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Young Munster Pass Blackrock Test

Young Munster Pass Blackrock Test

Young Munster posted their third successive victory in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, beating Blackrock College 13-11 in a hard-fought battle at Stradbrook.

Mike Prendergast's side were made to work hard right until the end of this dogfight as Blackrock kept within touching distance, despite falling behind 10-3 early in the first half.

The Dubliners started the game at a high tempo but were penalised in the third minute for holding on. Young Munster scrum half Alan Kingsley, who has been in fine form, slotted the resulting penalty from the guts of 45 metres out.

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Munsters then burst into life and showed their attacking capabilities with some nice line-breaks from Kingsley and lock Brendan Guilfoyle, who touched down against Old Belvedere last weekend.

The visitors conceded possession and 'Rock counter attacked well, bringing play into the Munsters' 22. This paved the way for Blackrock to level the score from a Darragh Fitzpatrick penalty.

Munsters got their first real opportunity to touch down after a nice back-line move. Out-half Willie Staunton passed to centre Matthew Costelloe who showed nice hands to help the ball onto winger Aaron Carroll. He raced for the corner but was stopped just short.

A few phases later, Munsters were rewarded for their efforts when Staunton gave the ball to Costelloe and he weaved inside a defender and touched down. Kingsley added the conversion for a 10-3 advantage.

Shortly afterwards, Blackrock were handed the chance to reduce the deficit but centre Rob Keogh put his second long range penalty effort to the left of the target.

After a steady onslaught from the forwards, hooker Cian Culleton looked to be over the line for a Blackrock try. However, referee George Clancy thought otherwise and instead gave the home side a penalty which Fitzpatrick converted from close range for 10-6.

At the start of the second half, 'Rock's indiscipline began to show as they conceded several penalties yet there was little separating the side at this stage of the match.

Then came the hosts' one and only try. After a bout of possession in Munsters' 22, Alex Dunlop made good ground and set up the platform for scrum half Alan MacGinty to pass the ball to Keogh who darted for the line and used his strength to power through the tackle and touch down.

Keogh missed the conversion but his side were on top for the first time in the game with a narrow one-point lead.

Only two minutes later, 'Rock's discipline let them down again and they handed Kingsley another long range effort. The talismanic place-kicker was spot on with what turned out to be the match-winning kick.

Coming into the final 20 minutes, Young Munster seemed to be the more dominant side and had a couple of chances to close the game out. Staunton looked to have scored under the posts, but referee Clancy had spotted a double movement and awarded the home side the penalty.

It was a gripping second half with both defences doing well under pressure, and in the end Munsters did well to hold out for a narrow victory.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)