Cork Con scored a last-gasp try to beat rivals UCC 18-20 last night at the Mardyke in the second round of the All-Ireland League.
While UCC looked set to cause an upset, Cork Con centre Greg Higgins scored late in the corner to give Con their second win from two games in the competition.
Con started the derby on the front foot, and after kicking to the corner, a well executed lineout was mauled over the line by hooker Vincent O’Brien to make the scores 5-0 after 10 minutes.
UCC hit right back getting the upper hand in a scrummaging battle, and College outhalf James Taylor slotted a penalty making the scores 5-3 after 15 minutes.
Cork Con then increased their lead on the 20th minute when a collapsed scrum gave the side a penalty, which outhalf Aidan O’Mahony converted, to give Con an 8-3 lead after 20 minutes.
Despite UCC pressure, Cork Con marched up to the other end of the pitch to score a try on the half-time whistle. The fine break by talisman O’Mahony was met by his support runner Jason Higgins to make the scores 15-3 in Cork Con’s favour at the break.
UCC began the second half in positive fashion, and Taylor again kicked a penalty to reduce the gap to 15-6 five minutes into the second half.
UCC capitalised on the second half pressure, and when scrum half John Poland cleverly went down the blind side from a scrum, he offloaded to winger Murray Linn to run over in the corner for UCC’S first try of the game, as the Students closed the gap. to 15-11.
Substitute Michael Clune then ran over UCC’s second try in five minutes after pouncing on a loose ball, and Taylor converted to give UCC a 18-15 lead after 52 minutes.
UCC looked in control, but the introduction of Con scrum half Gary Bradley reinvigorated his side, and after patient build up, Con spread the ball to Higgins who ran into the corner for a dramatic victory.
Cork Con: L O’Connell; JJ O’Neill; G Higgins (J Costigan); N Kenneally; R Jermyn; D Moynihan; J Higgins (G Bradley); G Duffy (Patrick Casey); V O’Brien; D Murphy; C O’Flaherty; J McSwiney; E Mintern (Brendan Quinlan); R O’Neill; L Cahill.
UCC: R Walsh (M Clune); A O’Connor; C Bohane; P Sylvetser; Murray Linn; J Taylor; J Poland; B O’Connor; P McCarthy T Coomey; D Fitzgerald; A Davies; M Bissessar; D Moloney; L McSherry; D Feeney (B O’Mahony).