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Garryowen Claim Heineken Munster Junior Cup Title

8th April 2007 By Munster Rugby

In welcome sunshine at Tom Clifford Park, Garryowen claimed their first Munster Junior Cup title since 1993, defeating UL Bohemian RFC by a narrow three point margin in the final of the Heineken Munster Junior Cup.

GARRYOWEN 9-6 UL BOHEMIAN

Garryowen kicked off, and had an immediate scoring opportunity when they reclaimed the ball and stretched the UL Boh’s defence as they sought to spread the ball early on. However, a forward pass thwarted their early efforts, and UL Boh’s outhalf Ian Costello eventually cleared his lines. From the outset, it was apparent that the sides were well matched, with a ferocious battle at the breakdown for possession, and both defences kept on their toes. Garryowen got the first opportunity to claim points from an 11th minute penalty, however, Willie Staunton’s attempt at goal went wide of the posts. The first half sin binning of Garryowen’s David Heaton reduced the side to 14 men, and shortly after UL Boh’s claimed the first points of the game with a 19th minute penalty goal kicked by Costello. With handling errors on both sides hindering any real flow to the game, both sides struggled for dominance. However, as the half wore on, Garryowen looked like they had the edge, as they kept play inside the UL Boh’s half and sought to put phases together. Late in the half, centre Jamie Carroll carved a path down the middle of the pitch to the 22, however his chip ahead went into touch but it showed a renewed urgency from the Garryowen team. Garryowen had an opportunity to level in the 42nd minute, however, Staunton’s second attempt curled just left of the posts and UL Bohemian’s held onto their 3-0 lead going into the break.

A rejuvenated UL Boh’s emerged from the dressing room, and they pushed for the Garryowen line from the restart. Despite their efforts, it was Garryowen who got the next score, with Willie Staunton levelling the score with a penalty goal eleven minutes into the half. Seven minutes later, an ambitious attempt by Staunton from just inside his own half found its target, and Garryowen claimed a 6-3 lead. A 61st minute drop goal attempt by Costello after the referee had already signalled a penalty went just left of the posts, however his attempt from the penalty a minute later found its mark, and the sides were level once again. Despite having a lighter pack, a great maul from the 22 by UL Boh’s on 75 minutes saw them come within feet of the Garryowen line. An injury to David Keane stopped play for a period of time, and the sin binning of John Staunton saw Garryowen down to 14 men once again. Ian Costello’s drop goal attempt shortly after didn’t quite have the legs, and the loss of Ronan Parkes to the bin on 78 minutes saw both teams reduced to 14 men apiece going into the final stages. Willie Staunton converted the ensuing penalty to give Garryowen a 9-6 lead in the final minute of normal time. His drop goal attempt three minutes later didn’t hit the mark, and despite a lively break by the UL Bohs full back Michael Skelton in the dying seconds, his opposite number JP Hartigan tackled him into touch just before the referee Brian Twomey signalled the end of the game.

Garryowen FC
15. John Barry, 14. Cillian O’Boyle, 13. Jamie Carroll, 12. David Heaton, 11. Niall O’Driscoll, 10. Willie Staunton, 9. Alan McNamara, 1. John Staunton, 2. Pat Humphreys, 3. Declan Lavery, 4, David Keane, 5. Donal Sheahan, 6. Neville Melbourne, 7. Eoghan Nihil (Captain), 8. David Sherry
Replacements:
Frank McKenna for D. Sherry (17), Eoin Kelly for D. Keane (68), JP Hartigan for Barry (77), Robert Coates for Humphreys (88)

UL Bohemian RFC
15. Michael Skelton, 14. Jamie English, 13. David Moloney, 12. Cian Clohessy, 11. Darragh Lynch, 10. Ian Costello, 9. Liam O’Connor, 1. Richie Feeney, 2. Cathal Parkes, 3. Sean O’Gorman (Captain), 4. Cathal O’Neill, 5. Ryan Hartigan, 6. Ronan Parkes, 7. Marcus O’Mahony, 8. Pat Fitzgerald
Replacements:
Sean McKeown for Clohessy (44), Christy Neilan for (83)

Referee: Brian Twomey (MAR)
Touch Judge 1: Paul Slattery (MAR)
Touch Judge 2: Ollie Hodges (MAR)
Fourth Official: Ken McNamara (MAR)

PATH TO THE FINAL
Garryowen
R2: 28th Jan- Thurles 3-22 Garryowen
R3: 18th Feb- Clanwilliam 3-20 Garryowen
QF: 4th Mar- Garryowen 20-19 Cork Constitution
SF: 1st April- Garryowen 15-3 Young Munster

UL Bohemian
R2: 28th Jan- UL Bohemian 30-16 Abbeyfeale
R3: 18th Feb- UL Bohemian 20-3 Highfield
QF: 4th Mar- Skibbereen 10-13 UL Bohemian
SF: 1st April- Crosshaven 9-20 UL Bohemian

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