JJ Hanrahan converted his own late try to seal a dramatic win for Munster ‘A’ as they came from behind to beat Ulster Ravens at Deramore Park on Friday.
‘A’ INTERPROVINCIAL MATCH: Friday, September 15
ULSTER RAVENS 17 MUNSTER ‘A’ 19, Deramore Park
Scorers: Ulster Ravens: Try: Chris Cochrane; Pens: Richie McMaster 4
Munster ‘A’: Tries: Johnny Holland, Cathal Sheridan, JJ Hanrahan; Cons: JJ Hanrahan 2
Munster ‘A’ trailed 9-0 at the break and were ten points down with nine minutes to go, but a Cathal Sheridan try converted by JJ Hanrahan and then a last-gasp effort from Hanrahan that he converted himself gave Ian Costello’s side the spoils.
Scott Deasy missed an early penalty from a good position and then created a clearcut try-scoring opportunity with a well-judged cross-field kick. Captain Paddy Butler collected the kick but botched a two-on-one overlap.
Penalty concessions spoiled good Munster territorial gain and allowed Ulster Ravens to grow into the game, with young flanker Iain Henderson putting in some strong carries.
The Ravens took the lead when out-half Richie McMaster, a late replacement for Niall O’Connor, kicked a 22nd minute penalty.
McMaster added two more successful penalties before Deasy was again wide of the mark in first half injury-time.
Six minutes into the second half, Munster ‘A’ finally got on the board. Full-back Johnny Holland scored a try in the right corner, after Ronan O’Mahony had fielded a Deasy kick and got his offload away. The score heralded a greater urgency to the visitors’ play.
However, playing into a stiff breeze, Costello’s men were forced to play their way out of their own territory and when they turned over ball in the 62nd minute and lost Sean Henry to the sin-bin for not releasing the tackler, McMaster extended the Ravens’ lead with a well-struck penalty.
Four minutes later, again as Munster ‘A’ attempted to shift the ball wide, Ulster Ravens winger Chris Cochrane intercepted and showed a great turn of pace to score the hosts’ second try .
Awarded a penalty under the Ulster posts and with Dan Tuohy yellow carded, Munster ‘A’ opted for a scrum and off that busy replacement scrum half Cathal Sheridan went over for a try.
Hanrahan added the extras to leave just five points separating the sides with seven minutes of normal time remaining. Right at the death, Hanrahan pounced again for the leveling try before adding the touchline conversion to round it off.
ULSTER RAVENS: Ricky Andrew, Chris Colvin, Stuart McCloskey, Nevin Spence, Chris Cochrane; Ritchie McMaster, Blane McIlroy; Richard Lutton, Niall Annett, Conor Carey, Alan O’Connor, Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry (capt), Sean O’Connell.
Replacements used: John Burns for Annett (55 mins), James Simpson for Henderson (58), Scott Gibson for McIlroy, Josh Pentland for Spencer (both 69).
MUNSTER ‘A’: Johnny Holland (capt), Ronan O’Mahony, Danny Barnes, JJ Hanrahan, Ivan Dineen; Scott Deasy, Peter Stringer; James Cronin, Sean Henry, Christy Condon, Philip Donnellan, Brian Hayes, Niall Ronan, Barry O’Mahony, Paddy Butler (capt).
Replacements used: Cathal O’Flaherty for Ronan, Cathal Sheridan for Stringer, Corey Hircock for Holland (all 50 mins), Alan Cotter for Condon (63).