Bowen hat-trick helps Cork Constitution beat Lansdowne

Clontarf move two points clear of Con at top of table with win over Young Munster

Matthew Bowen, nephew of former Munster and Irish winger Jimmy Bowen, was at it again on the Aviva back pitch on Saturday when scoring his second hat-trick in successive games to help Cork Constitution to a valuable 26-20 win over Lansdowne.

Con’s excellent defence was the bedrock of their sixth win in a row as Lansdowne failed to translate their possession and territory in the opening half-hour into points. Con’s maul then rumbled upfield and the ensuing multiphase attack, featuring a snipe by impressive scrum-half Adam Maher, ended with Rob Hedderman’s long pass giving Bowen a classic winger’s finish in the 35th minute. Bowen crashed over from close range for his second before twisting over off another maul in twice responding to tries by Lansdowne’s ever-dangerous centre Andy Marks, whose break also led to Jack Cooke’s try.

Hedderman’s 50m penalty with the last kick of the game drifted wide, meaning Lansdowne maintained their record of picking up at least a bonus point in every game this season and retained their seven-point lead in fourth place over Ballynahinch, whom they next face away.

Clontarf moved two points clear of Con at the top of the table with their five-try 31-12 win over Young Munster at Castle Avenue, courtesy of forwards Ben Griffin, Josh Murphy and Tony Ryan, long-serving centre Matt D’Arcy and outhalf Conor Kelly.


Every other 1A match was a one-score game as Terenure were hard-pressed to subdue UCD 19-12 at Lakelands Park, where Jordan Coughlan powered over for two tries in their ninth win in a row. The champions, on 56 points, are away to Con in three weeks’ time when the league resumes with a three-game run-in.

Trinity, in 10th, gave themselves a lifeline with an overdue second win of the season by 31-26, and with a bonus point, in an entertaining relegation battle with City of Armagh at College Park which benefitted from the refereeing of George Clancy.

But a late try by fullback Shea O’Brien earned Armagh two bonus points, thus keeping them five ahead of Trinity, as are Shannon after their 20-14 win at home to Ballynahinch.

In 1B, Old Wesley and Old Belvedere strengthened their hold on promotion play-off places with 21-10 and 32-26 home wins over Garryowen and Buccaneers. Nenagh Ormond took a step closer to topping 2A with a 24-3 home win over Old Crescent, while in 2B Sligo ended Instonians’ record 32-match winning run with a 25-24 victory at Hamilton Park which also ensured them of a place in the promotion play-offs.

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times