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Cup Specialists Cork Con Set Up Shot At Four In-A-Row
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Cup Specialists Cork Con Set Up Shot At Four In-A-Row

Cup Specialists Cork Con Set Up Shot At Four In-A-Row

Cork Constitution are just 80 minutes away from an incredible fourth Bateman Cup title in-a-row following their clinical 24-0 semi-final dismissal of an under-strength UCD side at the Belfield Bowl.

Both sides were missing some of their in-form players to British & Irish Cup duty, and UCD felt it the most with the likes of Billy Dardis, Adam Byrne, Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy, Jeremy Loughman, Andrew Porter, Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy and Peadar Timmins away with the Leinster 'A' squad.

Cork Constitution coped much better with the personnel changes, pressing for a try in the opening exchanges and they got over in the fifth minute thanks to a well-executed maul drive and touchdown from lock Brian Hayes.

The conversion was added by full-back Tomas Quinlan in sunny but cold conditions, and the excellent Hayes completed his brace in the 13th minute, blocking an attempted clearance and gathering the loose ball to move the Leesiders 14-0 clear with Quinlan converting again.

The young UCD outfit, playing at a high tempo, drew some encouragement from a couple of solid scrums and a key turnover from flanker Mark McGroarty, however two knock-ons close to the Constitution line summed up their day.

Number 8 Shane Grannell, who is leaving for New Zealand after an eight-year stint with UCD, increased his influence up front as College sought to close the 14-point gap, but there were no further scores up to half-time.

It seemed that the students were turning the screw when they resumed on the attack and Con centre Niall Kenneally was yellow-carded in the 46th minute, paying the price for repeated ruck infringements from the visitors.

However, Con got on top again when only a try-saving tackle from UCD hooker Sean McNulty prevented them from adding to their tally, and then Quinlan landed a 52nd minute penalty after the hosts were reduced to 14 men.

The game was effectively over as a contest on the hour mark, Con captain James Ryan forcing his way over for the third try following another dominant lineout maul from their powerful pack. Quinlan converted for a 24-0 scoreline and there was no way back for the students.

Uncharacteristic handling errors continued to blight the Division 1A leaders' play, and their captain Stephen Murphy, having collected a cross-field kick, was just held up over the line with 70 minutes on the clock.

Constitution's defence was outstanding on the day, limiting UCD's scoring opportunities and booking an ultimately comfortable passage through to their fourth Bateman Cup final in as many years. They will face Galwegians in the All-Ireland decider over the weekend of April 30-May 1.

Referee: Stuart Douglas (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Tom Fletcher; Hugo Keenan, Stephen Murphy (capt), Conall Doherty, James Murray; Liam Bourke, Jamie Glynn; Gordon Frayne, Sean McNulty, Liam Hyland, Brian Cawley, Emmet MacMahon, Keelan McKenna, Mark McGroarty, Shane Grannell.

Replacements: Michael Moynihan, Robert Byrne, Michael Cawley, Niall McEvoy, Conor McQuaid, Shane O'Meara, Jimmy O'Brien.

Away Team

Tomas Quinlan; Joseph White, Liam O'Connell, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Darragh Lyons, John Poland; Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney, Conor Kindregan,  Brian Hayes, Luke Cahill, Daniel Walsh, James Ryan (capt).

Replacements: Jack McHenry, Gregory Roche, Cathal O'Flaherty, Sonny Dwyer, Morgan Carey, JJ O'Neill, Andrew Dorgan.

Match Scorers

Home Team


Away Team

Tries: Brian Hayes 2, James Ryan; Cons: Tomas Quinlan 3; Pen: Tomas Quinlan