In the end they lost 15-13 but ended up the stronger side and would not have been flattered to win the game. They trailed 5-3 at the interval, Barry Keeshan their penalty scorer. London Irish poured on the pressure at the start of the second half and raced into a commanding 15-3 lead.
However, Munster refused to buckle and a try from Cathal Garvey - a replacement for Keeshan - sparked a revival. Munster enjoyed the better of the closing stages and full-back Richard Lane ended a sparkling phase of play to score in the right hand corner and leave the home side clinging desperately to their slim advantage.
Barry Keeshan penalty; Cathal Garvey try; Richard Lane try.
Rory O Connor
Shane O Neill
Fiach O Loughlin
Breffni O Donnell
Peter O Brien
Replacements - Cathal Garvey & Richard Lane