Ireland Under-20 hooker Danny Sheahan scored a try on his first start for Cork Constitution as they ended Lansdowne’s winning start to the season with a 23-17 defeat at Temple Hill.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE MEN’S DIVISION 1A:
Saturday, November 4 –
CORK CONSTITUTION 23 LANSDOWNE 17, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Tries: Danny Sheahan, Alessandro Heaney; Cons: James Taylor 2; Pens: James Taylor 3
Lansdowne: Tries: Penalty try, Cathal Eddy; Cons: Pen try con, Stephen Madigan; Pen: Stephen Madigan
HT: Cork Constitution 17 Lansdowne 10
Alessandro Heaney’s converted score on the stroke of half-time gave Cork Con a 17-10 half-time lead, an impressive outcome given they had lost Daniel Hurley, Ronan O’Sullivan and Rob Hedderman to the sin bin in a short period of time.
Hedderman’s deliberate knock-on had resulted in a penalty try for Lansdowne, who had taken an early lead through Stephen Madigan’s right boot. James Taylor levelled and then converted Sheahan’s maul try during the opening quarter.
Con’s ever-influential out-half Taylor landed two more penalties, either side of flanker O’Sullivan’s 64th-minute sending-off for a second yellow card.
It was enough in the end for Jonny Holland’s men to deservedly prevail. Madigan converted a late Cathal Eddy try for a losing bonus point for Lansdowne, who are second in the Division 1A table now, three points behind unbeaten Clontarf.
Cork Con gained the early momentum in windy conditions, with captain David Hyland’s turnover leading to a strong break from Billy Crowley. Matthew Bowen had a try ruled out for offside, following a brilliantly-weighted kick through from Taylor.
Momentum built from a lineout maul allowed Madigan to kick Lansdowne ahead in the sixth minute, but Con were looking sharper in attack. A neat move involving Taylor, Harry O’Riordan, Louis Kahn and John Forde eventually led to a levelling penalty kick from Taylor.
By the quarter hour mark, the hosts had taken the lead. A couple of penalties, including one at scrum time, put them into try-scoring range and a well-driven maul landed player-of-the-match Sheahan over the line for Taylor to convert.
Although Con continued to edge the scrum battle, Lansdowne began to make metres through strong-carrying number 8 Hardus van Eeden and Sean Galvin, who proved difficult to put down when coming in off his wing.
The hosts came under further pressure, losing winger Hurley to the sin bin following successive penalties near their own line, but Lansdowne missed out on a try when Barry Fitzpatrick was held up. O’Sullivan also won an important penalty at the breakdown.
Nonetheless, Con were soon down to 13 men after O’Sullivan caught Tom Barry with a high tackle. It got even worse for Holland’s side when Hedderman’s attempted tackle saw him slap down a James Kenny pass, with Galvin waiting outside for a certain try.
Referee Padraic Reidy went towards the posts to signal a penalty try, making it 10-all, and also gave a yellow to the Con full-back. Hurley returned for the restart and 13-man Con, building from an initial Kahn turnover, regained their lead just before the interval.
Prop Heaney drove for the line and was able to absorb Lansdowne’s low challenges before piling over the top to score, with support from Eoin Quilter. Taylor tagged on the extras from the right, keeping his kick inside the left hand post to restore the seven-point gap.
The breakdown was fiercely contested again on the resumption, and while Constitution threatened through their maul again, Sheahan was squeezed out near the left corner thanks to some determined Lansdowne defence.
Taylor did extend Con’s lead to 20-10 following a 58th-minute scrum penalty earned by loosehead Heaney. They carved the defence open soon after thanks to nice hands from Kahn and centre Crowley’s well-timed run.
Ruairi Clarke won a turnover penalty in response, moving Lansdowne back out of their own 22, and they were given a further lift when O’Sullivan picked up his second yellow and was sent off for catching Hugo McLaughlin with a high challenge when contesting a ruck.
Con were still winning the territorial battle, playing in the right areas of the pitch as Lansdowne’s lineout misfired and a couple of penalties rewarded the home side’s industry. The second one was sent through the uprights by Taylor.
Thirteen points down and with little over ten minutes remaining, Lansdowne found some holes in the Con defence, with Jack Cooke’s turnover penalty, coupled with two terrific offloads from van Eeden and Rory Parata, putting Eddy gliding over to the right of the posts.
Madigan nailed the conversion which secured Lansdowne their bonus point. A long-range Taylor penalty attempt in the dying embers was off target, but Fitzpatrick was bundled into touch, though, to foil a Lansdowne break from deep as third-placed Con saw out a fine victory.
CORK CONSTITUTION: Rob Hedderman; Daniel Hurley, Billy Crowley, Harry O’Riordan, Matthew Bowen; James Taylor, Louis Kahn; Alessandro Heaney, Danny Sheahan, Luke Masters, Sean Duffy, Eoin Quilter, John Forde, Ronan O’Sullivan, David Hyland (capt).
Replacements: Max Abbott, Brendan Quinlan, Dawid Nowak, Mark Stafford, Adam Maher, Te Atawhai Mason.
LANSDOWNE: Cathal Eddy; Hugo McLaughlin, Andy Marks, Rory Parata (capt), Sean Galvin; Stephen Madigan, James Kenny; Ben Popplewell, Tom Barry, Temi Lasisi, Jack Cooke, Ruairi Clarke, Clive Ross, Barry Fitzpatrick, Hardus van Eeden.
Replacements: Henry Godson, George Morris, Liam Forster, Conor McMenamin, Jack Matthews, Tom Gavigan.