Old Belvedere continued their impressive start to the new AIB League campaign as they edged out hosts Young Munster in front of a large attendance at Tom Clifford Park on Saturday.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 11
YOUNG MUNSTER 9 OLD BELVEDERE 13, Tom Clifford Park
Scorers: Young Munster: Pens: Mark Connolly 3
Old Belvedere: Tries: Felix Jones, Dave Mongan; Pen: Eoin O’Malley
Leinster centre Eoin O’Malley overcame a calf injury to feature for Belvo and kick a vital second half penalty.
Mark Connolly landed two penalties to give the Cookies a 6-0 interval lead in their first Division One home match since March 2002.
But O’Malley’s kick and two unconverted tries from Felix Jones and Dave Mongan saw Belvo record their second successive league victory.
Belvedere, under the tutelage of Phil Werahiko, enjoyed a five-try win over UCD last Saturday and this weekend’s performance confirms that the Dublin 4 club are well on their way to improving on last season’s eighth place finish.
Belvo won six league games last term and with Dolphin the visitors to Anglesea Road next Saturday, they will fancing their chances of notching a third win on the trot.
For Munsters, a losing bonus point was little consolation ahead of their clashes with Cork Constitution (the defending champions) and Clontarf (semi-finalists last season) in the coming weeks.
Champions fifteen years ago, Young Munster are finding life difficult on their return to the top flight and they could have no complaints with their second defeat of the season.
The Dubliners had too much power out wide, where former underage internationals Jones and Mongan scored at a critical stage in the second half.
Belvo struck for two tries in the space of three minutes, with O’Malley making a searing break to set up Jones’ score.
Young Munster had a decent grip on the game thanks to full-back Connolly’s assured place-kicking and the play-making of Munster scrum half Mike Prendergast.
The hosts’ hard-working pack gained the hard yards but got scant reward.
Connolly’s third penalty, after 63 minutes, did set up a grandstand finish but Belvedere’s defence was particularly strong and as the Cookies wilted slightly, Werahiko’s men held firm for an encouraging away success.