Munster were a big disappointment to their supporters as they failed to take advantage of a healthy first half display and in the end could have no complaints at losing by a convincing margin.
It was also a game of disappointingly poor quality. Even if the unpleasant weather conditions played a part, one would have expected two such highly rated sides to rise above the mediocre.
There were a few individual performances of quality to compensate, with nobody more effective than burly Leinster number six Jason Harris-Wright. He led a series of attacks into the heart of the Munster defence that earned his side yards of ground and took much of the sting out of the opposition resistance.
Neil Cowhey of St Mary’s kicked his side into the lead after five minutes but Munster looked the more dangerous side in the early stages.
St Munchin’s out-half Richard Mullane launched one especially promising attack but was unable to find a teammate with what would have been a scoring pass.
At the other end, Blackrock’s Paul Ryan nearly made the line before Leinster full-back David Mongan finished off a fine attack for a try in the left corner after 25 minutes. Cowhey, who had mixed luck with his goal kicking, converted from the touch line.
Shortly before half time, Crescent scrum-half Diarmuid Upton created the best movement so far when he broke clear up the right and released speedy Ronan O’Mahony (the first product of Castletroy College to play in the championship) and he was unfortunate to put a foot in touch at the crucial moment.
However, almost immediately the impressive PBC centre Scott Deasy found a gap in the Leinster defence to score at the posts and convert himself to leave only three points separating the sides at the break.
O’Mahony came off his wing in the 54th minute, only to be stopped inches from the line in the left corner, but Leinster’s dominance up front gradually became apparent.
Cowhey missed an easy shot at goal but the issue was decided when Belvedere centre Eoin O’Mahony went in for Leinster’s second try in the dying seconds and Cowhey duly added the points to make it 17-7.
: D Mongan (Belvedere); G Boland (Cistercian College), E O’Malley (Belvedere), C Cleary (St Michael’s), C Morley (Terenure); N Cowhey (St Mary’s), R O’Neill (Terenure); P McCabe (Belvedere), C Egan (Cistercian Coll), J Molloy (Templeogue), P Ryan (Blackrock), D Byrne (Blackrock), J Harris-Wright (Presenation Coll), R Reilly (St Michael’s), T McKillen (St Michael’s).
: B Cawley (Blackrock) for Byrne half time; C McGinn (Belvedere) for Ryan half time.
: S Scanlon (Crescent); R O’Mahony (Castletroy), S Deasy (PBC), E Broderick (St Munchin’s), S Costigan (PBC); R Mullane (St Munchin’s), D Upton (Crescent); D Kilcoyne (Ard Scoil Ris), M Sherry (Ard Scoil Ris), S Archer (CBC), K Hanley (Crescent), I Nagle (Glenstal), I Duffy (Rockwell), N Barry (PBC), K Essex (CBC) capt. Replacements: S O’Dwyer (Rockwell) for Duffy, M Kennefick (PBC) for Hanley, both 51; C Nolan (CBC) and J Noonan (CBC) for Upton and Barry 54.
: C Stanley (IRFU).
LEINSTER extricated themselves from an unpromising situation at Donnybrook yesterday to defeat Munster in the U19 schools interprovincial.
When full-back Peter O’Sullivan of CBC kicked his second penalty five minutes into the second half to narrow the deficit to 10-6 and with an extremely strong cold wind at their backs, Munster looked set for victory.
However, it was at that stage the Leinster pack roused themselves. They gained majority possession from the line-outs and used it cleverly to keep the exchanges tight and controlled.
Munster for their part made too many unforced errors and were punished as the Castleknock out-half Brian Collins slotted over three penalties to increase his side’s lead to 19-6.
The game was out of Munster’s reach by the time PBC centre Tim Kenneally went over for a try that O’Sullivan converted.
Munster played their best football in the opening half, even if Leinster did turn over leading by 10-3.
Collins kicked them in front with a seventh-minute penalty and then made a lovely break to pave the way for Blackrock centre Aidan Wynne.
O’Sullivan narrowed the gap to 10-3 on the half hour with a penalty and Munster were looking good until the second half took an unexpected course.
: M Twomey (St Michael’s); C Murphy (Belvedere), A Wynne (Blackrock), J Buggy (St Mary’s), V Artemiev (Blackrock); B Collins (Castleknock) capt, P O’Donohoe (Belvedere); C Healy (Belvedere), P Devitt (Belvedere), J Gettings (Gonzaga), R Copeland (Kilkenny), T Walsh (Castleknock), J Farivarz (Blackrock), B Wojnar (St Gerards), D O’Connor (Blackrock).
: G Cowzer (CUS) for Wynne half time, P Grannell (CBC Monkstown) for O’Connor 46.
: P O’Sullivan (CBC); R O’Connor (Rockwell), K Earls (St Munchin’s), T Kenneally (PBC), M O’Driscoll (Rockwell); R O’Sullivan (Crescent), P Rowley (St Munchin’s); R O’Neill (CBC), G Slattery (St Munchin’s), B Rowley (Ard Scoil Ris), R MacCarthy (PBC), P Murphy (CBC), R Allen (PBC), D Nathan (CBC), S O’Sullivan (CBC) capt.
: S Hassett (St Munchin’s) for Nathan 53; J Power (PBC) for O’Sullivan 53; E Torrie (Newtown) for O’Connor 63.
A McDowell (IRFU).