Cork Constitution 27 Dolphin 14
Cork Constitution completed a three in a row and captured their 36th Cork Charity Cup final under lights at Temple Hill on Friday night against a spirited Dolphin side. Despite concerted attacks from Dolphin in the first half, Constitution s defence was well organised, preventing Dolphin from capitalising on early possession. Some key changes in the second half gave the home side the edge, holding off a determined Dolphin for the victory, 101 years after they won the very first Cork Charity Cup final.
With a frenetic opening quarter and both sides attempting to exert control, it was Dolphin who got the better start, setting up some creative early attacks. Just six minutes into the game a drop goal attempt from Dolphin out half Barry Keeshan failed to hit its mark but indicated early intent from the visitors. Dolphin dominated the first half, keeping play well within the Constitution half, with some excellent runs from winger Shane O Halloran in particular, but a stout Cork Constitution defence and handling errors prevented them from converting their chances. Constitution s Neil Whitworth missed an attempt at goal after 13 minutes after a penalty was awarded, with Keeshan missing a penalty for Dolphin on 23 minutes. The breakdown was keenly contested by both sides, with handling errors and offside offences resulting in a fractured game. Despite having the bulk of possession and creating more chances it was 25 minutes before Dolphin were able to put points on the board, when a chip ahead by winger Ed Mills was collected by centre Mike Kingsbeer who went over for a try. With the conversion attempt missed, Dolphin led by just 5 points. As Constitution started to exert more control over the game the grounds were plunged into darkness as the floodlighting in the grounds failed. Play resumed approximately 10 minutes later, and the break appeared to have little effect on the two teams. Constitution captain Frank Cogan led by example, rallying a very physical pack and leading from the front to raise the intensity of the game. The opposing captain James Coughlan proved an inspirational figure for his side with Dolphin second row Dave Harty put on a tremendous performance in the line out and was a dynamic figure all over the pitch. Dolphin continued to push for the line and their efforts saw them come close within minutes of the restart when they were held up on the line, however Barry Keeshan converted a penalty close on the half hour mark to stretch Dolphin s lead to 8-0. As half time loomed penetrating kicks to the corners by Darragh Lyons kept Dolphin on the back foot. Just at the half time mark a rolling maul took Constitution within inches of the line, with the ball quickly fed out to Lyons, who successfully kicked a drop goal, leaving the score 3-8 to Dolphin at the break.
At half time changes on the Constitution team included the introduction of the seasoned Shane O Connor and Frank Murphy which had an immediate effect. Constitution upped the pace of the game and reduced the deficit with a Darragh Lyons penalty kick after just 5 minutes of play. Keeshan replied with a penalty conversion of his own a minute later after Constitution were penalised for holding on. However, successive penalties brought Constitution deep within the Dolphin half. Winning the next line out, the Constitution pack made some excellent yards before Murphy fed to centre Andrew O Brien. O Brien s sniping run allowed him in under posts for a try which Lyons converted to put Constitution two points ahead on a 13-11 margin. Dolphin continued to threaten however, and one of their best opportunities to score came 18 minutes into the half after they were awarded a scrum 5 metres out; however a knock on close to line proved a lost opportunity for the visitors. Replacement hooker Denis Fogarty made a big impact for the home side when he was introduced as the Constitution pack continued to pile on the pressure. Constitution were awarded a penalty try 25 minutes into the second half after Dolphin were penalised for collapsing a scrum 5 metres from their line. Lyons converted to put Constitution 20-11 ahead. Dolphin however continued to force Constitution to defend and were camped on the Constitution line for 10 minutes at the half hour mark. With the clock ticking down, another Keeshan penalty on 36 minutes reduced the deficit to 20-14; however, a Shane O Connor try for Constitution converted by Lyons at the full time consolidated the win. The final score was Cork Constitution 27 Dolphin 14, with the title remaining at Temple Hill for another year.
CORK CHARITY CUP ORIGINS
This money raised for this year s Cork Charity Cup will go towards the Chernobyl Children s Find, keeping up a 101 year old tradition of contributing to local charity. The Cork Charity Cup was first played in 1905/6, with Cork Constitution winning the very first title. The competition was introduced for the Senior clubs of the city as a means of contributing funds to both the North and South Infirmary hospitals, who saw their fair share of rugby injuries during the season, and a donation was made to each alleviate costs. The Cork Charity Cup was donated in 1907 by Lt. C. E. Walker, a member of Cork County Football Club, and the original Cup is still used in the competition. The competition has run every year since the 1905/6 season, with the exception of five years around the time of World War One.
CORK CHARITY CUP WINS
Cork Constitution- 35 titles
UCC- 24 titles
Dolphin- 19 titles
Sunday s Well- 12 titles
Midleton- 2 titles
Highfield- 2 titles
Cork County- 1 title
Referee D. McCormack (MAR)
15. Darragh O Mahony, 14. Shane O Halloran, 13. Mike Kingsbeer, 12. Colin Healy, 11. Ed Mills, 10. Barry Keeshan, 9. Jack Purcell, 1. Fergus Gately, 2. Kieran Murray, 3. Richie McKinnie, 4. Rory McGrath, 5. Dave Harty, 6. George Finn, 7. Derek O Riordan, 8. James Coughlan (Captain)
Subs: Garry O Keeffe for Ed Mills, Dave Pomeroy for Derek O Riordan, John O Sullivan for Richie McKinnie
Cork Constitution Team:
15. Diarmuid O Riordan, 14. Richard Lane, 13. Andrew O Brien, 12. Conrad O Sullivan, 11. Cronan Healy, 10. Neil Whitworth, 9. Harry Casey, 1. Tom Ryan, 2. Des Murray, 3. Mike Ross, 4. Bodo Sieber, 5. John Moloney, 6. Merle O Connell, 7. Brendan Cuttriss, 8. Frank Cogan (Captain)
Subs: Darragh Lyons for Neil Whitworth, Shane O Connor for Bodo Sieber, Frank Murphy for Harry Casey, Denis Fogarty for Des Murray, Landy Hill for Merle O Connell