Superb Darragh O’Neill try for victory over UL Bohemians

November 7, 2018

In typical derby fashion neither side imposed themselves on proceedings early on. Familiarity needn’t necessarily breed contempt but after two early-season cup meetings – both won by Bohs – the two sides knew each other too well to give a whole lot away.

The hosts were first to trouble the scoresheet, Munster flanker Tommy O’Donnell diving on a charge-down that flirted with the touch-in-goal line before the try was awarded. Munster starlet JJ Hanrahan was off target with the conversion and had registered 0/3 before Brian Haugh showed how it’s done at the other end.

In fact, Haugh’s first task from the tee was to convert a blistering Darragh O’Neill try. A loose Bohs kick was gathered by Steve Macauley inside the Munsters’ half. The ball was worked through three pairs of hands before the flying left-winger (who only scores scintillating tries, it seems) was set free down the far touchline. Bohs’ hooker Seán Henry and second row Darragh Frawley were left chasing shadows before Darragh stood up and stepped the covering Mossie Lawlor to waltz over the line and touch down.
Up in the stand, the Munsters faithful were on their feet to salute what will be a candidate for try of the season and with Haugh obliging with the extras from left of the posts it was Munsters who led nearing half-time.

There was still a sting in the tail before Leo Colgan could call a halt to the half, however.
Credit to Bohs, who forced successive penalties at the breakdown, both converted by Hanrahan. The second infringement saw Johne Murphy (born and reared in Carey’s Road – little-known fact) dispatched to the sin bin but, despite Bohs’ numerical advantage, Brian Haugh tacked on a three-pointer to send the sides in with just the minimum between them.

With the game on a knife-edge it was always going to come down to fitness, desire, and execution in the second forty. With that in mind, credit must go to Mike Prendergast and his coaching staff, whose well-drilled side held the hosts to a solitary three-pointer in the second half.

Time and again the Cookies’ lineout was imperious out of touch and constantly disrupted on Seán Henry’s throw. Seán Duggan in particular tormented the Sligo man who was at pains to find a jumper.

By contrast, Ger Slattery’s unit was ruthlessly efficient, varying the call nicely and hitting five different targets during the eighty.

Pressure at the set piece starved Bohemians of clean first-phase ball and pressure at the breakdown – much of it from the lively Luke Russell – forced the hosts into repeated infringements.

The calls for a yellow card grew increasingly vociferous as the half wore on but despite Bohs trailing 2:1 on the penalty count, referee Colgan didn’t see fit to even things up in terms of cards.

There were some nervy moments in the final 10 minutes, a long range Hanrahan drop goal trailed to the right and wide and a superb Craig O’Hanlon cover tackle was all that prevented substitute Seán Rennison from “doing a Darragh O’Neill on it” and running in an intercept for what would have been a decisive score.

Mercifully, Bohemians’ toe-holds in the Munsters’ 22 weren’t translated into points, thanks in chief to pressure at the line-out and commendable discipline in defence.

The last act fell to Brian Haugh to dispatch the ball to touch after the forwards had worn down the clock after regaining possession from a turnover by the scrum-half.

Next up, it’s the visit of Garryowen to Greenfields next Sunday, November 18th, with a 2:30 kick-off. Motivation won’t be lacking (on either side of the touchline) against the Light Blues as Munsters seek a hat-trick of derby wins in the Ulster Bank League.

Final score: UL Bohemians 13 – 11 Young Munster

– Killian McCarthy

SCORERS – Young Munster: Brian Haugh three penalties, one conversion, Darragh O’Neill try; UL Bohs: Tommy O’Donnell try, JJ Hanrahan two penalties

YOUNG MUNSTER – Craig O’Hanlon; Steve McAuley, Mark Doyle, Johne Murphy, Darragh O’Neill; Gareth Quinn-McDonogh, Brian Haugh; Ger Flaherty, Ger Slattery, Darragh Cantillon; Darren Gallagher, Sean Duggan; Mark Rowley, Luke Russell, Neville Melbourne. Replacements: Alan Cotter for Flaherty (45 mins), Johnny Moroney for Russell (66 mins), Ger Flaherty for Cantillon (67 mins)

UL BOHS – Ben Martin; Martin McPhail, Mossie Lawler, Niall Keneally, Rory Whyte; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; Tom Burke, Sean Henry, Gary Walsh; Ed Kelly, Darragh Frawley; Conor Kindregan, Ian Condell, Tommy O’Donnell. Replacements: Sean Rennison for Frawley (45 mins), Eddie Rossiter for Condell (60 mins)

REFEREE – Leo Colgan (IRFU)