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Munsters Denied By Late Lane Kick

Munsters Denied By Late Lane Kick

Clontarf made it two wins on the bounce by edging out a determined Young Munster side, as the north Dubliners kept on top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

At Castle Avenue, Munsters led for most of this closely-fought game only to be denied by a late penalty from Clontarf full-back Richie Lane.

Lane was outscored by Young Munster out-half Willie Staunton, who converted five penalty attempts but missed a long range injury-time penalty into a strong wind.

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Young Munster, who lined out with Andrew Burke at centre, made a bright start to the clubs’ first league clash in three years.

But for a forward pass they may have opened up Clontarf for an early try, while a wind-backed Staunton went close with a penalty effort from inside his own half.

Staunton got a second chance in the 15th minute after a deliberate knock on from ‘Tarf and made no mistake. Munsters’ lead was doubled by Staunton midway through the half.

Nevertheless, a sin-binning for Young Munster captain Ger Slattery invited Clontarf forward and they made it count in a succession of scrums which led to a penalty try.

The simple conversion was tapped over by recent signing Lane. Tarf’s lead lasted only four minutes as Staunton’s third successful penalty made it 9-7 to Munsters at the break.

Staunton increased his influence with another surefooted penalty in the opening minute of the second period, punishing a Clontarf offside.

The hosts’ discipline was poor at times and Lane and Staunton traded penalties before the former closed the gap to just two points – 15-13 – with just 15 minutes remaining.

In a tense finale, the Cookies' solid lineout and their ability to win turnovers at crucial times helped them hang on under fierce pressure from Andy Wood’s home side.

But the decisive moments came when Lane potted his fourth successful kick and Staunton’s last-gasp effort fell short of the posts.

Referee: Michael Black (IRFU)