AIL: Cork Con snatch dramatic win over Terenure College in semi-final dress rehearsal

Harry O'Riordan scored his second try in the last play after second-row Eoin Quilter also helped himself to a pair of tries
AIL: Cork Con snatch dramatic win over Terenure College in semi-final dress rehearsal

Eoin Quilter scores a try in the corner for Cork Constitution in their win over Terenure College at Temple Hill. Pic Larry Cummins. 

Cork Constitution 27 Terenure College 23

A try in the closing act helped Cork Constitution strike an important psychological blow ahead of a likely energia All-Ireland League Division 1A semi-final against the same opponents at a wind-swept Temple Hill on Saturday.

Con pounced three minutes into injury time after Terenure number 8 Jordan Coughlan was penalised for a late and needless shoulder charge on home captain Aidan Moynihan in midfield.

The out-half found a good touch on the visiting 22 and a rolling maul from the subsequent line-put had the Dublin side on the back foot before the ever-willing Niall Kenneally sent centre colleague Harry O’Riordan away for his second try and the bonus point at the posts.

It hardly mattered that Moynihan’s conversion into the biting cold draught rebounded from an upright because referee Pater Martin sounded the whistle for the last time to bring a hotly contested tie to a conclusion.

After Moynihan kicked Con in front after just three minutes with the strong wind at his back, the man in the middle was forced to call both skippers-Harrison Brewer for Terenure-on two occasions in the opening 10 minutes as the game quickly developed a keen edge.

While Con dictated matters at scrum time, winning a succession of penalties due to Luke Masters’s influence at tight head prop, Terenure withstood fierce pressure, when defending a couple of close-range line-outs.

They responded by first drawing level with a Caolan Dooley penalty after 24 minutes and then surging in front for the first time with a try from centre Peter Sylvester, the former UCC player, who broke the initial challenge before powering through nine minutes later. Dooley converted for 10-3.

Terenure appeared to be in control but their ill-discipline surfaced again, losing two players to the sin-bin in eight minutes during an opening period stretching to 45 minutes.

 Dave Hyland wins possession for Cork Con in a lineout against Terenure. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Dave Hyland wins possession for Cork Con in a lineout against Terenure. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Substitute prop Andrew Keating was first to see yellow even though he was only just on the pitch after another Terenure scrum infringement three minutes from the interval and then Coughlan joined him in stoppage time for a deliberate knock-on in the build-up to Con’s first try.

Moynihan played a major role in breaking through on the left and then spotting players over on the right, cross-kicking precisely for second-row Eoin Quilter to touch down in the corner, 8-10 at the break.

Within three minutes of the resumption, Quilter was in for his second try, number 8 Dave Hyland, who was brilliant all through, collecting one-handed in the move with Moynihan adding the extras to shove Con 15-10 in front.

Yet, Terenure survived playing with 13 men as Dooley kicked a penalty moments later before they were restored to 15 once again and then retook the lead with a second try after 56 minutes.

Calum Smith’s booming wind-assisted kicks helped put last year’s beaten finalists into promising attacking positions and they benefitted, when Brewer finished off a spell of intense pressure deep in the Con 22, Dooley converting for 20-15.

 Niall Kenneally, Cork Con, gets past a challenge from Peter Sylvester of Terenure. Picture: Larry Cummins. 
Niall Kenneally, Cork Con, gets past a challenge from Peter Sylvester of Terenure. Picture: Larry Cummins. 

Yet, within three minutes, Con were in front for a third time, O’Riordan reacting quickest to a blocked clearance kick in the in-goal area to touch down for try number three, which Moynihan converted, 22-20.

Dooley restored Terenure’s lead with a penalty in the 65th minute and that seemed to be the score which would separate the teams until Con engineered their winning try at the death for a huge morale boost ahead of the semi-final.

Scorers for Cork Con: Tries: E Quilter (2), H O’Riordan (2). Pen: A Moynihan Cons: A Moynihan (2).

Terenure: Tries: P Sylvester, H Brewer Cons: C Dooley (2) Pens: C Dooley (3).

CORK CONSTITUTION: G Coomber; D Hurley, H O’Riordan, N Kenneally, M Hand; A Moynihan, captain, G Hurley; B Quinlan, B Scannell, L Masters; S Duffy, E Quilter; J Kelleher, D Hyland, R O’Neill.

Subs: G Good, A Heaney, C O’Flaherty, M Stafford, L Kahn, B Crowley.

TERENURE COLLEGE: A la Grue; C Dooley, C de Buitlear, P Sylvester, C Adams; C Smith, A Bennie; C Classon, L Vaughan, A Tuite; M Brewer, captain, M Melia; A Melia, J Coughlan, L Clohessy.

Subs: R Smyth, A Keating, M Caffrey, N Lalor, C McKeown, B Galvin.

Referee: P Martin (IRFU).

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