Highfield 6 Cork Constitution 57: Cork Constitution produced a scintillating second-half performance to sweep Highfield aside in Saturday’s Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup, first round clash at Woodleigh Park.
The holders found themselves in a battle throughout the opening half but broke clear with a hat-trick of tries within 12 minutes of the restart and the result was never in doubt thereafter. The gap in divisions was apparent in the power and pace Con produced throughout that second-half as they ran in eight tries, two of them excellent efforts from classy young scrum-half John Poland.
Highfield coach Tim Ryan was bitterly disappointed admitting: “It’s hard to play against that, Con seem to get all the players, everyone goes to them. I suppose you can see why, they’re a very good team. Fair play to them, but from our own point of view our attitude wasn’t good enough on the day.
“You’ve got to bring something special to the table when you’re playing against teams above you and try to drag them down.
“We just didn’t do that, our set piece wasn’t bad, our work rate in attack was good but the work rate in defence wasn’t up to scratch. We couldn’t manage the pace they played at and they were very clinical, that’s what killed us.
“They finished opportunities when they got them, but that’s what you would expect of a Cork Con team. I should know because I played there for a few years.
“I’m surprised they’re not doing better in the AIL. I think with a couple of more games when they’ll be getting players back they’re going to be very hard to beat, they’ll be pushing up the league and pushing to get into the top four for the rest of the season.”
Patrick O’Toole kicked two first-half penalties to allow Highfield stay barely in touch as Poland and Cathal O’Flaherty grabbed the two tries, both converted by Darragh Lyons who also kicked a penalty for a 17-6 half time lead.
Afterwards, the scores came quickly and Highfield were unable to cope.
Poland started the rout with a 42nd minute score while Liam O’Connell and Darren Sweetnam got one each with Lyons inch perfect in his kicking.
It was 38-6 after 52 minutes before Tomas Quinlan, Aaron Spring and Dan Walsh tacked on three more later, Lyons adding two conversions.
J McLaughlin, S Quaid, J Cassidy, P Stack, J Sheehan, P O’Toole, K Foyle, D O’Callaghan, C Forde, C Tuohy, M O’Donnell-Fitzgerald, F O’Sullivan, M Murphy, M O’Connell, J Cronin.
D O’Hea, D Norris, C Gallagher, M Power, C Banon, G Arthurs, K Duggan.
D Sweetnam, A Spring, R Horgan, L O’Connell, R Jermyn, D Lyons, J Poland, G Duffy, A Slattery, G Sweeney, C O’Flaherty, S O’Leary, G Lawlor, L Cahill, M Murphy.
L O’Connor, B Quinlan, B Hayes, J Ryan, D Walsh, T Quinlan, J Higgins.
S Kierans (MAR).
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