Cork Con battle to victory over misfiring Clontarf
Cork Con 13 Clontarf 10
Cork Constitution got themselves back in the hunt for a top-four finish in this Ulster Bank League Division 1A encounter at Temple Hill.
For defending champions Clontarf this was a third successive defeat, but they were so close to pulling off a victory after Royce Burke Flynn put them ahead with a try after 63 minutes. David Joyce added the extras to put the visitors 10-6 in front.
Con, who had dominated the battle up front and playing into the driving rain, had Clontarf pinned back in their own 22 for the final quarter. With Cathal O'Flaherty, Luke Cahill and James Murphy in the thick of the action for Con, they were forcing Clontarf to concede penalties. Each time Con opted for touch and despite several pick and goes at the Clontarf line, the visitors' defence continued to hold firm.
Eventually referee Mark Connolly lost his patience and following a warning Clontarf's Cian Culleton was shown a yellow card with five minutes remaining.
With the extra man advantage, Con continued to batter the Clontarf line and a minute from time following a five meter line-out won by Cahill, James Murphy managed to get in for the try which Tomas Quinlan converted to secure the points.
Little was seen of Clontarf as an attacking force early on but when centre Matthew Darcy did get ball in hand he troubled the home defence with some strong running out of defence. Joyce hit Clontarf's opening score with a penalty on the stroke of half-time for a 6-3 lead for Con.
Clontarf failed to take advantage of a torrential shower that lasted for 20 minutes at the start of the second half and it was only some excellent kicking by Sam Cronin kept Con at bay until they finally hit the front.
Scorers - Cork Con: J Murphy try, D Lyons 2 pens, T Quinlan con; Clontarf: R Burke-Flynn try, D Joyce pen, con
Cork Constitution: D Lyons; D Sweetnam, I Dineen, N Hodson, L Duffy; T Quinlan, G Hurley (capt); G Duffy, M Abbott, C Corkery, C O'Flaherty, D O'Brien, J Murphy, J Ryan, L Cahill. Replacements: A O'Driscoll, A Slattery, A Ross, S Dwyer, R Jermyn.
Clontarf: A Robles; R McGrath, M Brown, M Darcy, J Hawkshaw; D Joyce, S Cronin (capt); I Hirst, T Considine, R Burke-Flynn; T Byrne, C O'Keeffe, L Óg Murphy, A Darcy, T Ryan. Replacements: C Culleton, K Moran, I Soroka, R Dillon, D Hanratty.
Referee: M Connolly (IRFU)
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