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Cookies Claim Munster Derby Spoils

Cookies Claim Munster Derby Spoils

Recent Munster Senior Cup winners Cork Constitution fell at home to Young Munster in a fiercely competitive Division 1A tie on Saturday.

Cork Con lost their grip on an early 7-0 advantage, with Colin Liston's 64th-minute try proving crucial in guiding Munsters to an eventual 16-10 victory – their fourth win in five league games.

Goal-kicking scrum half Brian Haugh also had a big influence on proceedings at Temple Hill, landing three penalties and a conversion for an 11-point haul.

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The first half cantered along at a lively pace, with plenty of incident – including an early brawl – and good quality rugby to keep the supporters entertained.

Cork Con swept into the lead almost immediately as winger Conor Desmond dotted down in the corner in the second minute.

The conversion was sent through the posts by Johnny Holland, but unfortunately Desmond's day was over as he injured himself in the act of scoring.

Young Munster chipped away at the hosts' lead with an eighth minute penalty from the ever-accurate Haugh, and the scrum half landed a second some ten minutes later.

7-6 is how it stayed up to half-time and it was a decent scoreline for the Cookies as they had survived without concession while lock Alan Kennedy was in the sin-bin.

The physicality increased in the second period of this dogged Munster derby, the deadlock being broken by a Haugh penalty in the 56th minute after an early Cork Con wave of attacks had been repelled.

Then, with Cork Con number 8 James Ryan yellow carded, Munsters struck for their decisive try as blindside flanker Liston slipped through from a lineout with Haugh converting for a 16-7 lead.

Constitution scrapped for a way through but were met by a determined resistance from the visitors, and they had to settle for a losing bonus point after Holland kicked a late penalty.

While Young Munster have moved up to third in the standings, Cork Con remain sixth overall and 13 points off the pace with their head coach Tom Mulcahy admitting 'the league looks to be beyond us at this stage'.

He told the Irish Examiner: “But we'll keep battling and try and finish as high as we can in the table, and we've still got an All-Ireland Cup semi-final to come against Queen's in two weeks.

“It's hugely disappointing, particularly after the start we got, scoring a try inside two minutes, but we took our foot off the pedal.

“We had chances to go further ahead, but missed four kickable penalties although that wasn't the reason we lost. Our work-rate was low, our attitude poor and it was just a bad day.

“We were within a metre of their line and had gone through eight or nine rucks only to give away two penalties in quick succession and hand them three points. We've got to learn how to score tries and put teams away.”

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)