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Leaders ‘Belvo Toppled By Cork Con

Leaders ‘Belvo Toppled By Cork Con

Denis Fogarty made a try-scoring return from injury in Cork Constitution’s defeat of Division 1A leaders Old Belvedere on Saturday afternoon.

Denis Fogarty damaged his shoulder in Munster’s September win over the Ospreys and had to undergo surgery before working his way back to fitness.

The combative hooker was back in action at Temple Hill, and his 21st minute try set Constitution on their way to a deserved win.

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When these sides met at Anglesea Road earlier in the season, a late drop goal from Sean Scanlon gave the Leesiders a 12-9 verdict. In the rematch, they got off to a productive start.

Scrum half Gerry Hurley kicked a penalty and converted a 16th minute try from lock Cathal O'Flaherty, following a well-worked move sparked by Scott Deasy's cross-field kick and Richie Lane's well-timed pass.

Munster Under-20 forward O'Flaherty, who can play in the second row or back row, was to the forefront of Cork Con's impressive attacking play in a what was a high tempo opening quarter.

In sunny conditions, Old Belvedere, who came into this game on the back of five straight wins, fell further behind when Fogarty stretched over in the left corner past Daniel Riordan's despairing tackle. O'Flaherty's 30-metre burst had created the opening.

The conversion was missed and Riordan gained some revenge when he dotted down for his fifth try of the campaign, shortly before half-time.

Player-coach Andy Dunne, whose chip through set up Riordan's score, added the conversion to make it 15-7 for the break.

Old Belvedere tried to force the issue in the third quarter, but Cork Con continued to prosper with flanker Brendan Cuttriss getting through a huge amount of work at the breakdown.

'Belvo dangerman Leo Auva'a did not have his usual platform to work off, and his attacking threat was largely negated by the hosts' tight defence.

In the 50th minute, team captain Frank Cogan and Billy Holland laid the platform for an unconverted score from lock Brian Hayes.

Hurley added a penalty, with a quarter of an hour remaining, to leave 'Belvo with a mountain to climb at 23-7 down.

Phil Werahiko's side responded with a five-pointer from replacement Kevin Buckley, who took a final pass from Riordan, but Cork Con had the points wrapped up and move back into first place.

Speaking afterwards, their head coach Brian Walsh said: “We were worth the win. We should have probably had more (points) but having played some great rugby, we let them back into it.

“We did what we needed to do at the start of the second half to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and a bit of rustiness close to the line a couple of times cost us.

“But there have been so many breaks in the league that it's hard to know what you're going to be like when you come back out to play.”

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)