Cork Con prepare for demanding finale with three rounds left

The Temple Hill club's league semi-final bid will be determined by games against leading title contenders
Cork Con prepare for demanding finale with three rounds left

JJ O'Neill, Cork Con, takes on Bobby Sheehan, UCD. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

IT’S crunch time for a number of Cork clubs with three rounds of fixtures remaining in energia All-Ireland League.

Starting tomorrow, Cork Constitution face into a demanding run-in to their Division 1A campaign, when leaders Clontarf visit Temple Hill.

At the other end of the spectrum, Sunday's Well journey north to play City of Derry in a pivotal Division 2C relegation tie.

In between, Highfield aim to keep on track for a home semi-final in Division 1B with a tricky game away to fourth-placed Naas.

UCC hit the road to the Aviva to meet second-placed Lansdowne while Dolphin and Midleton enjoy home advantage against Queens and Bangor respectively.

Con are locked into a fierce battle for a top four finish, currently occupying the last semi-final berth on 47 points, sandwiched either side of Terenure in third and Young Munster in fifth who collide in the capital.

Con are only three points off third, but just the same margin ahead of Munsters, who host their great rivals the following week.

The Cork club will bid to reverse the 31-24 early defeat by Tarf, when JJ O’Neill and Sean French scored tries and captain Aidan Moynihan kicked four penalties and a conversion.

It was Con’s third loss on the spin before claiming five successive victories though their most recent outing ended in a 32-27 loss to Trinity College, collecting two bonus points in the process.

Alex McHenry (2), Gerry Hurley and Greg Higgins touched down for tries with Moynihan converting two and also kicking penalty.

The Well have won three of their last four games to give themselves a major chance of preserving their status even if it’s likely to go the distance.

They’re eighth in the table on 22 points, one more than City of Derry, who are three better off than bottom club Clonmel.

Bruff, in seventh, are three in front of the Well and visit Clonmel in a game of equal significance.

The Cork side, who lost to Derry at home, produced their most impressive display of the season with a seven-try 46-12 drubbing of Omagh Academicals last time out, when coach Denis Hurley returned to action at centre.

At the start of the 18-game trek, Highfield inflicted a 38-3 defeat on Naas with six different try scorers, including Sam Burns and Ben Murphy, who also found the mark in the bonus-point win over Malone recently.

The Kildare club, however, are pressing hard for the play-offs, currently fourth on 45 points, two behind Shannon and seven adrift of ’Field, who will remain second to leaders Old Wesley.

Highfield's Paul Stack looking for a way past Young Munster's Jack Lyons in the Munster Senior Cup at Woodleigh Park. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Highfield's Paul Stack looking for a way past Young Munster's Jack Lyons in the Munster Senior Cup at Woodleigh Park. Picture: Denis Minihane.

College are building towards their two-leg relegation Division 1A decider with Ballynahinch while Dolphin will want to set the record straight against Division 2A pacesetters Queens, who put 60 points on the Musgrave Park club earlier on.

Dolphin won their last two games, including a bonus point victory at Ballymena.

Midleton will be in a similar mood after losing to Bangor 24-14 up north and 33-22 to Bruff, when Rob Carey, Shane Anderson and Ryan Lehane scored tries.

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