Cork Con FC J1 Cashel Cashel
Venue: Musgrave ParkCompetition: MJC Final
Cashel completed a clean sweep of Munster Junior trophies when they shaded a well-contested final of the Munster Junior Cup at Musgrave Park. Constitution battled them all the way, but in the end it was probably the extra confidence and cohesion an unbeaten season of rugby that gave Cashel the edge. Constitution had a difficult week of preparation due to injuries and sickness to key players. However, despite conceding a try after 6 minutes they struck back and might well have been ahead at half time. They led twice in the second period, but two late penalties gave Cashel a hard fought win.
The opening score was a try by second row Eoin O’Connor after 6 minutes, when he was up with a fine break by full back Daragh O’Brien. The full back converted for 7-0. Despite the setback, Constitution forwards settled to their task and repeatedly drove Cashel back to their line. Cashel conceded yellow cards in the 21st and 30th minutes for off side infringements. Con took scrummaging options in preference to penalty kicks, and they eventually succeeded in crossing the Cashel line when Eoin O’Donnell scored in the 32nd minute. Peter O’Sullivan tied up the scores with the conversion. However, O’Brien restored Cashel’s lead with a penalty in the 35th minute. O’Sullivan missed with a similar award a few minutes later, so Constitution trailed 7-10 at the break.
Constitution started the second half strongly and went ahead with two penalties by O’Sullivan in the 46th and 55th minutes. They then received a body blow when the Cashel full back missed a dropping ball it looked that the follow up would win possession and perhaps score, however, the bounce of the ball favoured the defence, and former Con player Ed Leamy grabbed possession and broke free to score from 50 metres out. The conversion was good and Cashel led 17-13. Then just as quickly on the restart, Cathal Quin intercepted at half way and sprinted clear to score in the left corner. O’Sullivan again kicked a fine conversion and Constitution were back in front 20-17.
Unfortunately Quinn was injured as he grounded the ball when a Cashel player needlessly went to ground on him. He was replaced by Andy Kelleher who went to scrum half with a consequent re-shuffle in the back line.
Darragh O’Brien drew the sides level with a penalty on 69 minutes, and he kicked the winner in the 74th minute when a touch judge flagged a Con indiscretion at a maul. Controversially the referee improved the place kick position by awarding it on the 15 metre line, when the alleged incident occurred near the touch line. There might have been a further dramatic score had referee or touch judge flagged a high tackle on Robert Clune as the full back attempted to break through the Cashel defence in the final minutes, but no award was forthcoming despite an appeal.Referee:
.Clune; E.O’Donnell, C.Desmond, C.Jouve, C.Quinn; P.O’Sullivan, A.Ryan; G.Murray Capt., B.Vaughan, A.Foley; D.O’Mahony, P.Dooley; A.Ross, S.Hanbidge, T.Dukelow.Con Scorers:
E.O’Donnell 1T; C.Quinn 1T; P.O’Sullivan 2P2CCashel Players:
.O’Brien; R.O’Connor, B.Silke, P.O’Connor, K.Quinlan; C.Quinlan, O.McGlinchey; E.Horgan, R.Coates, H.Stanley; E.O’Connor, A.Devitts; J.O’Connor, E.Leamy, B.O’Connor Capt.Cashel Scorers:
E.O’Connor 1T; E.Leamy 1T ; D.O’Brien 3P2C.