls for what seemed an obvious knock on, hooker Aaron Dundon played the whistle and got over for a try from close range.
Daragh O'Shea's conversion and a 26th-minute drop goal from Peter O'Brien made it 10-0 to the north Dubliners, who had slipped out of the play-off positions in recent weeks.
A superb individual try from Con favourite Cronan Healy, which Peter Brougham converted, closed the gap to four points, before O'Shea landed a 35-metre penalty just before the interval.
With the likes of Johnny Moloney and Gar Hickey filling in well for those absent players, Con went through the phases on the restart and did the basics well.
They enjoyed a serious amount of pressure in 'Tarf territory, coming up to the hour mark, and that pressure told when full-back Tim Kenneally burst through for a cracking try.
Brougham added the extras and then out-half Daragh Lyons tagged on a coolly-struck penalty as 'Tarf ran out of gas and the defending champions prevailed in an absorbing contest.