McGrath enhanced his reputation with three tries and though the win keeps them top of the table, Clontarf coach Andy Wood still sees huge room for improvement.
“I think we were a bit over eager in the first period, hungry but unfortunately inaccurate in the tackle area. Young Munster have an extremely powerful maul and caught us on the hop a couple of times, which led to a little bit of back foot stuff. We had to change; once we were playing in the right part of the pitch and when we got our attacking shape right we were able to stretch them.”
Such words of comfort meant little to Young Munster assistant coach Mike Lynch.
“We were very disappointed in the second half because after conceding a very soft score in the opening seconds I thought we got ourselves back in the game.
“We had done very well in getting our line speed right and making our tackles, low body positions, simple basics, but in the second half we abandoned that.
“I’m very proud of them but the most important thing to learn is that if you take your eye off the ball for one fraction of a second against good teams you’re going to be punished.”
McGrath grabbed the opening try inside 40 seconds and David Joyce kicked the conversion and two penalties against a drop goal from Willie Staunton and a brace of penalties from Brian Haugh.
At 13-9, Clontarf set their stall out early in the second half with tries from Adrian D’Arcy and McGrath again, with Joyce adding a conversion to help his side into a 25-9 lead.
Derry O’Connor was sent in for a 52nd-minute try by Staunton but McGrath got his hat-trick and Joyce converted for a 32-14 lead.
Ian Hirst and Joyce combined to push that out by another seven before Ger Slattery and O’Connor scored tries converted by Haugh to narrow the gap to 11.
Clontarf, however, had the last say with substitute Ronan Dillon scoring a try that Darragh Fitzpatrick converted.
CLONTARF: D Fitzpatrick, M McGrath, C O’Shea, E Ryan, M McFarland, D Joyce, S Cronin, I Hirst, B Byrne, K Donoghue, B Reilly (captain), S Crawford, A D’Arcy, T Ryan, B Cuttriss.
Rolling replacements: C Culleton, M Garvey, R Burke-Flynn, K Lett, R Dillon
YOUNG MUNSTER: C O’Hanlon, L Kuntz, D Goggin, K Hifo, D O’Connor, W Staunton, B Haugh, A Cotter, G Slattery (captain), H McGrath, M Madden, S Duggan, A Kennedy, S Rennison, T Goggin.
Rolling replacements: D Montgomery, G Ryan, C Clohessy, S Upton, S O’Brien.
Referee: G Clancy (IRFU).