Cork Con FC 1st XV 26 - 45 Shannon
Venue: CoonaghCompetition: Ulster Bank League
Shannon prevailed in the return Ulster Bank League tie at Coonagh on Saturday. Played on firm ground and bright calm conditions, Shannon took the initiative from the start, and scored three tries in each half to give Constitution a rare hiding. Credit to Constitution though, after a poor start, they pulled back to equalise at 14-14 after 20 minutes, but thereafter Shannon ruled.
Full back James Luxton grabbed the first try in the left corner when a grubber kick evaded the Con defence. Rob Guerin converted from the touchline. In the 11th minute Munster forward Niall Ronan drove over from a maul and Guerin again added the points.
In the next 10 minutes Con fought back and had tries by Cronan Healy and Niall O’Drsicoll. Gerry Hurley added the conversions to tie up the scores at 14 points each. The Con line-out was not functioning smoothly, and when Shannon stole a ball at half way, they moved the all to midfield, from where strong centre Ed Maloney drove for the line. Guerin converted, and also kicked a penalty to leave the home side 24-14 ahead at the break.
Constitution opened the second half with a second try by Cronan Healy, created by James Ryan and Rob Clune. However, that sparked Shannon into life and, playing rugby that belied their lowly league placing, they scored three tries in the next 16 minutes. First Eric Maloney scored his second when receiving from Guerin from a 5 metre scrum. Wing Dave O’Donovan took advantage of a Con slip in the 55th minute for the fifth try, and No.8 John Shine scored a simple try when he went over unopposed from another 5 metre scrum. Guerin converted all three to bring up 45 points.
In the final minutes James Ryan got a fourth try for Constitution that won a consolation bonus point, which may yet be valuable when the final league tally is complete. The defeat drops Constitution to 6th place, on points difference from St Mary’s College, also on 30 points.
A. RollandCon Players:
C.Healy; N.O’Driscoll, A.Ryan, C.Desmond; D.Lyons, G.Hurley Capt.; J.Ryan, A.O’Driscoll, C.Corkery; P.Donnellan, B.Hayes; G.Lawler, C.O’Flaherty, James Ryan.Con Scorers:
C.Healy 2T; N.O’Driscoll 1T; James Rryan 1T; G.Hurley 1P3C.Shannon Players:
J.Loxton; M.Darcy, E.Moloney, R.Mullane, D.O’Donovan; T.Bennett, R.Guerin; G.McNamara, D.Casey, K.Griffen; F.Walsh, S.McCarthy; J.Murphy, N.Ronan, J.Shine.Shannon Scorers:
E.Maloney 2T; J.Loxton 1T; D.O’Donovan 1T; N.Ronan 1T; J.Shine1T; R.Guerin 1P6C