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Victories for Cork Constitution and Garryowen in AIL

17th March 2009 By Munster Rugby

Victories for Cork Constitution and Garryowen in AIL

Cork Constitution have extended their lead at the top of the table in the AIB All Ireland League and Garryowen move ahead of Shannon into second place three points behind the leaders.

Cork Constitution 16, Shannon 9.
A blistering start to this top of the table clash saw Constitution race into a thirteen point lead after eleven minutes.
International referee Alan Lewis had no hesitation in awarding the home side a penalty try after ten seconds and a conversion by Jeremy Manning made it 7-0. Manning added two penalties after nine and eleven minutes to extend Constitution’s lead.

Con’ were willing to run at every opportunity with centers Tom Gleeson and Evan Ryan causing a lot of problems for the Limerick side.

Tadgh Bennett opened Shannon’s account with a penalty but a third successful penalty by Manning maintained the home side’s thirteen point advantage at half time.

Shannon’s pack took control in the second half and rarely did the home side get outside their own half.
Bennett reduced the deficit with a penalty early in the second half. Breaks by Donnacha Ryan and Stephen Kelly came very close to getting a try for the visitors and Padraig O’Brien looked to have the line at his mercy after collecting the ball following a delightful chip by Bennett, but was pulled back for being ahead of the kicker.

A drop goal attempt by Bennett fourteen minutes from time never got airborne and it was left to David O’Donovan to kick a penalty on seventy minutes to leave just seven points between the sides.

Shannon laid siege to the Con’ line and despite six minutes of injury time a gallant Con’ defence put in the big hits to keep their line in tact.

Scorers: Cork Constitution: Penalty try, J Manning 3 pens, 1 con.
Shannon: T Bennett 2 pens, D O’Donovan pen.

Cork Constitution: D Lyons; C Healy, T Gleeson, E Ryan, S Zebo; J Manning, D Williams; D Hurley, D Fogarty, T Ryan; M O’Connell, D Kelly; F Cogan, E Leamy, B Holland.
Replacements: A O’Brien for Manning 62, J Maloney for Kelly 64, B Cutriss for Cogan 77.
Shannon:D O’Donovan: R Mullane, J Clogan, F McLoughlin, S Kelly; T Bennett, F O’Loughlin; K O’Neill, M Essex, K Griffin; P O’Brien, F Walsh; D Ryan, N Ronan, D Quinlan.
Replacements: E Grace for McLoughlin 49, L Hogan for O’Neill, J O’Connor for O’Loughlin both 66.
Referee: A Lewis (IRFU)

St Mary’s College 8, Garryowen 9.
Garryowen earned a vital victory in their bid for All Ireland League glory, with full-back Conor Kilroy proving the hero with his three successful penalty attempts proving enough for the win. This win moves Garryowen up to second place in the table and leaves them three points behind leaders Cork Constitution.

All of Kilroy’s scores came in a very even first half. The Garryowen pack were working hard and managed to earn the penalties at the break-down. None of the kicks were easy, but Kilroy was supremely confident and bisected the posts on each occasion.

In contrast, his opposite number Barry Lynn wasn’t in the best of form with the boot missing a total of eleven kicks. He did manage to kick one over before the break leaving his side trail 9-3.

Mary’s came back strongly at the start of the second half with Darragh Fanning proving a very dangerous proposition for the Light Blues defenders to deal with. He set up a try within the first three minutes of the second half with Mark Sexton getting the try.

The Limerick side regrouped and their pack continued to work hard with Mike Sherry, Neville Melbourne and Conor Hartigan among the star performers. Sherry in particular had a very busy day, always looking to carry the ball forward and also hungry to make tackles.

Gerry Hurley was marshalling affairs from scrum-half and also helped his side win the kicking duel that transpired in the second half, with full-back Kilroy also having a big say at this stage of the game.

Garryowen hung onto their lead for large periods of the second half but could have extended their advantage in the closing minutes with a series of floating passes by Willie Staunton opening up the Mary’s defence, but the final pass all too often couldn’t find it’s man.

In the end the visitors had to see out some very nervous moments as Mary’s did their best to line up a drop-goal in injury time but a knock-on around the fringes saw David Wilkinson blow his final whistle, much to the relief of the Garryowen players.
Scorers: St Mary’s: M Sexton try, B Lynn pen
Garryowen: C Kilroy 3 pens,

St Mary’s: B Lynn; C Donohoe, P Brophy (c), M Sexton, D Fanning; S McCarthy, C McPhillips; R Murphy, Richard Sweeney, Robert Sweeney; G Logan, R Copeland; P Nash, H Hogan, K Sheahan.
Replacements: K Carroll for Robert Sweeney 75.

Garryowen: C Kilroy; L Bourke, K Lewis,, C Doyle (c), D McCarthy; W Staunton, G Hurley; R Brosnan, M Sherry, R Laffan; E Mackey, F McKenna; N Melbourne, C Hartigan, D Sherry.
Replacements: K Hartigan for Lewis 54, B McNamara for Laffan 77, D Mulcaire for Melbourne 80+1.

Referee: D Wilkinson (U.S.R.F.R.)

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