Cork Con FC J1 13 - 16 Garryowen
Venue: Clifford ParkCompetition: Munster Junior Cup
Cork Constitution surrendered their Munster Junior Cup title to Garryowen in a rousing final encounter at Clifford Park on Sunday. Playing with the aid of a fresh breeze in the first half, Garryowen took a 13-0 lead into the half time break. However, Constitution matched them in the forty minutes of the second half, only to concede a penalty deep in injury time, with extra time looming. Andrew O’Byrne held his nerve to slot the penalty in the final act of a fine match between these old rivals.
Garryowen took the lead in the 11th minute when O’Byrne converted a penalty from 24 metres awarded for non-release in the tackle. Right wing Shaun Horgan scored a fine try in the 24th minute when he finished from a slick three-quarter move for Garryowen, after they had gained good field position on the Con 22 metre line. O’Byrne kicked the conversion for 10-0.
Despite good line-out possession and parity at scrum, Constitution could not make any in-roads against a committed Garryowen defence. And in first half injury time, Garryowen added to their lead from another O’Byrne penalty, after Con were harshly penalised for knocking a ball dead with little danger evident. 13-0 was a considerable first half lead even allowing for the strength of the wind.
In the 50th minute Brian Derham converted Con’s first scoring chance when he slotted a penalty from 23 metres. Alex Ryan went to scum half for Con in the 55th minute and he gave his side new impetus. Garryowen had prop Dave Rowley sin-binned in the 63rd minute and Con immediately profited, when Brian Derham scored from a quick ball after sustained pressure on the Garryowen line. He added the points to bring Con right into the game. And five minutes later he drew the sides level at 13-13 with another penalty.
From there to the end it was anybody’s game. Con tried a drop goal to no avail. A kick to the Garryowen line went dead and the scrum was awarded back inside the Con 22. From that position Garryowen recycled repeatedly. Con’s defence held until the final minute when an offside was awarded in front of the posts.
No kick is that easy in those circumstances, but O’Byrne coolly put the ball between the posts, and the final whistle sounded. It was a tough outcome for a gallant Con side, but on the overall, perhaps Garryowen just shaded the verdict, if only for their attacking composure in those six minutes of added time.
K UmbichCon Players:
B.Derham; E.O’Donnell, S.Glynn, M.Keyes, J.Cruickshank; P.Parfrey, P.O’Leary; G.Murray, A.Cudmore, C.Corkery; Y.Browne, D.O’Brien; B.Vaughan, A.White Capt., A.Ross.
L.Bourke; S.Horgan, E.Connolly, J.McGarry, A.Healy; A.O’Byrne, G.Ryan; P.O’Shea, D.Rowley, B.Cullinane; R.Sexton, M.Melbourne; J.Randles, C.Hartigan, M.Hanrahan.
S.Horgan 1T; A.O’Byrne 1C3P.