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Courtney Is Trinity’s Match Winner Against Munsters
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Courtney Is Trinity’s Match Winner Against Munsters

Courtney Is Trinity’s Match Winner Against Munsters

Michael Courtney’s classy injury-time try secured a rousing 32-27 bonus point win for Dublin University over second-placed Young Munster on Saturday afternoon.

The ex-Ireland Under-18 Schools international's decisive solo run delighted the College Park faithful and made it three wins in four Ulster Bank League Division 1A games since Trinity's promotion.

The Cookies, who paired Munster's Dan Goggin and Cian Bohane together in midfield, led 10-8 at half-time, Craig O'Hanlon's converted try on the half hour cancelling out Pierce Dargan's early effort for the students.

Buoyed by their 31-19 triumph at St. Mary's last week, Trinity had the better of the early exchanges. The visitors defended well but a jet-heeled spell of attacking from deep got the home side off the mark through second row Dargan.

They countered through Bryan Mollen who broke the first line of defence before feeding fellow winger Colm Hogan who put centre Kyle Dixon away with a sumptuous offload. Dixon raced clear before linking with scrum half Dan Joyce who took the ball deep into the Cookies' 22. From the recycle, ever-influential out-half Jack McDermott fed Dargan on the charge and he finished off a great team try out wide.

Young Munster came more into the game after that concession, and they kicked a penalty through David O'Mahony followed by replacement O'Hanlon's well-taken converted try when they took advantage of numbers off a scrum.

This round 4 clash ebbed and flowed throughout with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent in front of an excited and vocal crowd. McDermott fired over penalty to close the gap to two points at the interval.

Trinity forced the issue on the resumption, and they were slightly fortunate when a loose ball at a lineout came back on their side and Joyce cleaned up to feed the highly-rated Hogan who again broke the line. Good hands across the back-line saw full-back Jack Kelly hauled down just short, but a few more phases opened up enough space for hooker Liam Cronin to crash over out wide.

McDermott converted with aplomb as the hosts retook the lead at 15-10, and Tony Smeeth's youngsters pushed 12 points clear after Hogan stepped in front of a loopy pass and darted 80 metres downfield for his third try of the campaign.

However, with 20 minutes to go, Trinity visibly relaxed and Munsters came back with some ferocious attacks of their own. Jack Harrington and Bohane scored two converted efforts after the Cookies lay siege to the hosts' whitewash.

Incredibly, the lead changed hands four times during the closing 10 minutes in a epic conclusion to what was a great advertisement for Ulster Bank League rugby.

It was breathless stuff as both sides chased the win and a try-scoring bonus point. A sin-binning for the visitors saw McDermott edge Trinity ahead (25-24) with a penalty from in front of the posts. Gearoid Prendergast's charges came back hard and managed to gain a scrum and a subsequent penalty which replacement Alan Tynan coolly slotted.

The students came straight back and threw everything at the Young Munster defence, they looked to have worked an overlap only for the visitors to intercept and Trinity eventually won a scrum. The Dubliners came under a bit of pressure at scrum time, but they got the ball away with a perfect pass from Rowan Osborne who put Michael Courtney away. The former CBC Monkstown centre split the Munster pairing of Goggins and Bohane and sped away from the chasing defenders to score a sensational last-minute try – matching Hogan's three-try tally to date.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Jack Kelly; Bryan Mollen, Michael Courtney, Kyle Dixon, Colm Hogan; Jack McDermott, Daniel Joyce; Eric O'Sullivan, Liam Cronin, Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Jack Burke (capt), Sam Pim, Ross Todd, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: James O'Donovan, Rowan Osborne, Jack Boland, Fintan Murphy, Adrien Charbonnier.

Away Team

David O'Mahony; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Cian Bohane, Jack Harrington; Abrie Griesel, Rob Guerin; Gavin Ryan, Ger Slattery (capt), Colm Skehan, Alan Ross, Michael Madden, Alan Kennedy, Dan Walsh, Sean Rennison.

Replacements: Gavin Coombes, Peter Meyer, Conor Bartley, Craig O'Hanlon, Alan Tynan.

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Pierce Dargan, Liam Cronin, Colm Hogan, Michael Courtney; Cons: Jack McDermott 2; Pens: Jack McDermott 2

Away Team

Tries: Craig O'Hanlon, Cian Bohane, Jack Harrington; Cons: David O'Mahony, Alan Tynan 2; Pens: David O'Mahony, Alan Tynan