AIL Div 1 Under 20: Young Munster 10 – 21 Corinthians

November 7, 2018

Corinthians travelled to Young Munster on Saturday without 3 Irish Youth Internationals and still came away with a win. It shows the true strength in depth in this current squad, as they showed great character and discipline to come away with the victory that was demanded given the competitive nature of this division. Following this victory they are well prepared for the visit next week of last years AIL Div 1 champions, and this season’s current form team, UL Bohs. Once again it will probably be without key players, but this squad has shown meanness in defence that is required at this level, and can go into the fixture very confident in their ability to compete at the highest level. Saturday’s game in Limerick was played on a heavy pitch, which didn’t suit the lighter Corinthians pack, but they were better drilled on the day, ensuring fast ball for the lively back line. Dara Higgins was reinstated to the pack at blindside and fully justified his selection with outstanding play in the loose and in the lineout. The front row dominated their opposition with Mitchel Mc Grath acquitting himself well in his first start of the season in the absence of the injured captain James Robinson. Karl Egan moved to loosehead and together with the ever improving Fiachra Tierney gave his pack a platform. Einde Fahy was once again very prominent in defence playing like an extra backrow and provided good quality ball to Eric Flynn at outhalf. The real danger was created by the impressive centre pairing of Dave Clarke and Finn Gormley, who consistently powered through the heavy ground to create space for the lively back three of Mark Nairn, Enda Cooney and the very impressive Lee Keegan who finished off superb training ground backline moves that cut open the Young Munster defence to score two excellent tries. This left the score 14 -3 at half time after Young Munster scored first with one of many penalties awarded to them.

The second half began very well for Corinthians when Lee Keegan brilliantly intercepted a pass from the line-out to run half the pitch to score a third try. At this stage it looked inevitable that Corinthians would pick up a bonus point but a combination of poor composure in the strike zone and some refereeing decisions, culminated in Young Munster scoring a try after 5 successive penalties were awarded against Corinthians. The final score ended Young Munster 10 – 21 Corinthians and an impressive away result for this developing under 20 squad. Unfortunately the win was coloured by the fact that the exciting winger Enda Cooney injured his ankle and will miss the next 2 matches at least.