Bohs blast Con but find heroics all in vain

Cork Constitution 7 UL Bohemian 35

The Limerick side needed more than just a bonus point win, they needed a raft of points to overtake Shannon and avoid automatic relegation.

But their neighbours and AIL specialists turned over the already crowned champions Lansdowne by 19 points making their impressive 28-point win in Cork redundant.

Vanquished coach Colm Tucker could only find words of praise for his charges though.

“We were dead and buried with three games to go but went out and gave it a right lash [beating Young Munster, St Mary’s and Con],” he said.

Unfortunately for us, Shannon did the business in Limerick against Lansdowne and that put it outside our control.

A week out from the Bateman Cup final against St Mary’s College, Constitution will be bitterly disappointed with their performance. Out half Ben Martin provided the first half inspiration to put his side 13-0 in front at the break.

Con skipper Gerry Hurley admitted: “It was a pretty awful result. We came out to put in a good performance but Bohs were hungrier and it showed in every facet of the game.

“All the 50-50 stuff went their way but that was probably because they wanted it more.

“Maybe we took our eyes off the ball with next week coming but that’s no excuse.”

The visitors’ second-half display had more involvement from the team as a whole. Martin added an early penalty but highly-impressive back row Conor Kindregan charged in for two tries as his pack assumed control. Martin converted one of them and veteran Mossie Lawlor sailed over for the bonus point try which Martin also converted to push the lead out to 35 points, a total which graphically highlighted Constitution’s defensive troubles this season.

The Cork side, although finishing fourth, finished with the worst defensive record and on Saturday weren’t much better in creating scoring opportunities. They had to be satisfied with an injury-time try from Andy O’Driscoll, converted by Johnny Holland.

Nevertheless, they’re in a happier position than Bohs, although Tucker believes there’s enough talent in his squad to make a quick return to the top flight.

“There’s massive talent in that room, a lot of youth there and it’s an exciting team; the boys will stick together. If we can build on what we did in the last three games and the kind of rugby we played then I don’t think there will be any fear going forward.”

CORK CONSTITUTION: D Lyons, R Clune, N O’Driscoll, A Ryan, C Healy, J Holland, G Hurley (capt), B Cagney, A Cudmore, C Corkery, D O’Brien, B Hayes, G Lawlor, P O’Flaherty, J Ryan.

Replacements: J Rochford, A O’Driscoll, A White, P Parfrey, C Desmond.

UL BOHEMIAN: D Johnson, R White, M Lawler, N Kenneally, F Aherne, B Martin, T Rafferty, K Flanagan, S Henry, G Flanagan, E Kelly (capt), D Frawley, C Kindregan, S Rennisson, J O’Donoghue.

Replacements: A Ryan, E Rossiter, M Abrahams, K McManus, D Moroney.

Referee: K Barry (MAR).

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