Garryowen kept the pressure on AIB League Division One leaders Cork Constitution by winning Saturday afternoon’s Limerick derby at a drizzly Dooradoyle.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, March 7
GARRYOWEN 20 YOUNG MUNSTER 13, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Kevin Hartigan, Lorcan Bourke; Cons: Conor Kilroy 2; Pens: Conor Kilroy 2
Young Munster: Try: Penalty try: Con: Mike Prendergast; Pens: Matthew Costelloe, Mike Prendergast
Dara O’Sullivan’s side maintained their run in third place in the table, with two superb first half tries catapulting them into the lead against local rivals Young Munster.
The hosts, with experienced full-back Conor Kilroy once again to the fore, went on earn the bragging rights but Munsters, who are second-from-bottom in the standings, will be happy enough to have gained a losing bonus point.
Garryowen’s first try was a superb effort by Kevin Hartigan who followed up on some strong running from young winger Diarmaid McCarthy, a member of last year’s successful Castletroy College team.
McCarthy also had a hand in the second one, scored by his fellow winger Lorcan Bourke. He started a free-flowing move on the halfway line which left the Cookies defence all at sea.
Kilroy converted both tries and also landed a penalty to leave it 17-3 to Garryowen at the interval. Matthew Costelloe had kicked a lone penalty for the visitors.
But a game that looked to be fading away as a contest suddenly burst into life in the final quarter.
Persistent pressure from the Young Munster forwards, with number 8 Mark McHugh putting in a typically energetic display, yielded a penalty try which Mike Prendergast converted.
The Munster-contracted Prendergast had switched from out-half to scrum half. The repositioning helped the visitors secure quicker ball at ruck time, and add some much-needed structure to their attacks.
Kilroy stretched Garryowen’s lead back out to ten points with a subsequent penalty but Prendergast converted a late penalty to earn a bonus point for his hard-working side.