10 Dec, 11:00
Munster Rugby recently hosted a Stage 1 Coaching Workshop in Old Crescent RFC for all coaches from the club's mini section.
It was only in the final ten minutes that this Munster Junior Cup Final came to life at Clifford Park before a very small attendance in what was overall a poor contest.
Having trailed 13-0 at half time Cork Constitution’s come back was completed in the 67th minute when Con’ full back Brian Derham levelled with his second penalty.
It only seemed a matter of time before the Temple Hill side would take the lead but Garryowen dug deep and showed how their narrow victories over Young Munster and Richmond in earlier rounds proved crucial.
Derham who had scored all his side’s points made two errors when long range clearances from well within his own half went over the dead ball line and Garryowen restarted with scrums in the Con’ half.
The first scrum Garryowen won a penalty and opted for touch in the corner. Con’ were lucky to hold out as Garryowen tried to expose gaps in the Con’ defence.
Again Derham’s long clearance went dead, but again Garryowen failed to take advantage. Con worked the ball up the park and out half Pat Parfrey’s drop goal attempt sailed well wide off the target.
With the game entering injury time back came Garryowen with Roy Sexton, Mark Melbourne and David Rowley driving forward, with extra time fast approaching. Garryowen forced play just outside the Con’ 22. A series of pick and goes saw the Light Blues edge closer to the line and when out half Andrew O’Byrne’s attempt at a drop goal went wide, referee Ken Imbusch brought play back for a penalty for Garryowen just to the right of the posts and up stepped O’Byrne to kick the winning score and the final whistle sounded to the delight of the Garryowen followers.
Con’ won the toss and elected to play against the strong wind. Garryowen were dominating the forward battle up front winning several turn over ball and it was no surprise when O’Byrne put them ahead with a penalty after ten minutes.
As the game entered the second quarter Sexton won a line out for Garryowen just outside the Con’ 22 and wing forward Conor Hartigan drove forward. The ball was quickly spread out the line for winger Shaun Horgan to score in the corner and O’Byrne expertly converted from the touch line to make it 10-0.
Two minutes before half time Con’ were penalised and for back chat and the referee added another ten meters and again O’Byrne converted for a 13-0 interval lead.
On the resumption it was all Con’ as they went in search of the scores to make it back to back Cup wins. Derham opened their account with a penalty on forty seven minutes.
Constant Con’ pressure led to several penalties for the Cork side and with twenty minutes remaining, Garryowen were reduced to fourteen as the ref showed a yellow card.
Con’ continued to drive forward and a series of drives drew in the Garryowen cover and quick ball out the back line saw Derham make the extra man and he scored and converted.
Back came Con and Derham tied up the scores in the 67th minute, but Garryowen dug deep to rescue the game with that dramatic injury time penalty.
Scorers Garryowen: S Horgan try, A O’Byrne con, 3 pens.
Cork Constitution: B Derham try, con, 2 pens.
Garryowen: Lorcan Bourke; Shaun Horgan, Eamonn Connolly, James McGarry, Aaron Healy (Capt); Andrew O'Byrne, Geoff Ryan; Peter O'Shea, David Rowley, Brendan Cullinane; Roy Sexton, Mark Melbourne; John Randles, Conor Hartigan, Mark Hanrahan. Replacements: John Mark Griffin, Liam Hyland, Barry Sheehan, Alex Griffin, Diarmuid Morrissey.
Cork Constitution: Brian Derham; Eoin O'Donnell, Michael Keyes, Seamus Glynn, Jayde Cruickshank; Pat Parfrey, Philip O'Leary; Garret Murray, Andrew Cudmore, Chris Corkery; Dave O'Brien, Yasin Browne; Andy White (capt), Brian Vaughan, Alan Ross. Replacements: Michael Moynihan, Mark O'Mahony, Barry Fitzgerald, Dean Nolan, Alex Ryan.
Referee: Ken Imbusch (M.A.R.)