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Young Munster Make Impressive Start

Young Munster Make Impressive Start

In Mike Prendergast’s first AIB League as Young Munster’s director of rugby, the Cookies came good for a three-try triumph over Buccaneers at Tom Clifford Park.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 3

YOUNG MUNSTER 23 BUCCANEERS 3, Tom Clifford Park

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Scorers: Young Munster: Tries: Alan Kingsley, Aaron Carroll, Clem Casey; Con: Alan Kingsley; Pens: Alan Kingsley 2
Buccaneers: Pen: Adam Kennedy

Buccaneers, who included four teenagers in their back-line, threatened to spoil the party when scrum half Adam Kennedy put them in front early on with a penalty.

Kennedy and South African Johannes Hendrik Potgieter, both 19, started at half-back for Buccs, lining up against the experienced Munster pairing of player-coach Mike Prendergast and new signing Alan Kingsley.

Kingsley levelled for Young Munster with a penalty, after Kennedy was pinged for being offside, and he put them ahead with another fine strike after pressure from the home pack.

Buccs then lost second row Anthony Hughes to the sin-bin when he put in a dangerous tackle on the advancing Derek Corcoran, and the Cookies took their cue.

Kingsley, formerly of Garryowen, capped a great first half performance when he went in for a try which he also converted to have the home side in front – 13-3 – at the interval.

The try, which delighted the large home crowd, came as the Young Munster forwards used their numerical advantage to gain ground and Kingsley was able to slip through a gap and dive over at the posts.

Right winger Aaron Carroll burst through for a second Munsters try and the result was sealed when centre Clem Casey breached the visitors’ line in the dying minutes.

Prendergast’s side moved the ball out to the left and then back again where there was enough space for Carroll to cross, just three minutes into the second half.

The third try arrived late on when Buccs replacement Padraig Burke was yellow carded for killing the ball at a ruck, and Casey scored by bashing through the middle.

Buccaneers captain Colm Rigney, the former Connacht number 8, rallied his troops and led by example with a forceful run midway through the half and this young squad will certainly improve with each passing game.

Try as they might, Young Munster could not manage a bonus try despite intense pressure in Buccs’ 22 and in truth, the final scoreline was a touch flattering for them.

Catching the eye for the hosts were top scorer Kingsley and back rowers Neville Melbourne and Liam Og Murphy, while full-back Brendan Carpenter, Rigney and hooker Garreth Halligan were most impressive for Buccaneers. 

YOUNG MUNSTER: Ray Moloney; Aaron Carroll, Clem Casey, Ian Cross, Derek Corcoran; Alan Kingsley, Mike Prendergast; Ger Flaherty, Ger Slattery (capt), Alan Cotter, Darragh Payne, Shane O’Neill, Liam Og Murphy, Shane Hassett, Neville Melbourne.

Replacements used: Brendan Guilfoyle for Hassett (57 mins), Donal Murphy for Flaherty (62), Johnny Griffin for Payne (68), Cian Clohessy for Melbourne (74).

BUCCANEERS: Brendan Carpenter; Billy Henshaw, Gavin Kelly, Alex Hayman, Paul Harte; Johannes Hendrik Potgieter, Adam Kennedy; Martin Staunton, Garreth Halligan, Conor Higgins, James Tormey, Anthony Hughes, Stephen Burke, Sean Stapleton, Colm Rigney (capt).

Replacements used: Benny Gilligan for Staunton, Padraig Burke for Tormey (both 55 mins), Marcus Madden for S Burke (62), John O’Brien for Carpenter (65), Colin Watters for Stapleton (74).

Referee: Alan Rogan (IRFU)