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Cork Constitution Score Late Win Over ‘Belvo

Cork Constitution Score Late Win Over ‘Belvo

Jeremy Manning may have had to limp off in the AIB Cup final defeat to Ballynahinch, but he was back to save Cork Constitution’s bacon against Old Belvedere in an important AIB League tie on Saturday.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 11

OLD BELVEDERE 20 CORK CONSTITUTION 22, Anglesea Road

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Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: Kieran Hurrell, Leo Auva’a, Marcus McAllister; Con: Conal Keane; Pen: Conal Keane
Cork Constitution: Try: Tim Kenneally; Con: Jeremy Manning; Pens: Jeremy Manning 4; Drop: Dara Lyons

Munster out-half Jeremy Manning brilliantly kicked an injury-time penalty to keep Cork Con’s hopes of retaining their Division One title alive.

This loss has ended Belvedere’s challenge for a place in Division One Section A, but they certainly gave Brian Walsh’s side a fright.

The Leesiders led 13-0 at the interval. Inside centre Tim Kenneally burst through for a try in first half injury time, which Manning converted.

The New Zealander had kicked penalties after 16 and 31 minutes to get the visitors up and running.

Despite being scoreless, Belvedere had been very competitive in the opening half and they got right back into contention when centre Kieran Hurrell cut through for a 46th-minute try.

Manning struck his third penalty to make it 16-5 but the hosts were growing in stature and their big number 8 Leo Auva’a needed no second invitation when he muscled his way over for a 56th-minute touchdown.

After a drop goal from Con full-back Dara Lyons and a penalty from home out-half Conal Keane, even better followed for Belvedere.

Winger Marcus McAllister finished off a flowing move on 79 minutes to stun Con with another try, and Keane’s conversion had his side leading 20-19 and within sight of the finish line.

However, Con’s pack dug deep and their patience was rewarded in deepest injury time when Manning floated a 40-metre effort through the posts to complete a nerve-jangling win.

The victory, a much-needed one after recent defeats to Blackrock and ‘Hinch, has Con top of the table (on points difference) ahead of next weekend’s final round of matches.