Cork Con FC 1st XV 22 - 17 St Marys College
Venue: Temple HillCompetition: All Ireland League Div.1A
Cork Constitution got the better of St Mary’s College in a pulsating All Ireland League game at Temple Hill on Saturday. Constitution just edged the first half to lead 6-3 at the interval. In the 50th minute Constitution captain, Frank Cogan scored a heroic try, but St Mary’s hit back to close to two points 16-14 by the mid-point of the half. Con pushed ahead again to lead 22-14 as full time neared, only for Mary’s to get a losing bonus point with a penalty in added time.
There had been an interval of six weeks since the last AIL fixture, caused by the frozen conditions that prevailed in December. Consequentl, both sides would have been delighted with the fine conditions and excellent surface for the game. Constitution had a new half back partnership of Scott Deasy and Gerry Hurley. Captain Frank Cogan was making his 124th All Ireland League & Cup appearance, while Cronan Healy was making his final appearance before emigrating to Australia.
The game was full of good open rugby with both sides attempting to spread the ball. However, the first half scoring was dominated by penalty kicks. Simon Zebo almost made the line in the 16th minute, and Gerry Hurley gave Con the lead from a resultant penalty. Former UCC player, Gavin Duffy equalised for St Mary’s on 35 minutes, and Gerry Hurley gave Con the interval lead with a penalty, from in front of the posts, in the 40th minute.
Dunne equalised again in the 46th minute with a penalty. Then in the 5oth minute, Frank Cogan won line-out possession at half way and broke away. He handed off the St Mary’s winger and beat the cover defence for a remarkable score. Gerry Hurley added the points. Duffy and Hurley exchanged penalties either side of the hour mark, but St Mary’s threw down the challenge with an opportunist try by Matt Darcy in the 63rd minute. He gained possession at a maul some 30 metres out and ala-Cogan made it to the line untouched. Billy Holland was unlucky not to get a try in the 69th minute as he reached for the line after Zebo and Jouve had combined to set up the chance. However, Referee George Clancy, who had an excellent game, could not be sure that the touchdown was valid. Further sustained attacks by Con yielded penalties converted by Hurley to stretch the lead to 22-14, but St Mary’s gained a valuable bonus point with the last kick of the game.
Constitution remain in second place on 24 points, behind Old Belvedere on 27 points.Referee:
S.Scanlon; S.Zebo, I.Dineen, C.Jouve, C.Healy; S.Deasy, G.Hurley; M.Gateley, M.O’Leary, S.Archer; B.Hayes, C.O’Flaherty; B.Holland, B.Cuttriss, F.Cogan Capt.Con Scorers:
F.Cogan 1T; G.Hurley 5P1CSt Marys College Players:
G.Dunne;P.Gillispie, S.Grissing, M.Sexton, D.Hudson; I.McKinley, D.Campbell; C.McMahon, R.McSweeney, J.McGrath; S.Bradshaw, C.Ruddock; D.Hall, P.Nash, H.HoganSt Marys College Scorers:
M.Darcy 1T; G.Dunne 4P