Munster Schools winning run in the U18 Schools Interprovincial came to a half in Thomond Park with an 8-11 defeat to neighbours Connacht. Having defeated Ulster away in the first round, a win in Thomond Park would have put Munster in the strongest position heading into the final game against Leinster in Musgrave Park next Wednesday. However, a resilient Connacht side claimed the victory in front of a notable crowd in a damp Thomond Park.
With the conditions affecting handling and contributing to the fragmented nature of the game, it was Munster who put the first points on the board with a try from winger Diarmuid McCarthy after ten minutes which wasn t converted. Connacht replied with two first half penalties from outhalf Sean Joyce, which was to complete the scoring for the first half with Connacht leading 6-5.
After the restart, Connacht missed out on an opportunity to extend their lead after Joyce wasn t successful with a penalty kick. Two minutes later however, a superb try from centre John O Brien in a move that started from the line out and ended with O Brien cutting through the Munster defense, extended the lead to 11-5. The try wasn t converted, and Munster reacted immediately, bringing play inside the Connacht 22. Castletroy s Diarmuid McCarthy was caught on the line by a resolute Connacht defense. With much of the play taking place inside Munster s half for most of the second half, it was 22 minutes into the second half before Munster were able to add a score. Munster outhalf Andrew Burke converted a penalty from quite a distance to bring Munster up to 8 points. Much of the remainder of the game was a battle upfront, with both sides seeking to dominate. For the last period of the game, Munster exerted terrific pressure on the Connacht defense but it remained firm. The score remained 11-8 at full time, with Connacht enjoying the victory having been defeated by Leinster. Best for Munster included outhalf Andrew Burke, winger Diarmuid McCarthy and scrum half Chris Nolan.
Munster s next game is in Musgrave Park next Wednesday, October 25th, which is a double bill versus Leinster featuring the Munster Schools U19 s also. Munster Schools U18 s v Leinster Schools U18 kick off at 1pm while the U19 s game kicks off at 2.30pm.
15. Ronan O Mahony (Castletroy College), 14. Paul Gleeson (Ard Scoil Ris), 13. Michael Kelleher (St. Munchin s College), 12. Ian Cross (Crescent College Comprehensive), 11. Diarmuid McCarthy (Castletroy College), 10. Andrew Burke (Crescent College Comprehensive), 9. Chris Nolan (C.B.C.), 8. James Ryan. (Rockwell College), 7. Brian O Hara (P.B.C.), 6. Brian O Callaghan (C.B.C.), 5. Ian Duffy (Rockwell College), 4. Kyle O Dwyer (C.B.C.), 3. Jack Bransfield (CBC), 2. Peter Kelleher (P.B.C), 1. Darren Kavanagh (St. Munchin's College),
Derry O Neill (Rockwell College), David Toomey (Ard Scoil Ris), Daragh Cantillon (Ard Scoil Ris), Peter O Mahony (P.B.C.) , Barry Sheehan (Ard Scoil Ris), Mark Rowley (Ard Scoil Ris), Mark Doyle (Crescent College Comprehensive)
Referee: Ken Imbusch (MAR)
Touch Judge 1: Seamus Flannery (MAR)
Touch Judge 2: John Purcell (MAR)