Ireland Under-20 international Max Abbott scored the only try of the game as Cork Constitution defeated Dolphin 17-6 at Temple Hill tonight, while Garryowen bagged a bonus point in their 34-17 triumph over Shannon at Thomond Park.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE RESULTS: Friday, December 19
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CORK CONSTITUTION 17 DOLPHIN 6, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Try: Max Abbott; Pens: Tomas Quinlan 4
Dolphin: Pens: Rory Scannell 2
HT: Cork Constitution 6 Dolphin 3
Cork Constitution pulled clear of local rivals Dolphin in the second half to win tonight’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A derby at Temple Hill.
Tom Tierney’s men ran out 17-6 winners in the end, taking the losing bonus point away from their visitors thanks to two injury-time penalties from Tomas Quinlan.
Quinlan, one of Constitution’s star performers from last year’s All-Ireland Under-20 winning side, converted four penalties for a 12-point haul and dovetailed well with captain Gerry Hurley at half-back.
Injuries and provincial call-ups have hampered Dolphin’s hopes of registering their first league win in recent weeks, and that bad run of luck continued when back rower Ryan Murphy was forced off in the first half with a suspected broken arm.
A Rory Scannell penalty cancelled out an earlier Quinlan effort by the end of the opening quarter, with the game just as tight as the sides’ November encounter at Irish Independent Park which finished in a 6-6 draw.
Quinlan put a penalty wide before a successful strike close to half-time gave the home side a 6-3 buffer to take into the second period.
Scannell missed the target with an early penalty before the Constitution pack had to soak up further pressure. A return visit to the 22 yielded a 52nd minute which Scannell converted to bring his side level.
However, Con’s forwards gained the upper hand to present replacement hooker Max Abbott with the opportunity to touch down out wide. Incredibly, it was the only try scored by either side in their last three league meetings.
The conversion was off target at 11-6 and Dolphin missed a gilt-edged opportunity to respond, an overthrown lineout five metres out ruining a hugely promising position with Con winger Darren Sweetnam – himself a former Dolphin player – in the sin-bin.
That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Dolphin’s challenge and those two late penalties from Quinlan wrapped up the home win, as Con collected the inaugural Kearys Cup – presented by the Cork car dealers who sponsor both clubs.
SHANNON 17 GARRYOWEN 34, Thomond Park
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: Paddy Butler, David O’Donovan, John Shine; Con: Dave Evans
Garryowen: Tries: James Frawley, Neil Cronin, Jamie Gavin, Penalty try; Cons: Jamie Gavin 4; Pens: Jamie Gavin 2
HT: Shannon 5 Garryowen 24
Garryowen, who play Cork Con in next week’s Munster Senior Cup final, claimed a 34-17 bonus point victory over Shannon in the Division 1B derby clash at Thomond Park.
Out-half Jamie Gavin had a very good night with the boot, scoring 19 points via a try, four conversions and two penalties as he took his haul for the league campaign to 92.
Having scored three tries in the first half, at the end of which they led 24-5, the Light Blues had to wait until the final minutes to secure their bonus point from a penalty try.
The visitors led from the start when Gavin landed a penalty and winger James Frawley raced in for a 20th minute try which Gavin brilliantly converted from the touchline, leaving Shannon 10-0 down.
Munster’s Paddy Butler touched down in the corner from a traditional Shannon-style maul, but that was as good as it got for Ian Sherwin’s side as Garryowen soon took complete control.
Impressive half-backs Neil Cronin and Gavin helped themselves to a try apiece as Shannon fell 19 points adrift, and Gavin stuck over another penalty five minutes into the second period.
Shannon, who lost 21-3 to Garryowen in the opening round, briefly threatened a comeback when full-back David O’Donovan finished well for an unconverted effort as the home backs clicked into gear.
However, despite losing flanker Darren Mulcair to the sin-bin, the visitors earned that all-important penalty try following a series of close-in scrums, with Shannon captain John Shine responding late on with his fourth try of the league season.
Richmond 0 Old Crescent 7, Richmond Park
Tullamore 26 Navan 7, Spollanstown