Saturday 23 September 2017

Dolphin facing Con rematch after squeezing into last-four

AIL ROUND-UP

Shannon's Paddy Butler takes the ball in the line-out ahead of Garryowen's Dave Sherry during the AIL Division 1A clash on
Saturday. STEPHEN MCCARTHY / SPORTSFILE
Shannon's Paddy Butler takes the ball in the line-out ahead of Garryowen's Dave Sherry during the AIL Division 1A clash on Saturday. STEPHEN MCCARTHY / SPORTSFILE

CORK CONSTITUTION and Dolphin will meet again in the second semifinal of the league next Saturday after facing one another in their final Division 1A outing at Temple Hill.

Cork Con’s 23-13 home victory secured them top spot in the table.

For Dolphin supporters, there was an anxious wait to see if they had held on to third spot. They did so by the skin of their teeth, with Shannon narrowly failing to beat Garryowen.

Unquestionably, Cork Con will be fancied to repeat their victory in next Saturday’s semi-final but much may depend on just who, among the two sides’ Munster-contracted players, is available.

For the moment though, Con would seem to be in the better position, particularly as they have home advantage. They had Saturday’s game effectively sewn up when 20-3 ahead at half-time with tries from Cronan Healy, Scott Deasy and Duncan Williams.

Dolphin made a better fist of it in the second half when they had the wind behind them, but they never looked like catching their rivals.

Elsewhere, Shannon’s season finished on a hugely disappointing note when they lost 9-8 to Garryowen at Coonagh. The home side had a chance to snatch victory, but Mossy Lawlor’s conversion of Paddy Butler’s try drifted wide.

The remaining game saw Blackrock College confirm their Division 1A status by trouncing UL Bohemians 36-15 at Stradbrook.

Once again, Andrew Conway was one of their try scorers, with Kyle Tonnetti bagging two for the hosts.

In Division 1B, Old Belvedere made sure of top spot and a place in the league semi-finals by demolishing a weakened UCC outfit 48-3 at the Mardyke. Superbly led by Andy Dunne at out-half, the visitors scored seven tries to put them in a good frame of mind for next Saturday’s tilt at St Mary’s.

Buccaneers avoided relegation by accounting for second-placed Young Munster 18-8 at Dubarry Park, as did Dungannon following their 24-15 home success over Galwegians at Stevenson Park.

So, Ballymena and Ballynahinch go down. The two sides where in opposition at Ballymacarn Park yesterday where the hosts Ballynahinch prevailed 35-20.

However, it was not enough to stop them going into Division 2.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport