O'Byrne keeps cool to snatch last-gasp glory for Garryowen
An injury-time penalty from Andrew O'Byrne handed Garryowen this title for the first time in six years and stopped Cork Constitution from retaining their crown.
Garryowen dominated the first half and, after an O'Byrne penalty, they scored a well-worked try through Shaun Horgan. O'Byrne added the extras before his second penalty gave his side a 13-0 half-time lead.
With a strong wind behind them, Cork Con started the second half well and were on the scoreboard early on thanks to a Brian Derham penalty.
Garryowen's indiscipline resulted in Brendan Cullinane being yellow-carded, and a minute later Con made their numerical advantage count when Derham crossed for a try.
The full-back converted and added a penalty shortly after to leave it all square with 10 minutes remaining.
But it was Garryowen who had the final say as O'Byrne held his nerve to slot the winning penalty three minutes into injury-time. "To win like that – it doesn't get much better. It was fate," said Garryowen head coach Dermot McInerney.
Garryowen – L Bourke; S Horgan, E Connolly, J McGarry, A Healy (capt); A O'Byrne, G Ryan; P O'Shea, D Rowley, B Cullinane; R Sexton, M Melbourne; J Randles (B Sheehan 52) C Hartigan, M Hanrahan (L Hyland, 64).
Cork Constitution – B Derham; E O'Donnell, M Keyes, S Glynn, J Cruickshank; P Parfrey, P O'Leary (A Ryan 53); G Murray (M O'Mahony 29), A Cudmore, C Corkery; D O'Brien, Y Browne; B Vaughan, A White (capt), A Ross.
International Rugby Newsletter
Ref – K Imbusch (MAR)
• The death has taken place in Dublin of former Ireland full-back Paddy Berkery.
He became the first of only two players from Old Crescent to play for Ireland, gaining 11 caps for his country, and also played for many seasons with Lansdowne.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy and sons Jamie and Tony and daughter Gillian, and by his sisters Peggy and Bon and brother John. His funeral takes place tomorrow.