Prendergast back to inspire Munsters

YOUNG MUNSTER player coach Mike Prendergast marked his return from long-term injury with a welcome 23-19 Ulster Bank victory to provide holders Old Belvedere with a reality check at Clifford Park.

Prendergast had a role to play in the 79th minute winning try from Ray Moloney but hailed what he described as a “determined team performance”.

“With 15 minutes to go they got a try for the lead. A lot of teams would have gone into their shell, but I knew the group we have put together over the two to three years would not be found wanting,” he said.

“We got back up the field, played a bit of field position and put a lot of pressure on them. Lucky enough the try came off a dropped ball. These things go for you some days, other days they don’t, but I asked the lads to do one thing – to empty the tanks, and they did that for me today.

“The thing needed in this league will be consistency. There is going to be a massive emphasis on the squad. Over the last few weeks we lost four players through injury but guys came in and did the business.”

Dolphin had a dream start when they built up a 15-3 lead against Shannon but conceded crucial penalties in the second-half and young Ben Sargent kicked the winner for a 21-18 triumph in the dying minutes.

St Mary’s took the points as well as the Shay Deering Memorial trophy with a hard-fought 13-9 win over Garryowen at Dooradoyle. The crucial score was the game’s only try from Matt D’Arcy.

Craig Ronaldson kicked three penalties to give Lansdowne an early advantage over Cork Constitution, but the more experienced Cork outfit struck back to record a well-deserved 21-9 win, with Gerry Hurley kicking six penalties and Darragh Lyons a drop goal.

Two former Cork based players, Richie Lane (Constitution) and Barry O’Mahony (Dolphin) scored two thirds of Clontarf’s haul in the 30-6 win over disappointing Blackrock.

In Division 1B, Dungannon jumped to the summit with a 35-13 win over UCD at Stevenson Park but Ballynahinch breathe down their necks after securing a 33-17 victory away to Galwegians.

Belfast Harlequins took a 14-12 win over visitors UL Bohemians at Deramore Park.

Buccaneers edged out Bruff 17-11 in a lively and absorbing tussle played in perfect conditions at Dubarry Park when Connacht U20 Jack Carty played a key role.

Ballymena took the spoils in a rain-hit opener against UCC at the Mardyke where Alisdair Frazer scored the only try to edge his side home on an 8-6 scoreline.

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