Cork Con keep Bateman Cup on Leeside

Con secure third successive Bateman Cup as Clontarf beaten in final at Temple Hill

Clontarf’s Sam Cronin gets his pass away at Temple Hill. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Clontarf’s Sam Cronin gets his pass away at Temple Hill. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Cork Constitution 24 Clontarf 9

Cork Constitution’s enviable cup pedigree shone through once again as they won the Ulster Bank Bateman Cup for the third successive year with a 24-9 victory over Clontarf.

Darren Sweetnam’s late breakaway try capped off a superb afternoon’s work from the defending champions as they gave departing head coach Tom Tierney a winning send-off at Temple Hill.

Three David Joyce penalties, in response to converted tries from Con back rowers Luke Cahill and James Ryan, kept Clontarf in touch at the break, trailing 14-9.

But with a strong wind behind them, Tierney’s men saw out the result thanks to a Darragh Lyons drop goal and Sweetnam’s 74th-minute touchdown. They were also helped by a tremendous individual performance from man-of-the-match Graeme Lawler, who excelled throughout in the forward exchanges.

The winning margin was surprising given that Constitution had lost their last four Ulster Bank League games and Clontarf are through to next weekend’s play-offs. However, with persistent lineout issues and a frustrating amount of turnovers, things never really clicked for ‘Tarf this afternoon.

Cork Con’s season may be over before they would have wanted it to be, but they break up for the summer with the Bateman Cup safely retained. Today’s success saw them become only the second club in the competition’s history to complete a three-in-a-row of title wins - Lansdowne were first to achieve the feat back in 1929-1931.

Cork Constitution: Darren Sweetnam; Ned Hodson, JJ O’Neill, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Darragh Lyons, Gerry Hurley (capt); Gavin Duffy, Max Abbott, Ger Sweeney; Cathal O’Flaherty, Graeme Lawler; Luke Cahill, James Murphy, James Ryan. Replacements: Sonny Dwyer for Murphy (18 mins), Tomas Quinlan for Jermyn (57), Aidan Slattery for Duffy (60), Liam O’Connor for Sweeney (62), Jermyn for Lyons (67), Rory Horgan for Jermyn, Alan Ross for O’Flaherty, Andrew Dorgan for Hurley (all 75).

Clontarf: Rob Keogh; Michael Brown, Colm O’Shea, Matt D’Arcy, Max McFarland; David Joyce, Sam Cronin (capt); Ian Hirst, Bryan Byrne, Royce Burke Flynn; Tom Byrne, Ben Reilly; Karl Moran, Adrian D’Arcy, Anthony Ryan. Replacements: Liam Og Murphy for Moran (13-18 mins), Ivan Soroka for Hirst (30), Dermot O’Meara for Cronin, Conor O’Brien for Brown (both half-time), Brown for Keogh, Conor O’Keeffe for T Byrne, Evan Ryan for O’Shea (all 67), Hirst for Burke Flynn (71), Rory Litchfield for A Ryan (79).

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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