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Young Munster March On With Lakelands Win
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Young Munster March On With Lakelands Win

Young Munster March On With Lakelands Win

Gearoid Lyons produced a stellar performance at Lakelands Park where an outstanding first half display provided the platform for Young Munster’s 22-point victory over Terenure College in Ulster Bank League Division 1A.

Terenure were playing on their new all-weather surface for the very first time in the league, but with Gearoid Lyons helping himself to an impressive 21 points, the Dubliners succumbed to their fourth defeat of the current campaign.

The early stages of Munsters' season were disrupted by the return of head coach Anthony Mathison to his native Australia, but since director of rugby John Staunton and then former Ireland international David Corkery stepped into the breach, they have recorded four wins on the bounce.

After containing Terenure's initial advances, Corkery's men opened their account with out-half Lyons' well-struck fifth-minute penalty from the 10-metre line. Facing into an awkward breeze, Lyons' opposite number James Thornton missed an opportunity to respond from the left.

Although the visitors suffered a setback when an injury forced prop David Begley off, they were growing in confidence as the opening quarter went on. Lyons doubled their lead with a routine place-kick and after centre Dan Goggin was forced into touch at the end of a lung-bursting 19th minute run, a third successful Lyons penalty followed just four minutes later.

Terenure were comprehensive 42-0 winners over Munsters at the same venue last year, but they struggled to settle into their usual rhythm on this occasion. Yet, they were beginning to get their back-three on the ball, and with 27 minutes gone, they finally opened their account courtesy of a close range penalty from Thornton.

However, a stray 'Nure pass seven minutes before half-time was intercepted by Lyons and the Ireland Sevens international raced through, largely unopposed, for a try which he converted himself.

Lyons was proving to be flawless from the kicking tee and when a 37th minute driving maul was finished over the line by number 8 Ben Kilkenny, the conversion was slotted over again by Lyons.

Terenure were somewhat shell-shocked by the concession of these scores and despite attempting to gain a foothold in the visitors' half late on, a tremendous Lyons penalty gave the Limerick outfit a 26-3 interval advantage.

The Cookies certainly had a commanding cushion, but the wind advantage meant that 'Nure were not completely out of the reckoning. They were largely coming off second best in the lineout, but received a timely boost nine minutes into the half when Munsters scrum half Abrie Griesel was sent to the sin-bin.

'Nure needed to make a serious impact during his absence, and they quickly secured a five-metre attacking scrum. Outstanding work from the Munsters pack turned them over, however, and Corkery's charges remained on the front foot for the rest of the third quarter.

The introduction of Stephen O'Neill and Mark Mahony from the bench did make a difference for 'Nure, nonetheless, and another Munsters yellow card – this time for left winger Darragh O'Neill – gave them another one-man advantage.

They managed to seize the initiative this time. Following a long spell of pressure on the right flank, replacement prop Rory Harrison crossed the whitewash. Thornton was off target with a tricky conversion attempt, but 'Nure were preparing themselves for a late onslaught.

Munsters were kept on their toes in the latter stages, and they never really threatened for a third try at any point in the half. However, they were resolute in defence following Harrison's score and after surviving five minutes of injury-time, they now find themselves fifth in the table – just six points behind new leaders UCD.

Referee: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

James O'Donoghue; Matthew Byrne, Harrison Brewer, Willie Devane, Jake Swaine; James Thornton, Kevin O'Neill; Gary Hamilton, Risteard Byrne, Kieran Moloney, Mike Murphy, Michael Melia, Robert Duke, James O'Neill (capt), Kyle McCoy.

Replacements used: Rory Harrison for Hamilton (half-time), Adam Clarkin for R Byrne, Kevin O'Dwyer for Melia (both 51), Stephen O'Neill for Devane, Mark Mahony for K O'Neill (both 58), Melia for McCoy (69).

Away Team

David O'Mahony; Diarmaid McCarthy, Dan Goggin, Mark Doyle, Darragh O'Neill; Gearoid Lyons, Abrie Griesel; David Begley, Ger Slattery (capt), Ben Betts, Tom Goggin, Sean Duggan, Alan Kennedy, Diarmaid Dee, Ben Kilkenny.

Replacements used: Paul Allen for Begley (7 mins), Alan Ross for T Goggin (55), Gary Fitzgerald for Griesel (58), Shane Fenton for Slattery (67), Michael Vaughan for Doyle (69), T Goggin for Kennedy (75).

Match Scorers

Home Team

Try: Rory Harrison; Pen: James Thornton

Away Team

Tries: Gearoid Lyons, Ben Kilkenny; Cons: Gearoid Lyons 2; Pens: Gearoid Lyons 3, Paul Downes