UCC 0 Cork Constitution 45
CORK Constitution flexed their muscles to overpower a young UCC outfit in a one-sided energia All-Ireland League Division 1A tie at the Mardyke on Saturday.
It was a long afternoon for the students who came under pressure up front, where Con, who stretched their winning sequence to five, dominated scrums and line outs to enjoy a near monopoly of possession.
And despite unfavourable conditions of piercing showers and biting cold, Con managed to overcome a slippery surface and wet ball to piece together some enterprising football in addition to a powerful maul.
College may have been a distant second best, but they never lacked heart and endeavour, epitomised by captain Rob Hedderman and openside flanker Jack Kelleher.
Con's set-piece was near perfection. Hooker Luke McAuliffe was accuracy personified with his darts, regularly connecting with Luke O'Flaherty, Dave Hyland and Luke Cahill at line-out while he and props, Brendan Quinlan and Paddy Casey, dictated matters at scrum-time, too.
And with a surfeit of quality ball, experienced half-backs Duncan Williams and Tomas Quinlan ensured it was put to good use as reflected in the seven tries scored.
There was a league debut for Johnny Murphy at full-back, son of long-serving manager, Kenny, and the fourth generation of the famous family stood up the task admirably in all aspects of his game.
Con jumped in front with the opening try after 11 minutes, Casey crashing over for the first of his brace after Billy Crowley was stopped short near the corner-flag, Quinlan converting for 7-0.
Intense pressure finally yielded a penalty try following a move instigated by a Williams break from a scrum just after the half-hour and College's woes were compounded by a yellow card to back-rower Aidan Brien.
Con's willingness to attack with ball in hand produced try number three after Williams tapped a 'mark' from deep in his own 22 and brought play back to the home 10m line.
From there, Con went through the phases before McAuliffe dived over in the 37th minute with Quinlan converting, 21-0.
And there was still time for Con to clinch the important fourth try bonus point just before the interval, courtesy of O'Flaherty in the right corner, 26-0 at the break.
Within a couple of minutes of the resumption, Con crossed for a fifth time, Quinlan touching down, and there were two more in the closing quarter.
Crowley's sublime pass for O'Flaherty's second just after the hour was a game highlight before Casey completed the scoring near the end.
Tries: P Casey (2), pen, L McAuliffe, C O'Flaherty (2), B Quinlan. Cons: T Quinlan (4).
R Hedderman, captain; L Bruce, S Tarelton, D Squires, G Coomber; B Kiernan, L Kahn; A Heaney, D O'Connor, C Hanlon; S O'Sullivan, M Bissessar; A Brien, J O'Sullivan, J Kelleher.
B Kingston, T Ormond, P McBarron, J Willis, L Kerr, T Duggan.
Johnny Murphy; B Crowley, G Higgins, N Kenneally, captain, R Jermyn; T Quinlan, D Williams; B Quinlan, L McAuliffe, P Casey; E Quilter, C O'Flaherty; L Cahill, D Hyland, M Casey.
G Good, D Murphy, J Beamish, James Murphy, J Poland, B Matthews.
K Barry (IRFU).