Jump to main content



UCD Hold Off Young Munster To Return To Winning Ways

UCD Hold Off Young Munster To Return To Winning Ways

Gus McCarthy, last season's Ireland Under-20 captain, played his part in a hard-fought victory for UCD at home to Young Munster ©UCD RFC

Tim Corkery ran in two intercept tries as UCD made the most of their scoring opportunities to edge out Young Munster 26-24 in a titanic tussle at the UCD Bowl.


Saturday, November 11 –

Scorers: UCD: Tries: Tim Corkery 2; Cons: Michael Moloney 2; Pens: Michael Moloney 4
Young Munster: Tries: Stephen McLoughlin, Alan Kennedy, Donnchadh O’Callaghan; Cons: Shane O’Leary 3; Pen: Shane O’Leary
HT: UCD 16 Young Munster 10

Young Munster outscored their hosts by three tries to two, but were left to rue some costly penalties as UCD scrum half Michael Moloney kicked 16 points and Corkery claimed his second try while Cookies captain Alan Kennedy was in the sin bin.

The students were able to absorb some prolonged pressure, and Andrew Osborne’s sin-binning, to lead 16-10 at half-time. Centre Corkery scampered clear from halfway to cancel out a Stephen McLoughlin maul try.

Despite Kennedy and replacement Donnchadh O’Callaghan also crossing for Munsters, Corkery struck again in the 61st minute to add to Moloney’s fourth penalty as Emmet MacMahon’s young side prevailed in a nail-biting finish.

UCD’s second win of the Energia All-Ireland League campaign lifts them away from Division 1A’s bottom two. It was their first victory over Munsters since February 2019, and Ger Slattery’s charges, clearly frustrated to lose such a close encounter, remain ninth in the table.

A minute’s silence was held before the game in remembrance of former UCD RFC President Paul Devlin and ex-Young Munster and Garryowen flanker Darren Ryan, who both sadly passed away last week.

As a mark of respect, Munsters retired the number 7 jersey for today’s fixture, with James Horrigan, who started at openside, wearing the number 23 shirt instead. He was part of a pack that began proceedings on the front foot.

The Cookies showed their intent by turning down an early kickable penalty, but Ruadhan Quinn was held up from a lineout move down the short side. Mark Hernan also met the advancing Aidan Shortall with a ball-dislodging tackle, a few minutes later.

Hugo O’Malley’s high tackle on his Keynan Knox allowed O’Leary to open the scoring in the 13th minute. The Cookies continued to have the lion’s share of possession and territory, with full-back Shortall supplying a 50:22 kick.

Moloney caused trouble for the Young Munster rearguard with a high, hanging box kick, and his opening penalty goal drew the students level in the 24th minute after Tom Goggin was slow to roll away.

Moloney swiftly kicked them into a 6-3 lead, rewarding a turnover penalty won by Leinster Academy hooker Gus McCarthy, but the visitors made more inroads on the back of winger Osborne’s yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.

The ensuing maul from 10 metres out landed hooker McLoughlin over the try-line, with Munster prop Knox key to its momentum. O’Leary slotted over the conversion from the right to make it a four-point margin.

Nonetheless, Moloney split the posts with his third penalty and Corkery intercepted Fionn Gibbons’ pass on halfway, just as the Cookies looked to spread play from a turnover, to snap up a converted try just before the break.

Early in the second period, O’Leary pushed a long-range penalty wide and McCarthy was also wise to the out-half’s chip over the top. Shortall soon ignited the visitors’ attack, countering impressively from deep and linking with Quinn who carried the break up to the UCD 22.

As Munsters went wide, Harry Donnelly made a try-saving tackle on McLoughlin before a series of forward carries ended with Kennedy crashing over from a close-in ruck. O’Leary booted his side back in front at 17-16.

It was the last time that the Limerick men would lead, though, as Kennedy was binned for not being back 10 metres when Moloney took a quick tap. The UCD half-back nailed his place-kick again to give his team-mates a timely boost.

Corkery followed up with his second seven-pointer, swooping on an O’Leary pass near halfway after UCD had put boot to ball. He had the pace to round in to the left of the posts despite Jack Lyons’ committed chase. Moloney topped it off with the extras.

Now 26-17 in arrears, Shortall collected his own garryowen to gain ground for the Cookies who were soon back in try-scoring range courtesy of a couple of penalties. O’Callaghan cleverly sniped over from a 72nd-minute ruck, before O’Leary’s conversion closed the gap to two points.

Annoyingly for Slattery’s men, they were unable to build through the phases late on. Diarmuid Mangan slapped back a crucial lineout on the UCD side, and some loose passing from the visitors eventually led to a match-ending knock-on near halfway.

UCD: Chris Cosgrave; Harry Donnelly, Tim Corkery, Wilhelm de Klerk, Andrew Osborne; James Tarrant, Michael Moloney; Hugo O’Malley, Gus McCarthy, Andrew Sparrow, Matt Healy, Conor O’Tighearnaigh, Bobby Sheehan (capt), Mark Hernan, Diarmuid Mangan.

Replacements: Tom O’Riordan, Sean Egan, Jonathan Fish, Michael Colreavy, Thomas Quinn, Niall Carroll.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Aidan Shortall; Shay McCarthy, Fionn Gibbons, Kegan Christian-Goss, Harry Fleming; Shane O’Leary, Jack Lyons; Harrison Allan, Stephen McLoughlin, Keynan Knox, Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy (capt), Bailey Faloon, James Horrigan, Ruadhan Quinn.

Replacements: Chris Moore, David Begley, Paul Allen, Fintan Coleman, Donnchadh O’Callaghan, Gearoid Mulcahy.