Captain Diarmuid Barron scored two tries and Ben Healy bagged a third as Munster A edged an exciting inter-provincial clash at the Sportsground.
Former Munster flanker Conor Oliver scored an early try for Connacht Eagles, while Diarmuid Kilgallen and former Leinster prop Jack Aungier scored each side of half time, but Healy’s two conversions and a first half penalty proved enough to seal the win.
It was a big day for Munster’s new signing Matt Gallagher who made his first appearance in the red shirt at full back, while another ex-Leinster prop Roman Salanoa also took his bow in red during the second half.
With a handful of first team regulars starting, Connacht Eagles took the lead when captain Oliver scored in the corner, but after Sammy Arnold was sin binned, the visitors soon took the lead when Jack Crowley sent Healy over from a try off a scrum under the Connacht posts. Healy’s conversion put Munster 7-5 ahead.
That lead was stretched 13 minutes from the break when Barron scored off a driving lineout, but Connacht soon hit back when Kilgallen finished well following a smartly taken penalty by Stephen Kerins.
Munster A were 17-12 ahead at the interval, but the home side reclaimed the advantage when Aungier scored following a Connacht maul, and out half Conor Dean added the conversion in the 54th minute.
But the honours went to Munster A when Barron barged over from close range two minutes later and the southern province held solid in the final quarter.
: C Oliver, D Kilgannen, J Aungier tries; C Dean 2 cons.
: B Healy, D Barron 2 tries; B Healy 2 cons, pen.
: J Porch; C de Buitléar, S Arnold, T Daly. D Kilgannen; C Dean, S Kerins; J Duggan, J Murphy, C Kenny; C Prendergast, N Murray; O McCormack, C Oliver (C), S Masterson.
D Tierney-Martin, M Burke, J Aungier, D Murray, J Dunne, C Reilly, C Forde, S Jennings, O McNulty, P Sullivan.
M Gallagher; S French, A McHenry, J Crowley, L Coombes; B Healy, N Cronin; J Wycherley, D Barron (C), K Knox; P Kelly, T Ahern; J Daly; John Hodnett, A Kendellen.
E Clarke, S Buckley, J Loughman, R Salanoa, G Coombes, J O’Sullivan, N McCarthy, J Flannery, D Sweetnam, C Nash, J Wren.
: E Cross (Connacht)