Lansdowne 24 Cork Constitution 10: Scott Deasy came back to scupper his former club on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch yesterday as Lansdowne earned a 24-10 win over Ulster Bank League champions Cork Constitution.
The experienced out-half was a Con player up until his departure from Munster in 2013, and his 19-point haul proved decisive for Mike Ruddock’s charges as they stayed within two points of leaders Terenure College at the top of the Division 1A table.
Deasy broke the deadlock with a successful fifth-minute penalty from 35 metres out, and he doubled his side’s lead with another three-pointer at the end of the first quarter.
However, Con opened their account in spectacular style on 21 minutes. Skipper Niall Kenneally and full-back Shane Daly, who was back from Ireland Sevens duty, helped spread the ball out wide to winger Ned Hodson who used a burst of pace to cross the whitewash for an unconverted try. Now only a point behind, Con had to defend closing in on half-time and Lansdowne duly made the pressure count.
After he picked up possession on the left, Lansdowne centre Fergal Cleary drove over the line in clinical fashion. Deasy’s conversion was wide of the mark, but with Con hooker Kevin O’Byrne joined by his team-mate Graeme Lawler in the sin-bin, Deasy’s late penalty handed the headquarters club a 14-5 lead.
Although Lansdowne dominated possession for the majority of the third quarter, the visitors managed to hold firm under severe pressure. Indeed, after Con out-half Tomas Quinlan opted for touch just past the hour, O’Byrne brilliantly spun away from a lineout maul to crash over in the right corner. Quinlan was narrowly with his conversion attempt.
Nonetheless, following some hesitancy by the Con defence 12 minutes from time, Deasy added his fourth penalty from close range. This opened up a seven-point advantage before a Deasy try in the 77th minute ensured that Lansdowne maintained their unbeaten start to the new league campaign. Brian Hickey’s men, who had won on their two most recent visits to the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch, did push for a losing bonus point in the closing stages, but they were unable to deliver and their second defeat has dropped them down to fifth place.
Meanwhile, backs coach James Downey was back in the blue and red of Clontarf as they returned to winning ways in Division 1A with a 26-6 bonus point victory at home to Buccaneers on Saturday. Leinster hooker Bryan Byrne was one of ’Tarf’s four try scorers as they bounced back from their 51-17 thrashing by Garryowen last week
Two-try out-half Mark O’Neill was the scoring star for table toppers Terenure College during their 27-20 win over Garryowen at Lakelands while Dublin University erased an early 14-point deficit to brilliantly claim the scalp of Young Munster (21-17) at Tom Clifford Park for a second year in a row.
n Recent Munster signing Ciaran Parker was among seven different try scorers for Division 1B leaders Shannon as they hammered Dolphin 52-0 on Thomond Park’s back pitch. Tom Hayes’ in-form side amassed 52 points during the closing hour of the game, with former Nenagh Ormond winger Eathon Moloney touching down twice.
Ulster prospect Johnny McPhillips converted four tries and kicked two penalties in Ballynahinch’s 34-17 dismissal of UL Bohemians, while James Taylor was the toast of UCC after his brace of penalties saw the students overcome Naas 13-5 at Forenaughts.
Scorers for Lansdowne:
Tries: Fergal Cleary, Scott Deasy; Con: Scott Deasy; Pen: Scott Deasy 4
Scorers for Cork Constitution:
Tries: Ned Hodson, Kevin O’Byrne HT: Lansdowne 14 Cork Constitution 5
Eamonn Mills; Daniel McEvoy, Ian Fitzpatrick, Fergal Cleary, Foster Horan; Scott Deasy, Alan Bennie; Peter Dooley, Tyrone Moran, Ian Prendiville (capt), Oisín Dowling, Josh O’Rourke, Jack Dwan, Charlie Butterworth, Willie Earle.
Jack O’Sullivan for Dowling (29 mins), Charlie Rock for Bennie (58), Ntinga Mpiko for Dooley (61), Harry Brennan for Fitzpatrick, Dooley for Prendiville (80+1).
Shane Daly; Liam O’Connell, Alex McHenry, Niall Kenneally (capt), Ned Hodson; Tomas Quinlan, Jason Higgins; Brendan Quinlan, Kevin O’Byrne, Ger Sweeney, Brian Hayes, Conor Kindregan, Evan Mintern, Graeme Lawler, Luke Cahill.
Gavin Duffy for Sweeney (38 mins), Rob Jermyn for Hodson (half-time), Vincent O’Brien for Mintern (44), Sean Duffy for O’Brien (51), Mintern for S Duffy (68), O’Brien for O’Byrne, A Moynihan for Higgins (both 78).
Mark Patton (IRFU)
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