There were great celebrations at Dooradoyle last Friday night as Young Munster were crowned Limerick Charity Cup winners for the third year in succession.
Already table toppers in the Ulster Bank League going into the Christmas break, Young Munster had to hold their focus knowing final opponents Shannon would provide deft competition and do everything in their power to disrupt the three in-a-row target.
Mike Prendergast’s men beat Shannon 25-13 in a game that saw both sides field some youthful faces among the more experienced players on each team.
The game started out well for Shannon as they opened the scoring with a try by Emmet McLoughlin in the seventh minute, which Tadhg Bennett converted.
Ten minutes later, Willie Staunton got Young Munster’s first score from a penalty to make it 7-3. It was not long before the black and amber faithful were cheering again as the pack showed their dominance by driving over the line with the touchdown awarded to Sean Duggan on his 21st birthday. Staunton added the conversion.
Before the break, winger Aaron Carroll got in for Munsters’ second try in a move off the scrum, bringing the score to 15-7 at half-time.
Prendergast had not named himself in the squad for this fixture and instead started last year’s Schoolss Cup star, the 18-year-old Brian Haugh, in the scrum half slot. Haugh impressed in his first senior start for the club.
Into the second half, Young Munster got the first score with a penalty from the surefooted Staunton. Shannon scored two penalties in the next ten minutes making it 18-13 but, if there was any fear from the Cookies that the scoreline would reduce further, this was soon quelled.
Their pack again showed their dominance in an impressive drive which led to Darragh Payne getting in for try number three. He stretched over the line from the bottom of a ruck after a great carry from Ger Flaherty off the maul.
Staunton converted to make the score 25-13 and the sides played out a scoreless final 20 minutes before Munsters were confirmed as champions once again.