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Man-of-the-match display from Lyons helps Con to Bateman Cup victory

Gerry Hurley was assured with the boot as UCD were beaten at Temple Hill.

Cork Con celebrate their Bateman Cup success.
Cork Con celebrate their Bateman Cup success.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

CORK CONSTITUTION RETAINED their Ulster Bank Bateman Cup after managing the wet conditions expertly in a 19-6 final victory over UCD at Temple Hill.

Head coach Tom Mulcahy admitted afterwards that he had asked his side to play “Jack Charlton put ‘em under pressure rugby,” which he pointed out as being crucial in the lead-up to man of the match Darragh Lyons’ try.

The fullback intelligently grubbered in behind the UCD defence in the first half, racing onto his own kick and nudging it into the in-goal area, before falling on the ball for what proved to be the only try of the game.

Scrum-half Gerry Hurley converted that score to give Con a 7-3 lead, following swiftly after out-half James Thornton had fired over a 24th-minute penalty to allow UCD to get on the score board first.

A yellow card for hooker Andrew O’Driscoll didn’t help Mulcahy’s men thereafter, and resulted in the 31st-minute penalty from Thornton to make it 7-6. However, a Hurley penalty saw Con take a 10-6 lead into the interval.

Led powerfully by Willie Ryan [who will join Rotherham in the English Championship next season], the Cork side’s pack began to show their strength after the half-time break, although Lyons was wide with a drop goal effort in the 44th minute.

Conor Desmond and Willie Ryan tackle Jamie Glynn Conor Desmond and Willie Ryan halt UCD's promising scrum-half Jamie Glynn. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Hurley, who remains involved with the Munster set-up, missed with a 48th-minute penalty effort, but made amends shortly after with a clinical strike from the tee. Thornton was wide of the mark in the 61st minute, and that miss was punished when Hurley slotted his own penalty seven minutes later.

The experienced, clever halfback finished the scoring in the final minutes with another successful penalty, following a late hit on Eoin O’Donnell after the wing made a searing break.

Bobby Byrne’s UCD played their part in an enjoyable clash at Temple Hill, but in the likes of Hurley, Lyons and powerful centre Niall Kenneally, Con had the stronger performers and deserved their victory.

Cork Con scorers:

Try: D Lyons

Conversion: G Hurley

Penalties: G Hurley [4]

UCD scorers:

Penalties: J Thornton [2]

CORK CON: Darragh Lyons; Eoin O’Donnell, Michael Keyes, Niall Kenneally, Conor Desmond; Johnny Holland, Gerry Hurley (capt.); Gavin Duffy, Andrew O’Driscoll, Ger Sweeney; Billy Holland, Joe McSwiney; Graeme Lawler, William Ryan, James Ryan.

Replacements: Max Abbott, Chris Corkery, Cathal O’Flaherty, Luke Cahill, Ryan Foley, Chris Quinn, Alex Ryan.

UCD: Andrew Boyle; Sam Coghlan Murray, Alex Kelly, Stephen Murphy, Barry Daly; James Thornton, Jamie Glynn; James Tracy, Risteard Byrne, Kieran Moloney; Shane Grannell (capt.), Emmet MacMahon; Josh van der Flier, Mark McGroarty, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Liam Hyland, Adam Clarkin, Rory Harrison, Brian Cawley, Shane O’Meara, Niall Earls, Tom Fletcher.

Referee: Nigel Correll [IRFU].

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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