Cork Con show character in important win in Limerick

The Temple Hill club come from behind to end Young Munster's bid for a league semi-final spot
Cork Con show character in important win in Limerick

Niall Kenneally was one of the stars of Cork Constitution's win over Young Munster at Clifford Park. Picture Dan Linehan

Young Munster 19 Cork Constitution 27 

CORK Constitution elbowed Young Munster out of the race for that last semi-final place in energia All-Ireland League with a gutsy performance in a typical no-holds-barred provincial derby at Clifford Park on Saturday.

Con were nudged out of fourth spot by Trinity College’s bonus-point the night before, but the Cork club regained it to leave them with a two-point cushion going into the last round of games next Saturday.

It means Con’s destiny is firmly in their own grasp, needing to defeat already qualified Lansdowne at Temple Hill and keeping an eye on the students playing Garryowen in Limerick.

Con showed character in abundance after Young Munster hit them with a couple of tries within seven minutes of the second-half, when the visitors played into a strengthening wind.

Wing Conor Philips claimed the first in the left corner before hooker Sean Malone burrowed over for the second, converted by Evan Cusack, to shove Munsters 19-13 in front.

It was time for Con to stand up and fight and they duly delivered, inflicting the same kind of damage on the home side with two tries of their own.

The magnificent Niall Kenneally barged over following a line-out with captain Aidan Moynihan converting, 20-19, after 53 minutes.

And the importance of the bench was illustrated by the introduction of Sean French, whose monster kick earned a Con 50-22 and an attacking line-out in the danger zone.

The pressure yielded a third try, scored by hooker Max Abbott, at the posts, with Moynihan adding the extras.

It may have ended the scoring, but not the intensity or excitement as Munsters attacked in waves only to be met an impressive Con show of defiance.

Even the late yellow carding of the outstanding number 8 Luke Cahill near the end didn’t detract the visitors, who were attacking, when the final whistle sounded.

Con led 13-7 at half-time, jumping 7-0 in front with a Billy Crowley try after six minutes following a Cahill offload, Moynihan converting.

Munsters hit back with an Eoin O’Connor try following a driving lineout maul, but two Moynihan penalties in three minutes-another struck an upright-indicated Con’s scoring threat.

They responded brilliantly in that hectic third quarter to set up a rousing end to the regular season.

Scorers for Young Munster: Tries: E O’Connor, C Philips, S Malone. Cons: E Cusack (2).

Cork Constitution: Tries: B Crowley, N Kenneally, M Abbott. Cons: A Moynihan (3). Pens: A Moynihan (2).

YOUNG MUNSTER: J Kiely; C Hayes, P Ryan, H Fleming, C Philips; E Cusack, D O’Callaghan; D Begley, S Malone, C Bartley; T Goggin, S Rigney; E O’Connor, B Faloon, C Moloney.

Subs: P Allen, C Skehan, L Neilan, J Lyons, C Casey, A Kelly.

CORK CONSTITUTION: B Crowley; JJ O’Neill, A McHenry, N Kenneally, R Jermyn; A Moynihan, captain, J Hurley; B Quinlan, M Abbott, L Masters; C Barry, C O’Flaherty; J Forde, L Cahill, J Murphy.

Subs: L McAuliffe, A Deane, C Kindregan, E Quilter, D Williams, S French.

Referee: S Gaffikin (IRFU).

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