Munsters edge scrappy affair

ULSTER BANK AIL DIVISION 1A:

This was Garryowen’s fifth defeat in as many league outings and they are already deep in relegation trouble, having enjoyed top status since the competition’s inception back in 1990.

They have only themselves to blame for this latest defeat which has left their coach, Tom Tierney, a very worried man, whereas his Young Munster counterpart, John Staunton, himself a former Garryowen player, was understandably a very relieved man to leave with four points.

In all, Garryowen out-half Jamie Gavin missed with six shots at goal, two of them in the early stages of the game and another couple deep into stoppage time, either of which would have given his side their first win of the campaign.

Ironically, Brian Haugh, the usually ultra reliable Munsters place kicker, also missed with three penalty shots of his own, but he did convert a first-half brace as against one by Gavin to leave Munsters deservedly 6-3 ahead at the interval.

Garryowen upped the tempo on the turnover and, buoyed by a particularly easy miss by Haugh and with Munsters out-half Kolio Hifo in the sin bin, took the lead with a superbly taken try on 56 minutes by winger James McInerney who collected an astutely placed cross kick by Alan Gaughan in his stride before cutting through to score.

Munsters winger Jamie McGarry sustained a nasty knock in the build-up to the try and was stretchered off the pitch. But Munsters plugged away in typical fashion and when Garryowen wing Geoff Ryan was binned for a dangerous tackle, Haugh took full advantage to push his side 9-8 in front.

Even then, Garryowen could have saved the day but the luckless Gavin was twice off the mark from reasonable range.

GARRYOWEN:L Bourke; J McInerney, A O’Byrne, A Gaughan, H McNulty; J Gavin, N Cronin; R Brosnan, J Rael, P O’Dea, D Mulcair, A McCluskey, E Rossiter, A Kavanagh, S Buckley. Rotating replacements: JP Cooney, M Hanrahan, A Valcu, A Wooton, G Ryan.

YOUNG MUNSTER:A O’Loughlin; J McGarry, D Goggin, L Kuntz, D O’Connor; K Hifo, B Haugh; A Cotter, G Slattery, H McGrath, M Madden, S Duggan, A Kennedy, J Moroney, S Rennison.

Rotating replacements: D Montgomery, S Ryan, T Goggin, K Hanley, S O’Brien.

Referee: – K Barry (IRFU).

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