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Cork Con Edge Out Old Belvedere

Cork Con Edge Out Old Belvedere

Two penalties from Johnny Holland and one from Gerry Hurley were enough to help Cork Constitution avenge their defeat in last year’s Division 1 decider after a tentative clash at Anglesea Road, which leaves Old Belvedere rooted to the bottom of the Division 1A table.

It was Old Belvedere who made the brighter start to the proceedings, and even though out-half Aidan Wynne missed a kickable penalty five minutes in, the reigning champions eventually took the lead eight minutes later when full-back Daniel Riordan touched down in the left corner after a fine run up the wing.

This time Wynne managed to get it right, as his brilliantly slotted over the conversion from a tight angle on the left hand side.

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This was not the start that Cork Con would have been hoping for, but they did get off the mark in the 16th minute when Gerry Hurley landed a close range penalty.

That score certainly helped to settle Brian Walsh's side and, after a shaky opening to the game, they started to grow into the contest and began to cause problems for the 'Belvo rearguard.

Try as they might, however, they were not able to add to the scoreboard before the first half's end, as Phil Werahiko's charges were determined to keep their defence intact.

Hurley did have an opportunity from a 30-metre penalty, with six minutes remaining, but it fell just short, meaning that 'Belvo took slender 7-3 lead into the break.

Constitution did sense that the game was there for the taking, however, and piled on a significant amount of pressure in the early stage of the second period.

This inevitably led to some indiscipline from 'Belvo, who conceded a penalty in the 52nd minute which Johnny Holland converted from all of 35 metres.

This offered fresh impetus to the Leesiders, and even though 'Belvo looked dangerous on the break, they spent much of the final half hour camped in their own half.

They put in a courageous defensive effort during this time, which looked it might be enough to sneak them over the line, but an easily converted penalty by Holland with three minutes remaining was enough to give Cork Con their fifth victory of the league campaign.

Referee: Eanna O'Dowd (IRFU)