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Cork Con Go Through As Table Toppers

Cork Con Go Through As Table Toppers

For the fifth successive season, Cork Constitution have completed the regulation phase of the Ulster Bank League as Division 1 table toppers.

Cork Con claimed a final day victory over Blackrock to finish at the top of Division 1A.

Brian Walsh's side had converted tries from backs Simon Zebo, Richie Lane and Duncan Williams, and Gerry Hurley did most of the damage with an 18-point goal-kicking haul.

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The defending champions now move on to a home semi-final against Young Munster, while Blackrock, who were already assured of their Division 1A status, look to next season to build on their fifth place finish.

Andy Wood's charges had the benefit of the wind in the opening half, but fell behind to an early converted try from the in-form Zebo.

The Munster winger crossed for two tries against St. Mary’s College last weekend and showed his promise again on Saturday when picking up possession near halfway and waltzing over in the corner.

Hurley added a fine conversion from the touchline, only for Darragh Fitzpatrick to fire back for ‘Rock with a fifth minute penalty.

A defensive mix-up allowed wily back rower Alex Dunlop through for a try which gave the Dubliners a brief 8-7 lead.

Although Hurley replied with a 13th minute penalty, ‘Rock headed for the dressing rooms armed with an 11-10 buffer courtesy of a second Fitzpatrick penalty.

Three penalties in succession from the impressive Hurley, after 42, 47 and 50 minutes, saw Constitution edge ahead at 19-11 early in the second half.

Mick Carroll bulldozed through for a second ‘Rock try, but there was no sign of Cork Con being knocked off their perch.

Sean Scanlon jinked away from three players before passing for Lane to dot down and Hurley added the extras. With the rain falling, Williams’ late converted effort wrapped up a satisfying afternoon's work for the Leesiders.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)