Never say die - Young Munster comeback sees off Shannon

November 7, 2018

Joining the black and amber backline for the occasion and getting their club debuts were Munster boys Johne Murphy at 14 and Ian Keatley at 12. Shannon had Felix Jones in full back who was making his return to action after a lengthy injury, and the star studded cast can’t have harmed spectator numbers which were rumoured to be near the 2,000 mark.

In the first half, it was all Shannon. They went ahead with a penalty from Tadgh Bennett after nine minutes with Willie Staunton equalizing for us minutes later. This was to be our only score for a long period however as Shannon picked up two tries in the second quarter. The first saw Paddy Butler gather a great chip from Bennett to touch down over the line, their second try was created by winger Luke O’Dea who always looked threatening with the ball, he sent Richie Mullane in at the corner to score and Bennett added the extras from the touchline to make the score 20-3.

A 17 point deficit seemed like a mountain to climb for the visiting side but our heads never dropped, we knew there was plenty of rugby yet to be played, and anything was possible. Our pack had been dominating in the scrums all evening, and Shannon had a prop sin-binned approaching half time. After opting for two scrums rather than penalties, we were eventually rewarded with a penalty try just before the break, which Staunton duly converted to leave the score at 20-10 at half-time.

In the second half, it was all us. Willie Staunton landed two penalties to take us to within four points of Shannon and our pack was dominating in the lineouts as well as at the scrum. We had all the momentum going into the final five minutes but were still four points behind. Increasing pressure on the Shannon defence saw player/coach Stephen Keogh pick up a yellow card, and John Clogan had also been shown yellow by referee Ollie Hodges so Shannon were reduced to 13 men into the dying minutes.
A lineout two minutes from time set up a driving maul that saw Young Munster burrow over the line for a try with the touchdown awarded to hooker Ger Slattery. Staunton converted to take us ahead 23-20.

The drama didn’t end here however. Ref Hodges had spotted an incident after the try and awarded a penalty to Shannon at the restart. Bennett set up the kick on the halfway line as Cookie fans held their breath to see if it had the legs to go over. It didn’t, it fell just short, and the ref blew it up.

Final score: Shannon 20 – 23 Young Munster

SCORERS – Shannon: Paddy Butler, Richie Mullane try each, Tadhg Bennett two penalties, two conversions. Young Munster: Ger Slattery try, penalty try, Willie Staunton three penalties, two conversions

YOUNG MUNSTER – Ray Moloney; Johne Murphy, Andrew Burke, Ian Keatley, Mark Doyle; Willie Staunton, Mike Prendergast; Alan Cotter, Ger Slattery, Hugh McGrath; Darren Gallagher, Shane O’Neill (Capt); Liam Og Murphy, James O’Neill, Neville Melbourne. Replacements: Johnny Moroney for Shane O’Neill (66 mins), Ger Flaherty for Hugh McGrath (72 mins), Hugh McGrath for Cotter (76 mins).

SHANNON – Felix Jones; Luke O’Dea, Richie Mullane, Mossie Lawler (Capt), Shane McNamara; Tadhg Bennett, Rob Guerin; Les Hogan, John Deegan, Kevin Griffin; Stephen Keogh, Fergal Walsh; Paddy Butler, James Murphy, David Quinlan. Replacements: Gary McNamara for Murphy (temp 38-48 mins), John Clogan for Lawler (47 mins), Dan Heffernan for Walsh (57 mins), Fergal Walsh for Quinlan (76 mins).

REFEREE – Ollie Hodges

GAME 13 – Garryowen
Young Munster take on Garryowen RFC at home in the Ulster Bank League this Saturday February 18th. Why not make a day out of it and come to the PRE-MATCH LUNCH from 1pm? €25 includes admission, 2-course lunch with wine and match programme. All are welcome. For bookings contact Brendan Collopy at 086-6062606 or Fergal Deegan 086-2265692.