GARRYOWEN’S bid to regain the AIL title is threatening to unravel after losing 21-18 to Cork Con on Saturday afternoon.
Second-placed Garryowen slipped seven points behind leaders Lansdowne in the Division 1A table after shipping a narrow 21-18 home defeat to title-contending Cork Constitution at Dooradoyle on Saturday.
Seven penalty goals from the boot of Cork Con’ out-half Johnny Holland settled the tie in the visitors favour.
The result cranks the pressure up on the young Garryowen side, who face a crucial away clash with pacesetters Lansdowne on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch on Saturday, February 16.
A losing bonus point was all Tom Tierney’s ‘light blues’ had to show their efforts, a disappointing return given the try-scoring chances that they spurned. The visitors led 15-13 at the interval thanks to five penalties from young out-half Holland.
A terrific run and offload from Ronan O’Mahony set up centre Conan Doyle for the lone try of the first half. Connacht’s Matthew Jarvis converted it and kicked two penalties. Elusive full-back O’Mahony nabbed a second Garryowen try, with winger Lorcan Bourke involved in the build-up, but Holland’s seventh successful penalty after 68 minutes gave Con the points.
SCORERS – Garryowen: Conan Doyle. Ronan O’Mahony try each, Matt Jarvis two pen, one con. Cork Constitution: Johnny Holland seven pens.
GARRYOWEN – Ronan O’Mahony; Cian O’Shea, Corey Hircock, Conan Doyle, Lorcan Burke; Matt Jarvis, Neil Cronin; JP Cooney, James Rael, Rory Brosnan; Mark Melbourne, Aaron McCloskey; Shane Buckley, Anthony Kavanagh, TJ Anderson. Replacements: Dave Rowley, Peter O’Shea, Alan Kennedy, James McInerney, Geoff Ryan.
CORK CON - Darragh Lyons; Conor Desmond, Robert Clune, Ivan Dineen, Cronan Healy; Johnny Holland, Gerry Hurley (Capt); Brian Cagney, Brian Vaughan, John Ryan; Philip Donnellan, Brian Hayes; Graeme Lawlor, Brian O’Hara, James Ryan. Replacements: Andrew Cushmore, Pat Galvin, Cathal O’Flaherty, Duncan Williams, Alex Ryan.
REFEREE –Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)