Cork Con FC J1 22 - 18 Garryowen
Venue: DooradoyleCompetition: Munster Junior Cup
Cork Constitution won a classic Munster Junior Cup semi final against Garryowen at Dooradolye on Sunday. In front of a big crowd, and in beautiful Spring sunshine, this was a Cup tie to savour. Both sides had obvious credentials as the top sides in this season’s Munster Seconds League. The depth of history between the clubs added to the occasion, and the fact the Constitution won the corresponding tie last year in Cork added further spice.
Constitution took the first score with a penalty by Sean Murphy after 3 minutes. Garryowen hit back quickly with a try by full back Derry O’Connor who ran onto a clever grubber kick. Jamie Gavin missed the conversion, and a penalty chance after 10 minutes, before finding his range from a penalty after 27 minutes. Sean Murphy missed a penalty kick for Constitution on the half hour mark, but his side scored a fine try after 32 minutes when wing Eoin O’Donnell finished a break engineered by centre Conor Desmond and wing forward Andy White. That tied the sides on 8-8, but Garryowen forged ahead again before the break with a Jamie Gavin penalty, after Conor Desmond had been yellow carded.
In the second minute after the resumption Garryowen had No.8 Anthony Kavanagh yellow carded and Sean Murphy despatched the kick to level the scores at 11 points each. Three minutes later, the same player added another penalty to give his side a three point lead. The warm conditions took a toll on both sides and rolling substitutes were used liberally by both sides in the second period.
Garryowen got the next crucial score in the 50th minute when Cian O’Shea got the touchdown. Gavin kicked a great conversion from the touchline for an 18-14 lead. Sean Murphy narrowed that lead to a point with a penalty on 63 minutes and scrum half Alex Ryan scored the clinching try in the 70th minute.
There was still 10 minutes of do or die Cup rugby to be played. Garryowen spurned a few kickable opportunities in favour touch line attacks, but Con’s defence saw out time for a famous win. In the final; they will meet West Cork side Skibbereen who saw off Clonmel on a 9-6 scoreline.Referee:
Derek NoonanCon Players:
D.O’Shea; E.O’Donnell, C.Desmond, P.O’Sullivan Capt., S.Kelly; S.Murphy, A.Ryan; G.Murray, K.Stokes, R.Hassan; Y.Browne, D.O’Brien; B.Vaughan, A.White, A.Ross.
E.O’Donnell 1T; A.Ryan 1T; S.Murphy 4P.Garryowen Players:
D.O’Connor; C.O’Shea, M.O’Shea, A.Gaughan, E.Connolly; J.Gavin, A.Healy; P.O’Shea, D.Rowles, B.Cullinane; A.Kennedy, L.Horgan; C.Hartigan, B.Sheehan Capt., A.Kavanagh.
D.O’Connor 1T; C.O’Shea 1T; J.Gavin 1C2P.