Young Munster 16 St Mary’s College 14
Young Munster gained some manner of revenge on St.. Mary’s College for a defeat at the end of last season as they came out on top at Tom Clifford Park.
Referee Richard Kerr was the busiest man on the pitch, flashing six yellow cards in the second half - three to both sides - as defending champions St Mary’s fell to their first loss of the campaign.
Munsters could not have had a better start, forcing the issue right from the kick-off. They won a penalty from a scrum which Clare native Brian Haugh, the kicker of 13 points against Shannon, tucked over in the third minute.
Haugh doubled the hosts’ lead when again St Mary’s were penalised in the scrum.
However, there were very little in the way of scoring opportunities for either side during the remainder of a disappointingly dour first half.
St Mary’s got off the mark early in the second period thanks to a drop goal from centre Marcus O’Driscoll.
However, Young Munster regained the initiative when they were awarded a penalty try for a deliberate knock on, just as Mike Prendergast’s men looked set to convert an overlap into a try. Haugh converted.
Matters got worse for the visitors when they were reduced to 13 players, but Young Munster then conceded a penalty in front of the posts which Ray Crotty tapped over, and he did likewise in the 68th minute.
The yellow cards were flying at this stage and Young Munster seemed to have blown their chances, when number 8 Kevin Croke muscled over for the Dubliners’ only try two minutes later, edging them 14-13 ahead.
But three minutes from the end, scrum half Haugh held his nerve to land a penalty from 30 metres to win the game for Munsters and bring his season’s tally to 24 points.
This was a closely-fought, competitive clash; both sides are highly rated and seen as title contenders again this season.
Young Munster: Try: Penalty try; Con: Brian Haugh; Pens: Brian Haugh 3
St. Mary’s College: Try: Kevin Croke; Pens: Ray Crotty 2; Drop: Marcus O’Driscoll