Cork Constitution overcame an early 6-0 deficit to beat Division 1A leaders St. Mary’s College in fine style at Temple Hill on Saturday afternoon.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, December 12
CORK CONSTITUTION 16 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 9, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Try: Stephen Archer; Con: Scott Deasy; Pens: Scott Deasy 2; Drop: Darragh Lyons
St. Mary’s College: Pens: Gavin Dunne 2, Stuart O’Flanagan
Eager to put one over on their chief chasers, St. Mary’s College made a strong start with the backing of a blustery wind.
Two penalties from former UCC clubman Gavin Dunne, inside the opening five minutes, sent the Dubliners into a 6-0 lead and they used the conditions to pin Cork Con into their own half for most of the first period.
Brian Walsh’s men finally gained some territory before the break and a 35th minute penalty from full-back Scott Deasy cut the gap to 6-3 for half-time.
But with the elements behind them in the second half, Cork Con were able dominate the forward exchanges and kick well for territory through the boots of Deasy and out-half Darragh Lyons.
A 55th minute try from Munster prop Stephen Archer, following a powerful set of phases from the Constitution forwards, set the tone and Deasy added the conversion for 10-6.
Con’s place-kicker tagged on another penalty on the hour mark and a superb drop goal from Lyons put serious pressure on St. Mary’s who were suffering only their second defeat of the campaign.
Credit to the visitors though, they fought back and engineered a late penalty chance for replacement Stuart O’Flanagan who took it with aplomb to rescue a losing bonus point for his side.
The result, an exact reverse of St. Mary’s 16-9 triumph at Templeville Road last year, means there is just a point separating the sides at the summit of Division 1A as the league takes a break over the festive period.
CORK CONSTITUTION: Scott Deasy; Richie Lane, Evan Ryan (capt), Tom Gleeson, Cronan Healy; Darragh Lyons, Duncan Williams; Martin Gately, Robert Quinn, Stephen Archer, Merle O’Connell, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony, Frank Cogan.
Replacements used: Ed Leamy for O’Mahony (68 mins), Brian Hayes for O’Connell (72), Peter Kelleher for Quinn (77). Not used: David O’Driscoll, Alex Ryan.
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Gavin Dunne; Ronan Doherty, Stephen Grissing, Philip Brophy, Darragh Fanning; Shaun McCarthy, Joe Burns; Jack McGrath, Gavin Hickie, Robert Sweeney, Gareth Logan, Robin Copeland, Damian Hall, Paul Nash, Hugh Hogan (capt).
Replacements used: Colm McMahon for McGrath (55 mins), Stuart O’Flanagan for Dunne (67). Not used: David Kilbride, Barry O’Flanagan, Rob Hudson.
Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)