Sunday 20 January 2019

Deasy leads Lansdowne to Bateman glory

Cork Constitution 12 Lansdowne 32

The rules are designed to increase the pace of the game
The rules are designed to increase the pace of the game Sportsdesk

Bateman Cup final man-of-the-match Scott Deasy says Lansdowne's 'play what you see' approach is a key reason why they are challenging for a prized Ulster Bank League and Cup double this season.

Deasy got one over on his former club Cork Constitution as his Lansdowne side dethroned the five-time winners at Temple Hill. It was Lansdowne's first time to lift the venerable trophy since 1931.

Although he struggled from the tee, Deasy's tactical control of the game was crucial and it will be needed again next Saturday when Mike Ruddock's men host Garryowen in a Division 1A semi-final on the Aviva Stadium's main pitch.

"Quite surprised I got man of the match," admitted the former Munster out-half after Saturday's cup success. "I thought some of our pack members and back-three were absolutely fantastic today, they bailed me out when I didn't bring the kicking boots. So, just delighted to get the win.

"We've been allowed by the coaches (Mike and Mark McHugh) to make our decisions on the field, so there's no prescription and there's no set plays. It's more about 'play what you see', and I thought the lads executed fantastically."

Deasy closed out the first half with a penalty which gave the Dubliners an 8-5 lead at the break, the sides trading well-taken tries from Liam O'Connell (19 minutes) and Alan Bennie (28).

Lansdowne tellingly strung together three unanswered tries up to the hour mark, second-row Josh O'Rourke muscling over, Adam Leavy scoring from a favourable bounce, and then centre Mark O'Keeffe ran in an intercept score that had Con 20 points behind.

The Leesiders rallied with a 70th-minute converted try from Munster lock Darren O'Shea who was sprung from the bench, but fleet-footed winger Leavy - brother of Leinster and Ireland star Dan Leavy - turned provider to send Corkman Eamonn Mills over for Lansdowne's fifth try and the icing on the cake.

Meanwhile, a new name will grace Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League next season after Banbridge and UCC came through two high-scoring play-off semi-finals. Bann will have home advantage in next Saturday's promotion decider.

UL Bohemians have been relegated just a year on from almost qualifying for the top flight after losing 23-18 to a tenacious Nenagh Ormond side.

CORK CONSTITUTION - S Daly (J Higgins 76); L O'Connell, A McHenry, N Kenneally (capt), R Jermyn (JJ O'Neill 61); T Quinlan, G Hurley; G Duffy, V O'Brien (D Abbott 79), G Sweeney (P Casey 76), C Kindregan (B Hayes 60), B Hayes (D O'Shea h-t), J McSwiney (R O'Neill 73), R O'Neill (E Mintern 31), L Cahill.

LANSDOWNE - E Mills; F Horan, H Brennan (I Fitzpatrick 50), M O'Keeffe, A Leavy; S Deasy (capt) (C McMickan 79), A Bennie (G Molloy 79); M Mulhall (N Mpiko 76), T Moran (J Rael 76), G McGrath (A Boland 76), J O'Rourke, J Dwan, J O'Sullivan, A Conneely (B Fitzpatrick 76), W Earle.

Ref - G Clancy (IRFU)

Irish Independent

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