Cork Constitution 28 Cashel 17
CORK Con were pushed all the way before securing a hard-earned win over Passage in a pulsating Munster Conference 1 League clash at Templehill on Saturday.
The home side played with the aid of a strong wind in the first half and despite early Cashel pressure they opened their scoring in the eighth minute with a well-worked try.
Following a superb run by Aidan Moynihan, he played a perfect pass to Ross Anthony O’Neill who went over under the posts which Moynihan converted with relative ease.
Credit to Cashel they were not overawed by their opponents and inspired by former Cork Con star Darragh Lyons they scored a try of sheer quality eight minutes later.
Some good play by the Cashel pack opened up the Con defence and Mikey Wilson was left with an easy task of going over in the corner with Lyons missing the conversion.
The opening 25 minutes saw both sides concentrating on playing good expansive rugby but with 12 minutes remaining to the interval, Con commanded a 7-5 lead before the Cashel scrum-half Josh Pickering was sin-binned two minutes later.
The Tipperary side who easily disposed of Shannon in their opening game were certainly up for battle but two minutes to the break their defence was caught napping.
After a five-minute period of persistent Con pressure, Cathal O’Flaherty was given an easy task of running in an unchallenged try that Moynihan easily converted and increased their lead to nine points 14-5.
Con went in at the break with a nine-point lead but three minutes into the second half they were punished with some sloppy handling as a Jack O’Rourke try gave Cashel the ideal start with Lyons missing his second conversion.
The Templehill outfit were only playing in snatches and they were further punished in the 58th minute when Man of the Match Ciaran Ryan evaded two tackles before sauntering over the line.
Lyons conversion was on target this time as Cashel led for the first time 17-14 but Con to their credit responded to the wake-up call with a try on their next possession.
Substitute James Murphy picked up a ball on the halfway line before sprinting clear and go down under the posts with Moynihan converting.
Sub John Beamish was halted a foot from the line but in the final minute, the pace and strength of O’Flaherty saw him seal a win with his second try.
CORK CON: M Hand, B Galvin, G Higgins, N Kenneally, JJ 0’Neill, A Moynihan, B Quinlan, J Sutton, P Casey, S Duffy, C O’Flaherty, J Forde, R A O’Neill, E Mintern.
Subs: G Duffy for B Quinlan, R Jermyn for G Barry, J Murphy for R Anthony-O’Neill, J Beamish for J Sutton, J Sutton for J Beamish (inj).
CASHEL: O O’Sullivan, R Kingston, C Cashman, A McMahon, J O’Rourke, D Lyons, J Pickering, C Ryan, R Foot, J Kendrick, F O’Donoghue, A Butler, C Ryan, J Ryan, M Wilson.
Subs: D O’Neill for D Lyons, M O’Connor for C Ryan (inj).
Referee: Eddie Hogan O’Connell (IRFU).