Cork Con FC 1st XV 17 - 20 Old Belvedere
Venue: Donnybrook
Competition: All Ireland League Division 1 Final
Match Report:

Old Belvedere turned the tables on Cork Constitution in the final of the Ulster Bank League at Donnybrook on Sunday. Constitution won the season’s two league games, but Belvedere found another gear to outscore Constitution with three fine tries. So once again Constitution lost a play-off series after winning the league series. 

Belvedere opened with a cracking try after 8 minutes when David Mongan scored in the left corner. Andy Dunne kicked a fine conversion for 7-0. Constitution to their credit worked hard and gained a degree of control with Gerry Hurley kicking three penalties after 11, 20 and 36 minutes, however the Belvedere defence somehow kept their line intact despite being under severe pressure on a number of occasions. Con opted to take the points just before the break when Maguire was sin-binned and a forward drive might have yielded more. After the poor start, Constitution were probably happy with a 9-7 lead at the interval. 

However, their optimism was misplaced as Belvedere started the second period with another sizzling try, when they created another overlap and centre John Kennedy scored in the right corner. A deserved try for Constitution by Sean Scanlon in the 58th minute gave them a 14-12 lead and a confidence boost that they might build on. But a penalty by Keane and a third try for Belvedere by Kennedy suddenly put them back in the driving seat with 10 minutes remaining. A penalty by Hurley cut the deficit to three points with 8 minutes on the clock. But when Hurley missed with a further chance with 3 minutes remaining, it was the signal for Belvedere to tie up the game with a series of hide-the-ball mauls and the game fizzled out. In the last play, a desperate attempt by Simon Zebo to intercept near his own line led to a yellow card, but the penalty to Belvedere was of no consequence. 

Constitution management will reflect long and hard at this loss. A solid scrum and superb lineout, a fine half back pairing and a wonderful captain in Frank Cogan, but they were still out-manoeuvred by Belvedere, for whom it was a first All Ireland League title and their first ever AIL win over Constitution.



Con Players:

S.Scanlon; R.Lane, I.Dineen, C.Jouve, S.Zebo; S.Deasy, G.Hurley; M.Gateley, D.Fogarty, S.Archer; B.Hayes, I.Nagle; B.Holland, B.Cuttriss, F.Cogan Capt.

Con Scorers:

S.Scanlon 1T; G.Hurley 4P.

Old Belvedere Players:

D.Riordan; E.Devitt, J.Kennedy, B.Woods, D.Mongan; A.Dunne, S.Keogh; V.Soden, M.Cooney, S.Maguire; D.Moore, D.White; K.Miller, J.Risdon, L.Aauvaa

Old Belvedere Scorers:

D.Mongan 1T; A.Dunne 1T; K.Buckley 1T; A.Dunne 1C.

Cork Constitution FC