Cork Constitution 17 Young Munster 24
A last-gasp corner-flag tackle denied Cork Constitution in a thrilling energia All-Ireland League Division 1A tie at Temple Hill on Saturday.
The home side looked poised to score out wide in the fourth minute of injury-time, but JJ O’Neill lost possession in the hit and with it went Con’s last chance of salvaging another memorable joust with Young Munster.
It capped a frantic closing quarter, when the Limerick visitors had three players in the sin-bin at one stage, but the remaining dozen showed typical heart and grit.
Munsters looked to be cruising at 18-3 following a first AIL try for full-back Patrick Campbell, full-forward on the Cork minor football side, which won the All-Ireland in 2019.
He finished off a flowing back line move to score in the left corner, just two minutes after the resumption, with classy out-half Evan Cusack converting from the touchline.
At this stage Con had suffered their only yellow card following Michael Casey’s 33rd minute indiscretion, but his return made it 15 against 15, though it didn’t last long.
Lock Sean Rigney became the second Munsters player to see yellow after number eight Bailey Faloon spent time in the bin in the first-half.
Con were awarded a penalty try following a line-out maul at which Munsters lost hooker Mark O’Mara joined an ever-growing sin-bin.
At this point it was 15 against 13, but the visitors were able to capitalise on a handy penalty from Cusack after 66 minutes, extending their advantage to 21-10.
Munsters’ joy soon dissipated as replacement Fintan Coleman became the fourth player and the third in quick succession to incur the wrath of referee Eddie Hogan-O’Connell.
It was now 15 against 12 before the Limerick side were restored to 14, when Con scored a super try in the left corner through Barry Galvin with Aidan Moynihan converting expertly.
Munsters’ lead was now down to four, but the concession of another soft penalty allowed Cusack bring his tally to 14 before it became 15 against 15 once more.
Despite Moynihan kicking Con in front after just three minutes, Munsters dominated much of the opening half, wing Conor Hayes finishing off a brilliant backline move in the 15th minute.
Con were under pressure at scrum time and struggled in the line-out on occasions as well and only frantic defending kept Munsters from stretching their 11-3 lead approaching the interval.
The second half, however, was completely different with Con earning a losing bonus point for the second successive week.
Scorers for Cork Con: Tries: B Galvin, pen; Con: A Moynihan; Pen: A Moynihan.
Young Munster: Tries: C Hayes, P Campbell; Con: E Cusack; Pens: E Cusack (4)
CORK CONSTITUTION: B Crowley; B Galvin, B Matthews, N Kenneally, JJ O’Neill; A Moynihan, D Williams; G Duffy, L McAuliffe, D Murphy; C Barry, E Quilter; J Forde, D Hyland, M Casey.
Subs: J Dinneen, B Quinlan, P Casey, C Kindregan, J Poland, T Quinlan.
YOUNG MUNSTER: P Campbell; C Hayes, P Ryan, H Fleming, S McCarthy; E Cusack, A Maher; D Beggy, M O’Mara, C Skehan; T Goggin, S Rigney; A Kennedy, B Faloon, D Whelan. Subs: P Meyer, P Allen, F Coleman, J Foley, J Lyon, J Kiely.
Referee: E Hogan-O’Connell (MAR).
Divison 1A: Garryowen 32 UCC 20
Division 1B: Navan 17 Highfield 42
Division 2A: Dolphin 56 Rainey Old Boys 13
Division 2C: Midleton 14 Sundays Well 6.