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McCarthy Makes The Difference For Mary’s

McCarthy Makes The Difference For Mary’s

Shaun McCarthy’s second half penalty proved to be the match-winning score for St. Mary’s College but they had a touch of good fortune in the closing stages of their win over relegation-threatened Young Munster.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 4

YOUNG MUNSTER 9 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 11, Tom Clifford Park

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Scorers: Young Munster: Pens: Mark Connolly 3
St. Mary’s College: Try: Conor Donohoe; Pens: Barry Lynn, Shaun McCarthy

Young Munster are having no luck in their attempt to avoid relegation from AIB League Division One.

Four minutes from the end of their hard-fought tussle with St. Mary’s, home full-back Mark Connolly missed a straightforward penalty from close to the 22-metre line, almost in front of the posts.

Connolly sent the kick wide and with it went the Cookies’ chances of edging out a Mary’s side that still have a chance of reaching the play-offs.

With two rounds of matches remaining, the bonus point defeat leaves second-from-bottom Munsters with six points to make up on their closest rivals UCD.

If the battle to avoid relegation is tight, the race for semi-final spots is thundering along too.

Mary’s win, their second on the bounce, keeps them in seventh place (on 41 points) but there are now just four points separating the top seven sides heading into the final games of the regulation phase.

Connolly handed the hosts a 6-0 lead with penalties in the first and tenth minutes.

The yellow carding of Darragh Payne after 21 minutes left Munsters down a man and his visit to the sin-bin led to Barry Lynn landing an opening penalty for the Dubliners.

With out-half and backs coach Shaun McCarthy beginning to make the Mary’s back-line tick, centre Conor Donohoe found enough space to dart over for the game’s only try, eight minutes before the break.

8-6 behind at half-time, Munsters went back in front just two minutes into the second half when Connolly cracked over his third penalty.

With defences on top and little or no clearcut try-scoring chances, the place-kickers slugged it out in the end and McCarthy produced the match-winning kick on 65 minutes, from 30 metres out.

Munsters, who lacked the penetration to pounce for a try, worked a late chance for Connolly but he could not deliver this time and the Limerick men only had a losing bonus point to show for their efforts.