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Lyons Leads The Way As Cork Con Rise To Fifth

Lyons Leads The Way As Cork Con Rise To Fifth

It was a day to forget for St. Mary’s College as they suffered their second home loss of the season, going down 26-15 to a resurgent Cork Constitution side at Templeville Road.

Darragh Lyons showed his class once more, guiding a youthful Constitution back-line and proving an able deputy for the injured Gerry Hurley as captain and out-half.

The Leesiders' pack outmuscled the visitors, with number 8 Luke Cahill and second row Graeme Lawler standing out, and young scrum half Andrew Dorgan had a fine Ulster Bank League debut.

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In finishing the first four-week block of league fixtures with back-to-back victories, Cork Con seem to be warming to the task under new head coach Tom Tierney.

It was decent collective performance from St. Mary's too, as they were missing Leinster 'A' call-ups Cathal Marsh and Sean McCarthy and the likes of captain Kevin Sheahan, Brian McGovern and Mark Sexton through injury.

Talented Leinster Under-20 Nick Timoney filled the Sheahan-shaped hope at number 8 and continued to look the part, as he did when making an impact off the bench against Old Belvedere last week.

Lyons. who was playing his 159th league game, and Dorgan – one of Con's All-Ireland Under-20 winners last season – engineered an early lead for the Munster side thanks to tries from wingers Michael Keyes and Rob Jermyn.

Constitution powered out of the blocks as Keyes finished off a midfield break from Cahill for a third minute try in the right corner. Lyons, who had a 100% return from place-kicks on the day, landed the conversion.

Gavin Dunne, who stepped in at out-half for the absent Marsh, replied with a penalty for Mary's but the Dubliners were 17-3 down entering the second quarter.

Jermyn went over in the left corner following a quick tap penalty in the 16th minute which caught the Mary's defence flatfooted. Lyons converted and also right-footed a long range penalty through the posts five minutes later.

Mary's managed to hit back on the stroke of half-time, two quick taps from alert scrum half Robbie Glynn gaining ground and talismanic flanker Richie Sweeney stretched over on a determined drive for the line. Dunne converted to bring it back to a seven-point deficit.

Timoney spearheaded Mary's attempts to a score a second try, making a surging break but the young back rower lacked support. With their back-line starved of possession and the lineout encountering difficulties, the home side were unable to fully test the Con rearguard.

As the penalties continued to mount against Peter Smyth's men, Cork Con took chance after chance as the reliable Lyons strung together a hat-trick of place-kicks in the 44th, 64th and 70th minutes.

That left Mary's 26-10 adrift and a classy try from Dave Fanagan, one of the best Mary's backs on display, was mere consolation for them in the third minute of injury-time.

It was a superb solo effort from the full-back who had moved to scrum half by that stage, his arcing run taking him to the whitewash after he had broken free from a ruck and shown a clean pair of heels to a number of Con defenders.

Referee: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU)