UCC 12 UCD 33
UCC were outmuscled by their Dublin counterparts in the annual ‘Colours’ game in energia All-Ireland League Division 1A at the Mardyke on Saturday.
It’s one of the biggest dates in the College calendar when players mark the occasion by swopping their usual red and black socks for either their school or club equivalent.
The team was dominated by local rivals CBC and PBC with a sprinkling like Timothy Duggan from Crescent College Comprehensive and flanker Jack O’Sullivan, who went to St Francis College, Rochestown.
But, the most interesting of them was second-row Mark Bissessar, who hails all the way from Trinidad, and has been in the engine room of a light College forward pack all season.
UCD diluted the enthusiasm somewhat by registering a 5-2 try victory despite the courage and bravery of the home side, who never stopped tackling or hitting rucks.
The Cork students actually began brightly even if the visitors’ power in the scrum looked a worrying sight and they appeared to be in for an early try only for referee Eoghan Cross to be caught blindsided.
Gradually, UCD settled into the tie and jumped in front after 25 minutes with a try from abrasive hooker Bobby Sheehan, converted by Chris Cosgrove, after 25 minutes.
UCC, though, levelled almost immediately after Rory Duggan made the initial incision which led to centre Daniel Squires darting through to touch down at the posts and convert for 7-7.
Line-out difficulties added to the home side’s problems and from a resulting scrum off a crooked through, wing Ross Deegan popped up in midfield to scored UCD’s second try, Cosgrove converting, to lead 14-7 at the interval.
They stretched their advantage within five minutes of the resumption, Deegan intercepting a long, floating pass to apply more pressure, which yielded a third try for prop Chris Hennessy, converted by James Tarrant, 21-7.
Tarrant, then, secured the bonus point try, 10 minutes later, only for UCC to respond with a fine try of their own.
They managed to engineer some possession and territory with had its reward in full-back Louis Bruce, grandson of the late Tom Kiernan and wearing the number 54 jersey in his memory, scoring in the right corner.
UCD’s fifth try came from centre David Ryan with Tim Corkery converting.