Tuesday 23 October 2018

Lansdowne and Con set up Bateman Cup showdown

There was no fairytale result for Division 2C leaders Sligo as Lansdowne broke clear of them in the second half to record a 34-15 Bateman Cup semi-final win in Strandhill on Saturday. Stock photo: Sportsfile
There was no fairytale result for Division 2C leaders Sligo as Lansdowne broke clear of them in the second half to record a 34-15 Bateman Cup semi-final win in Strandhill on Saturday. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Dave Mervyn

There was no fairytale result for Division 2C leaders Sligo as Lansdowne broke clear of them in the second half to record a 34-15 Bateman Cup semi-final win in Strandhill on Saturday.

Sligo led twice in an entertaining first half, Jack Keegan kicking a third-minute penalty and Mark Rooney crossed in the corner in the 20th minute.

However, a penalty try and a 36th-minute maul effort from Connacht-capped hooker Jack Dinneen had Mike Ruddock's men leading 14-8 at half-time.

After leaking a superb solo try to Lansdowne's Daniel McEvoy, Sligo hit back through Philip Carter despite losing lock Ciaran Cassidy to the sin-bin for taking a player out in the air.

A Scott Deasy penalty widened the margin to 24-15 before the visitors' strong bench helped them finish with two late unconverted tries from Charlie Butterworth and Harry Brennan.

Spirited Luke Cahill touched down twice as Cork Con overcame a spirited challenge from Division 2A outfit City of Armagh, 20-13, to move within 80 minutes of winning their sixth title in a row.

A pulsating performance from Armagh was not enough to derail Cork Con whose Cup winning streak now stands at 11 matches.

There was only a three-point gap at the break, Con needing a late catch-and-drive effort to edge back in front at 13-10. Aidan Moynihan sandwiched in two penalties, either side of a well-taken brace of tries from Armagh's Tim McNiece, and Robbie Faloon.

Con struck again when Cahill broke through the defence and raced in from 30 metres for a crucial 43rd-minute try. Moynihan added the extras.

Willie Faloon's men tried their best to close the gap but the Cork Con defence gave very little away.

Cormac Fox reduced the arrears with a penalty in the 57th minute, and although the excitement built for a grandstand finish, Con stood firm to set up another shot at Bateman Cup history.

Irish Independent

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