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Deasy Drives Munster ‘A’ To Extra-Time Triumph

Deasy Drives Munster ‘A’ To Extra-Time Triumph

Scott Deasy delighted the travelling support with a key 21-point contribution as Munster ‘A’ qualified for their second ever British & Irish Cup final on the back of a 36-29 extra-time win over Leinster ‘A’.

In another example of the province's love affair with cup rugby, Munster 'A' fought back from 20-9 down to draw level with their hosts and almost win the tie in normal time.

But it took extra-time to separate the sides as Scott Deasy's precise place-kicking and a final try of the night from prop Dave Kilcoyne ensured that it will be Munster 'A' hosting the British & Irish Cup final at Thomond Park in three weeks' time.

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Ian Costello's victorious side await the winners of the second semi-final between Cross Keys and Cornish Pirates, who beat the Munstermen in the inaugural decider in 2010.

Deasy's opposite number Noel Reid missed a fifth minute penalty as Leinster 'A' looked to take an early lead in front of 4,895 spectators at the RDS.

This was something of a let-off for Munster 'A', and they responded by exerting pressure on the home defence high up the pitch.

Their good work eventually resulted in a ninth minute penalty, converted with relative ease by Deasy from an angle on the right.

Leinster 'A' had plenty of possession in the major areas of the pitch in the opening quarter and they deservedly levelled at 3-3 thanks to a well-struck penalty from Reid.

Munster 'A' rumbled forward and set up another penalty chance for Deasy in the 23rd minute which he confidently slotted from close range.

Costello's charges were becoming more and more dangerous as the half wore on, but Leinster 'A' were still posing plenty of problems for their southern rivals. Reid levelled matters once more with a neat penalty six minutes from the break.

Nevertheless, Deasy was on hand to register his third penalty of the evening just four minutes later. As the intensity increased, Reid had a chance to finish the half on a high with a long range penalty, but his final effort came up short leaving Leinster 'A' 9-6 behind at the break.

It had been compelling fare in the opening half, but it was nothing compared to the pulsating nature of the game upon the resumption, which incredibly produced four tries in the space of nine minutes.

First of all, Leinster 'A' took the lead for the very first time with a try from young scrum half Luke McGrath at the end of a long maul in the 46th minute. Munster 'A' number 8 Paddy Butler had been dispatched to the sin-bin just before that.

That was followed swiftly by a second home try courtesy of flanker Dominic Ryan who profited from excellent approach play by his back row colleague Leo Auva’a.

These scores also included conversions from Reid to give Leinster 'A' a 20-9 lead and Colin McEntee's men seemed in good stead at this point, aiming to secure their first final appearance in the cross border competition.

But just when it seemed like the tie was drifting away from Munster 'A', they came roaring back into the reckoning with two converted tries of their own.

Reid's Clontarf club-mate Barry O'Mahony, a former member of the Munster Academy, swept through in the 51st minute after a block down.

Four minutes later, fleet-footed winger Luke O'Dea got the better of David Kearney to raid in for a momentum-swinging try which Deasy converted for a sudden 23-20 advantage.

This left the hosts slightly shellshocked initially, but they showed excellent composure to regain the lead with a brace of penalties from Reid, whose radar was well and truly in check by this point.

Munster 'A' were proving to be a tough nut to crack though, and they brought the sides level for a fourth time thanks to a fourth penalty from Cork Constitution clubman Deasy with 16 minutes remaining.

Heading into the final quarter, things did tighten up considerably, as neither side wanted to concede ground to the other.

Deasy had a chance to win it for Munster with two late penalties at the end of normal time, but he came up short on both occasions which meant that it would take extra-time to produce a winner.

Leinster 'A' drew first blood in the additional period with a fifth Reid penalty four minutes in, but Munster 'A' rallied with three more points from the boot of Deasy.

The visitors crucially added a final minute converted try by the powerful Kilcoyne to lead 36-29 heading into the final ten minutes of play.

During this time, Munster 'A' enjoyed the majority of the play and they opted for a containment game in the Leinster half as the minutes ticked by.

The Blues did manage to gain some precious ground in the final moments, but they were unable to find a way through a stern red-shirted defence.

Munster 'A' held on for a hard-earned but deserved semi-final victory, with the benefit of some sterling displays from the likes of Sean Scanlon, locks Ian Nagle and Brian Hayes and replacement Denis Fogarty.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)