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Cork Con FC 1st XV 17 - 14 Blackrock College
Venue: Stradbrook
Competition: Ulster Bank League Div.1A
Match Report:

Cork Constitution won a narrow victory over a very competent Blackrock College side at Stradbrook on Saturday. Though at the bottom of the Division 1 table, the Dublin side gave a good account of themselves and will rue some missed chances from a very entertaining game. 

On the other hand, Constitution were a fielding one of their youngest sides ever in the AIL, and will be delighted that the team came through the difficult test. They had five changes in personnel from the team that started against Clontarf in the last game, with none of their Munster Academy and squad players available. 

Blackrock benefited from the downfield wind in the early exchanges and Declan Fitzpatrick opened the scoring with a 10th minute penalty. However, he missed a similar effort 3 minutes later. Constitution took the lead in the 16th minute when Niall O’Driscoll set up Brian O’Hara for a try, that Gerry Hurley converted. Constitution continued to attack, and right wing Cathal Quinn crossed the line in the 20th minute, but the play was recalled for a forward pass. Then in another probing attack by Constitution in the 25th minute, a loose pass was intercepted on his 22 metre line by Declan Fitzpatrick, and the out half’s pace took him to the Con line for a try, but the effort caused him to miss the relatively easy conversion.

Constitution might have regained the lead before the break, but another good attack was foiled as the ball did not reach the extra man. Subsequently, Fitzpatrick added two penalties in the minutes before half time to stretch the home lead to 14-7. 

The third quarter was just as frantic, with both sides playing as expansively as possible. Con had the better chances, but Brian Hayes knocked on with the line beckoning, and Niall O’Driscoll was denied when he was held up in the 47th minute. However, from the play following the 5 metre scrum, Martin Gateley was driven over at the posts, and Hurley added the points to level the scores at 14 points each. 

Gerry Hurley knocked over a penalty on the hour mark for the lead, after Con had scorned a few similar opportunities in favour of scrummaging options. Defences were then on top in the final quarter as the cracking pace took its toll on the players, and Darragh Lyons’ missed drop goal attempt in the final minutes was of little consequence as Con took the points on the 17-14 score line.

Referee:

Simon McDowell

Con Players:

D.Lyons; R.Clune, N.O’Drsicoll, A.Ryan, C.Quinn; J.Holland, G.Hurley Capt.; C.Corkery, A.Cudmore, M.Gateley; B.Hayes, C.O’Flaherty; B.Cuttriss, B.O’Hara, J.Ryan.

Con Scorers:

B.O’Hara 1T; M.Gateley 1T; G.Hurley 1P2C.

Blackrock College Players:

A.Letham; M.Scott Lenon, J.S.Byrne,M.McKeever, G.Greene; D.Fitzpatrick, A.McGinty; S.Byrne, CCulleton, R.Fisher; D.Dillon, A.Dunlop; D.Mannion, R.Marsh, J.O’Brien.

Blackrock College Scorers:

D.Fitzpatrick 1T3P.

Cork Constitution FC

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