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Young Munster Overhaul Shannon In Second Half

Young Munster Overhaul Shannon In Second Half

Young Munster staged a remarkable comeback to beat Shannon in a memorable local derby at Thomond Park on Friday night.

The 'Friday Night Lights' Ulster Bank League clash saw the return to action after a lengthy injury for Felix Jones who lined out at full-back for hosts Shannon.

Young Munster gave club debuts and a first taste of a Limerick derby to Munster players Johnne Murphy and Ian Keatley. Willie Staunton, the Cookies' top scorer this season, continued at out-half with Keatley in the centre.

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Shannon took the lead after nine minutes when Young Munster moved offside and Shannon out-half Tadhg Bennett landed the resulting kick from 28 metres and close to the posts.

It was Shannon's turn to be offside four minutes later and Staunton was on target with his first place-kick. But shortly afterwards, Shannon went back in front when Bennett, from in front of the posts, punished Young Munster for hands in a ruck.

A thundering 24th minute tackle on Keatley forced him to spill the ball and with Bennett putting in an inch-perfect chip, Paddy Butler gathered it on the bounce to storm over for a try which Bennett converted.

Shannon's second try was a superb effort eight minutes before the break. Luke O'Dea weaved past several defenders to send Richie Mullane in at the corner and Bennett brilliantly added the extras from the touchline to make it 20-3.

But Young Munster were dominating the scrums and Shannon prop Kevin Griffin was soon sin-binned. After opting for two scrums rather than penalties, Young Munster were rewarded with a penalty try which Staunton converted to leave it 20-10 at the interval.

It looked at that stage that Young Munster's prospects of earning the Limerick bragging rights and more importantly keeping up their Division 1A challenge were in some trouble.

However, two penalties by Staunton had them within striking distance of the winning post just on the hour mark.

With the Shannon scrum in huge trouble and their player-coach Stephen Keogh earning a yellow card and John Clogan following him late on, it was all Young Munster in the final 20 minutes.

But they to wait wait until two minutes from the end to gain this famous win when hooker Ger Slattery getting the touchdown as the forwards piled in after a break by Murphy was halted near the line.

Staunton converted but the drama was not over yet. Shannon were penalised for an offence after the try was scored and with the last kick of an enthralling contest, Bennett tried a shot at goal from halfway but it fell just short.

Referee: Olly Hodges (IRFU)