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Derby Victory Keeps Con On Winning Trail

Derby Victory Keeps Con On Winning Trail

Cork Constitution are now third in the Division 1A table, just three points off the summit, after beating local rivals Dolphin at Temple Hill on Friday.

Centre Scott Deasy touched down for the second week running, racing onto Johnny Holland's clever kick through after just three minutes as Brian Walsh's men opened with an early try.

Holland, who continues to look the part at out-half, landed an eighth-minute penalty before Dolphin made it more of a contest.

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There was a stop-start nature to proceedings with a succession of penalties ruining good work by both sides, but Steve Ford's side built for a cracking crescendo before the break.

They used their strong set piece to force Cork Con backwards. Barry Keeshan found touch five metres out with a free-kick from a scrum, Dolphin disrupted the Constitution lineout and the ball went to the tail for captain Niall Scannell to break through for a try. 

Keeshan converted and there was a sense among the large crowd present that Dolphin were turning the screw when Cork Con lock Brian Hayes was sin-binned just before the interval.

Keeshan missed an opportunity to put Dolphin in front for half-time but a strong bout of scrummaging helped them move 10-8 ahead early in the second period, with Keeshan converting a three-pointer.

Cork Con struggled to respond as they missed two penalties in quick succession. However, they got a lifeline when a poor clearance kick from Dolphin invited the hosts forward and strong-running Deasy sent his provincial colleague Ivan Dineen away for a 52nd minute try in the right corner.

The conversion was added by Holland who also split the posts with a penalty just past the hour mark, putting Constitution in sight of their third league win on the trot.

They had to battle hard for that eventual result in what turned out to be a fiercely-fought derby. Dolphin threw everything they had at the hosts despite losing hooker Scannell to injury and lock Chris Rowe to a yellow card.

18-10 down, the Musgrave Park outfit reduced the arrears to five points thanks to a late Keeshan penalty.

But they were left to rue earlier misses and their failure to build on scrum pressure as Cork Con took the spoils in what was a terrific advert for Ulster Bank League rugby.

Referee: Eddie Hogan O'Connell (IRFU)