Cork Constitution 32 Old Belvedere 0: Johnny Holland put a year of pain and uncertainty behind him when helping Constitution to a comprehensive Ulster Bank League victory over Old Belvedere at Temple Hill on Saturday.
Munster panellist Holland, who has endured a miserable run of serious hamstring and tendonitis injuries, impressed with an accomplished display and contributed ten points.
“I’m happy to have got through the game,” he smiled, “but when you get an armchair ride like that from the forwards it makes the day much easier, particularly in conditions like that.”
Despite those conditions Holland kicked well, landing two penalties and two conversions. Con picked up a bonus point victory with four tries, two of them from the excellent Ned Hodson in the centre and one each from skipper James Ryan and Luke Cahill with sub Darragh Lyons completing the total with a conversion.
Con head coach Brian Hickey was happy with a win that propelled his side up the table into fourth position a week in advance of their Bateman Cup semi final with UCD.
“We kept going and going and even our guys coming off the bench helped step it up a notch. You can give players all the diet, all the fitness, conditioning and theory but actually being able to manage a game in those conditions is crucial, and it’s time on the pitch that is the single most important thing.”
Meanwhile free scoring University College Dublin defeated Garryowen at Belfield (45-19) to cement their place at the top of the Ulster Bank League table.
The win gives them a buffer of seven points over second placed Clontarf, who narrowly lost out to Dublin rivals Lansdowne for whom Scott Deasy hit 14 points in a 19-18 win.
South African scrum-half Abrie Griesel grabbed the only try of a closely-fought encounter as Young Munster beat struggling Terenure 14-6: the result moves David Corkery’s charges back up to fifth in the table — just a point behind third-placed Garryowen with a game in hand.
Dolphin lost out at home in Division 1B to Munster rivals Shannon for whom David O’Donovan was making a remarkable 200th All Ireland League appearance.
Shannon helped him celebrate by winning 13-3 with a Greg O’Shea try proving crucial for Marcus Horan’s side. Elsewhere, UCC had a comprehensive win over Corinthians (44-3) at the Mardyke in Division 2A while City of Derry continue their good run in Division 2B when defeating Seapoint 29-0 with Highfield and Sundays Well in second and third, respectively.
In Division 2C, Old Crescent continue to set the pace after a huge home win over bottom club Dundalk (52-5).
CORK CONSTITUTION: D Sweetnam, S Daly, N Hodson, N Kenneally, R Jermyn, J Holland, J Poland, G Duffy, M Abbott, G Sweeney, C Kindregan, B Hayes, L Cahill, J Murphy, J Ryan.
Rolling replacements. L O’Connor, R Burke, C O’Flaherty, R Foley, D Lyons.
OLD BELVEDERE: D Riordan, R O’Loughlin, J Kennedy, P Robb, P O’Dwyer, S Crosbie, C Rock, A Howard, E Rossiter, D Lavery, C Owende, J Kelly, M Oyuga, K O’Gorman, J Slattery.
Rolling replacements. C O’Flynn, J Mcwilliams-Grey, M Ludwig, A Wynne, A Sheehan.
Referee. M Patton (IRFU).
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