4 Dec, 09:57
This Friday night coming, 6th December (kick-off 7.45pm), Midleton RFC host Sundays Well RFC in the All Ireland League "under lights" at Towns Park.
Some minor changes to the starting XV didn’t impact on the side today with Conor Cooney’s injury concern forcing him out of the match day squad. Darren O’Keefe was back to match fitness and he slotted in to start at outside centre with Eoin Duffy moving to full back.
Ben Martin was again in scoring form accumulating ten points in the first fifteen minutes. A well struck penalty in windy weather was followed up by a converted try after Ulster were blocked down attempting to clear their lines.
The score was unchanged for the rest of the half with Munster playing all the rugby, Martin narrowly missing a drop goal attempt and he also had a penalty bounce off the uprights.
The second half saw the wind at Ulster’s back and they were quick to make use of it with a drop goal and a penalty in quick succession making it 10-6 with fifty minutes played.
The wind advantage was slightly reduced when the Ulster hooker found himself sitting out the end of the 3rd quarter. This proved to be the wake up call Munster needed and it was Captain Dan McCabe who stretched the lead out of Ulster’s reach with a powerful surge to score in the corner.
Ulster replied again with a penalty but that was the end of their scoring for the day as Munster kicked into high gear. Brian Downey scored a fantastic try which Martin expertly converted in severe wind conditions.
With time running out Munster were pushing for the precious bonus point and it was Rob Carroll of Clonmel who provided the score securing the 5 points win. Martin again converted another difficult kick.
Munster now go into their last weekend against Connacht top of the table on nine points, just three ahead of last week’s opponents Leinster.
Munster: Eoin Duffy; Greg Carroll, Darren O’Keeffe, Luke McCabe, Rob Carroll; Ben Martin, Stuart Lee; Barry Kelly, Mike Cronin, Brian O’Neill; Stephen Burke, Ruari O’Donnell; Brian Downey, Kevin Allen, Dan McCabe. Replacements: Gareth Mulcahy, Patrick Ryan, Barra Buckley, Dave O’Donoghue, Mark Chandler, Darragh Meade, Peter Earlie.