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Cork Con Return To Winning Ways At Lakelands
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Cork Con Return To Winning Ways At Lakelands

Cork Con Return To Winning Ways At Lakelands

Tomas Quinlan contributed 12 points off the bench, including the bonus point try, as Cork Constitution ran out impressive 32-22 winners over Terenure College at Lakelands Park.

The away team has enjoyed good fortune in this fixture in recent times, as Terenure followed up a 21-7 loss to Cork Constitution at the same venue twelve months ago by overcoming the Leesiders (20-8) at Temple Hill in February 2015.

Following their respective reversals to Young Munster and Old Belvedere in their final league outings of 2015, both sides were eager to hit the ground running in the New Year.

However, it was the visitors who made the brighter start to the proceedings. After forcing Terenure onto the back foot, Con out-half Darragh Lyons fired over a penalty goal from the 22-metre line and then he kicked for the corner in the 10th minute.

This proved to be a wise choice by the Corkmen, as a superb lineout maul was finished off beyond the try-line by flanker James Murphy. A comfortable conversion by Lyons helped Con to enhance their superiority, and when a James Thornton clearance was charged down by lock Brian Hayes on 15 minutes, it kickstarted another successful attacking move.

The Terenure defence initially halted a number of drives towards the posts by Con, but Hayes' second row partner Conor Kindregan duly registered his side's second try. Lyons was wide of the mark from his third effort at goal, but Con nevertheless had moved into a strong position.

The hosts had struggled to impose themselves on the play, but as the first half wore on, they finally got a foothold. Thornton's 29th-minute penalty opened their account and even though they still trailed 15-3 at the interval, it was by no means an insurmountable deficit.

In fact, with Risteard Byrne and John Dever both introduced on the resumption, there was a notable increase in intensity from the hosts who have Leinster and Ireland scrum half Isaac Boss among their backroom staff.

Number 10 Thornton was off target from a 42nd-minute penalty, but with the Con defence coming under sustained pressure, it seemed like only a matter of time before 'Nure touched down. Persistence finally paid off for them in the 57th minute when Dever crashed over from an incisive driving maul for an unconverted five-pointer.

Terenure were now back in contention, but in spite of their best endeavours, it was Constitution who produced the greater response to this score.

Moments after his introduction in place of Lyons, Tomas Quinlan added a close range penalty to Con's tally, and 15 minutes from the end, they extended their lead to 25-8. Rob Jermyn had offered his team a strong attacking outlet on the left wing, and after racing on to a kick into the 'Nure half, he touched down in considerable style.

This was another hammer blow for 'Nure, but to their credit, they never allowed their heads to drop at any point. Inside centre Harrison Brewer, a current member of the Leinster Academy, almost squeezed through in the 74th-minute, but after the ball was recycled, a neat Thornton lay-off saw full-back Ian Hanly cross the whitewash.

A Stephen O'Neill conversion, with the help of the woodwork, cut the gap to ten points, but thanks to an outstanding seven-point salvo by Quinlan in the dying minutes, Constitution ensured that they would leave south Dublin with the maximum points on offer.

Terenure scrum half Kevin O'Neill did claim a late consolation try, but this was not enough to give the hosts a losing bonus point and they now find themselves second from bottom in the Division 1A table.

Referee: Mark Connolly (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Ian Hanly; James O'Donoghue, Stephen O'Neill, Harrison Brewer, Harry Moore; James Thornton, Kevin O'Neill; Oisin Heffernan, Robbie Smyth, Kieran Moloney, Mike Murphy, Kevin O'Dwyer, Robert Duke, James O'Neill (capt), Michael Melia.

Replacements used: Risteard Byrne for Smyth, John Dever for O'Dwyer (both half-time), Silvio Borza for Heffernan (60), Matthew Byrne for Moore (71). Not used: Marc Hiney.

Away Team

Darren Sweetnam; Shane Daly, Ned Hodson, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Darragh Lyons, John Poland; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Conor Kindregan, Brian Hayes, Luke Cahill, James Murphy, James Ryan (capt).

Replacements used: Cathal O'Flaherty for Cahill, Tomas Quinlan for Lyons (both 58 mins), Aidan Slattery for Duffy, Ryan Foley for Poland (both 71), Rory Burke for Sweeney (75).

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Kevin O'Neill, Ian Hanly, John Dever; Cons: Stephen O'Neill 2; Pen: James Thornton

Away Team

Tries: James Murphy, Conor Kindregan, Rob Jermyn, Tomas Quinlan; Cons: Darragh Lyons, Tomas Quinlan 2; Pens: Darragh Lyons, Tomas Quinlan