Young Munster retain top position in Ulster Bank League table

November 7, 2018

Our Senior XV were back in action in the Ulster Bank League last Saturday as we welcomed Lansdowne FC to Tom Clifford Park. Despite playing into a strong wind, we were 6-0 ahead after the opening three minutes and Lansdowne had flanker Jason Kelly yellow carded.
Lansdowne got one back 20 minutes later, but on the half hour we were awarded a penalty in front of our posts, which Willie Staunton slotted over to bring the score to 9-3. A penalty at the other side of the pitch followed but hit the woodwork for Craig Ronaldson. Five minutes before the break a lapse in our defence saw Lansdowne winger Matt Healy get in for a well taken try and Ronaldson converted bringing the score to 9-10 to the visitors going into the break.
After the break, the kickers on both sides traded missed penalties early into the half as they struggled to deal with the wind, which seemed to be coming from two directions at once across the pitch.
20 minutes into the second half we had another penalty drift left of the posts, minutes later Staunton had another opportunity from 40m out and this one found its target taking us ahead by 12-10.
A drop goal attempt by Mike Prendergast 25 minutes in would have give us a bit of breathing space but the kick wasn’t on target, and Lansdowne were awarded a penalty moments later on the 22 for offside which they scored and took the lead of 13-12.
In the last ten minutes of the game, Staunton attempted two long range penalties from inside our own half, the first of which was on target but short, and the second drifted right and wide. Another penalty awarded for a high tackle on Darragh O’Neill from the touch line went right and wide, but was followed with yet another penalty awarded against Lansdowne. Staunton had only scored one kick from his efforts in the second half and as he lined up the ball for this attempt we were well into injury time, and all around the ground knew it was our last hope. Testament to his character, the kick made it over the posts and we finished with the narrow win and much relief as the ref blew the final whistle.
Final Score: Young Munster 15 – 13 Lansdowne
Team: Ray Moloney, Matthew Costelloe, Andrew Burke, Mike Kelliher, Darragh O’Neill, Willie Staunton, Mike Prendergast. Ger Flaherty, Ger Slattery (Capt.), Alan Cotter, Darren Gallagher, Sean Duggan, Liam Og Murphy, Shane Hassett, Neville Melbourne.
Replacements: Ger Bourke, Hugh McGrath, Shane O’Neill (for S.Duggan), James O’Neill (for S.Hassett), Brian Haugh (for M.Kelliher).
Photos courtesy of Brendan Doyle available from: