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Late Drama As UCD And Cork Con Finish Level

Late Drama As UCD And Cork Con Finish Level

Ireland Under-20 duo Billy Dardis and Garry Ringrose combined to rescue a draw from the jaws of defeat for UCD when they entertained Cork Constitution at Belfield on Sunday.

Garry Ringrose showed his coolness under pressure by landing the levelling conversion of a late Billy Dardis try, as UCD determinedly fought back for a share of the spoils.

The students had earlier been in a winning position when tries from Risteard Byrne and Sam Coghlan Murray saw them lead 15-3 at the interval.

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With their pack in fine form, Cork Con had the better of the second period. They finished off four tries – including a brace from replacement Graeme Lawler – to lead 25-18 with 13 minutes remaining.

However, a second win of the season in Dublin proved just beyond Tom Tierney's men as the hosts had the final say to end their two-match losing streak in Division 1A.

This very exciting Ulster Bank League duel was the clubs' first meeting since the Bateman Cup final in May which Constitution won on a 19-6 scoreline at Temple Hill.

UCD went the right way about gaining revenge when bursting through for the opening try after just three minutes. Hooker Byrne scored in the corner following a fine break from Ringrose, with out-half Liam Bourke adding a well-struck conversion.

Bourke missed his first penalty attempt shortly afterwards, before Cork Con captain Ger Hurley opened his side's account with a penalty in the 12th minute.

UCD were leading 10-3, following a successful Bourke place-kick, when good work from centres Harry McNulty and Ringrose paved the way for the in-form Sam Coghlan Murray to go over out wide for his fourth touchdown in three games.

Bourke converted this time to open up a 12-point advantage, but Tierney's half-time words had the desired effect as Constitution threatened soon after the resumption.

Half-time replacement Lawler gave them momentum with a strong surge from a UCD clearance and Munster's Johnny Holland, who started at out-half, created winger Rob Jermyn's third league try with a pinpoint cross-field kick.

Hurley swung over a terrific conversion only for Bourke to respond with a penalty two minutes later for an 18-10 scoreline, as Cork Con vented their frustration with the high penalty count against them.

Hurley made his feelings known to referee Mark Patton and the Leesiders bottled up that annoyance to force their way over for two successive tries after 55 and 64 minutes.

Their pack really took the game to Emmet MacMahon's eight with that man Lawler stretching over on the end of a lineout maul from 15 metres out. Another powerful drive led to his second effort which saw him break off to score on the blindside.

Hurley missed both conversions but Constitution went on to register their bonus point in the 72nd minute when heavily-involved number 8 Luke Cahill made it over from a five-metre scrum. Again, though, Hurley failed to convert.

Those missed kicks came back to haunt Cork Con when UCD's back-line, who showed great adventure throughout, decisively worked an opening for Dardis to score and Ringrose's nerveless kick consigned the visitors to their second draw in three league games.

Referee: Mark Patton (IRFU)