O’Byrne ensures eighth title for Garryowen

Garryowen 16 Cork Constitution 13
A close range penalty with the last kick of the game by Andrew O’Byrne earned Garryowen an eighth Munster Junior Cup at Clifford Park yesterday.

They just about merited victory over a fine Cork Constitution side that rallied well from a 13-0 half-time deficit to draw level in the 68th minute.

The outstanding player on the field was the experienced Garryowen flanker Conor Hartigan who played himself almost to a standstill and afterwards enthused: “My late dad Pat has two Junior Cup medals, uncle Sean, brother Kevin and now myself have one each so we have five medals in the family.”

Garryowen had the wind at their backs in the first-half and duly turned over 13-0 in front after a fine try by right wing Shaun Horgan and two penalties and a conversion by Andrew O’Byrne. The inevitable Constitution revival began with an early Brian Derham penalty and as they maintained the pressure, Garryowen lost prop Brendan Cullinane to the sin bin in the 58th minute. Almost immediately, Derham touched down for a splendid try that he converted himself.

Derham duly levelled the scoring on 68 minutes but O’Byrne’s penalty deep into stoppage time earned Garryowen the title.

GARRYOWEN: L Bourke; S Horgan, E Connolly, J McGarry, A Healy capt; A O’Byrne, G Ryan; P O’Shea, D Rowley, B Cullinane, R Sexton, M Melbourne, J Randles, M Hanrahan, C Hartigan. Replacements — J M Griffin, L Hyland, B Sheehan, A Griffin, D Morrissey.

CORK CONSTITUTION: B Derham; E O’Donnell, S Glynn, M Keyes, J Cruickshank; P Parfrey, P O’Leary; G Murray, A Cudmore, C Corkery, D O’Brien, Y Browne, A White capt, B Vaughan, A Ross. Replacements — M Moynihan, M O’Mahony, B Fitzgerald, D Nolan, A Ryan.

Referee: K Imbusch (Munster RA).

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