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Cork Con Claw Their Way Past UCD

Cork Con Claw Their Way Past UCD

Defending champions Cork Constitution struggled past UCD in a dour AIB League encounter at Belfield on Saturday afternoon. Darragh Lyons managed to split the sides with the only points of the second half.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 11

UCD 7 CORK CONSTITUTION 9, Belfield

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Scorers: UCD: Try: Kevin McLaughlin; Con: Killian Lett
Cork Constitution: Pens: Jeremy Manning 2; Drop: Darragh Lyons

Munster’s Mick O’Driscoll, Daragh Hurley and Jeremy Manning lined out for Constitution but the students were far from overawed and led 7-6 at half-time.

A well-worked fourth-minute try, scored by flanker Kevin McLaughlin and converted from the touchline by Killian Lett, shot UCD ahead before Manning replied with a brace of penalties.

Manning spent time in the sin-bin before an injury forced him off, however Darragh Lyons managed to boot the match-winning drop goal for Brian Walsh’s men.

This was a poor quality game, dominated by hard tackling and lacking in the creative attacking needed to unlock the two defences.

It took Con a good 25 minutes in the second half to get within range of the UCD line and when they did, with the scores so tight, they wisely settled for three points.

Lyons did the business, securing the Leesiders’ second win of the campaign and cruelly leaving UCD fourth-from-bottom in the table.

‘College established an early foothold in the Con half and from a kick ahead, the ball was snaffled on the deck and recycled for the Leinster-capped McLaughlin to score.

Lett converted but Manning, the man-of-the-match in last week’s home win over Terenure, showed his class when flicking a 30-metre penalty through the posts.

The New Zealander followed it up with a penalty from a similar range, to bring Con within a point of the hosts.

The remaining 25 minutes of the first half were scoreless as play was cramped between the 22s and there was little in the way of opportunities to strike.

Michael Hastings stood out in the UCD back-line. He led by example and showed his commitment to the cause when he sustained a nasty gash at a ruck.

Con ended the opening half down to 14 players as Manning got his marching orders for a ruck offence.

UCD winger Vasily Artemiev also saw yellow and Con, with both O’Driscoll and Hurley playing the full 80 minutes, eventually ground out a win which has them second in the standings.