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Cork Con Triumph Thanks To Holland’s Haul

Cork Con Triumph Thanks To Holland’s Haul

Johnny Holland drilled over the penalty that split the sides at Dooradoyle as Cork Constitution overcame second-placed Garryowen in a high quality encounter.

Johnny Holland scored all of Cork Con’s points – converting seven penalties in all – to keep them well in the title hunt in fourth place.

Garryowen lifted their performance from their encounter with leaders Lansdowne last weekend but indiscipline cost them dearly this time.

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A losing bonus point was all the Light Blues had to show their efforts, a disappointing return given the try-scoring chances that they spurned.

The visitors led 15-13 at the interval thanks to five penalties from young out-half Holland.

A terrific run and offload from Ronan O’Mahony set up centre Conan Doyle for the lone try of the first half. Connacht’s Matthew Jarvis converted it and kicked two penalties.

Elusive full-back O’Mahony nabbed a second Garryowen try, with winger Lorcan Bourke involved in the build-up, but Holland’s seventh successful penalty after 68 minutes gave Constitution the points and the Trevor Barry memorial trophy.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner afterwards, Cork Con boss Brian Walsh said: “Johnny Holland was magnificent today. It was great for the forwards to look up and see the ball sailing between the posts and that kept us going.

“But I really don’t want to single anyone out and our defence at the end was magnificent.

“I thought it was a fantastic game of rugby. We had two sides going at it hammer and tongs. Garryowen scored a couple of good tries but I think we were consistently good and did an awful lot of good stuff.

“We got the penalties and took our reward for all the hard work. It could have gone either way at the end. I just felt it was a great advert for the league and there’s still a long way to go.

“Lansdowne are well ahead but we got a result against them earlier in the season. We probably have to win everything on the way home but there’s light there and opportunity.

“You want to be playing for something. We were playing to get back into the running today and we did that.”

Disappointed by the manner of the defeat, Garryowen head coach Tom Tierney commented: “It's a small bit mystifying how we gave away so many penalties. We scored two very good tries.

“But when you give away 21 points in penalties, you’re chasing the game and that’s what we ended up doing in the last few minutes.”

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)