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Cork Con Boosted By Maiden League Win

Cork Con Boosted By Maiden League Win

Cork Constitution posted their first league victory as tries from young backs Rob Jermyn and Tomás Quinlan saw them defeat Ballynahinch 23-16 at Temple Hill.

After losses to Old Belvedere and Lansdowne, Tom Tierney's side will be relieved to have taken the four points on offer here.

Tierney made three changes to the team that lined out against Lansdowne, with Munster Under-20 starlet Tomás Quinlan picked at out-half in place of injured captain Gerry Hurley.

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Michael Keyes started at outside centre after illness caused him to miss last weekend's game. In all there were eight of last season's successful Under-20 squad in the matchday panel.

The Leesiders took control immediately with a fifth minute penalty from Darragh Lyons, who captained the team from full-back, and winger Rob Jermyn's converted score followed soon after. He finished off in the right corner after a fine breakout led by Lyons and number 8 Luke Cahill.

Ballynahinch centre Richard Reaney – taking over the kicking duties from the injured Chris Quinn and Ulster-tied Stuart McCloskey – fired over a long range penalty in the 20th minute, but missed three other kickable efforts from the tee – including a 26th minute effort that hit the post.

Constitution had to knuckle down leading up to half-time as they had centre Ned Hodson yellow carded on the half hour and then lost scrum half Ryan Foley (pictured below) to what looked a bad knee injury. The multi-talented Lyons stepped in to play scrum half alongside Quinlan.

'Hinch had recovered well after full-back Steve Macauley's earlier sin-binning, remaining 10-3 behind for the break, and Macauley cut through for a five-pointer in the 46th minute.

The visitors had Sam Arnold featuring at outside centre just a week after he helped Ulster win the Under-20 Interprovincial Championship. The returning Michael Graham also made an appearance off the bench.

However, Cork Con went 17-8 ahead when talented youngster Quinlan managed to collect his own kick through to touch down out wide. A Lyons penalty from 40 metres widened the margin to 12 points.

The County Down side were back in bonus point territory thanks to a 74th minute try from a maul by replacement prop Kyle McCall, before a Quinlan penalty proved to be the clinching kick for Constitution.

Ballynahinch deservedly got something out of the game though as Reaney redeemed himself for those earlier misses by landing an injury-time penalty.

Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)