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Garryowen Win Bank Of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup

17th March 2024 By The Editor

Garryowen Win Bank Of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup

Garryowen celebrate their victory Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Garryowen are the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup champions for the 40th time in their history after the Limerick club overcame the challenge of Cork Constitution to win 22-7 at Thomond Park.

Both teams enjoyed periods of possession in the opening 10 minutes without threatening the opposition try line with the play predominantly taking place between the two 10m lines.

Cork Con were gaining an upper hand in the scrum and maul which gave them good territory in the Garryowen half while for the Limerick side, fullback Colm Hogan made a number of breaks to get his side into good positions.

A Neil Cronin box-kick won Garryowen a 50:22 and from the lineout they almost got the opening try of the game when Gordon Wood went over in the corner. However, after some deliberation between Referee George Clancy and his touch-judge, it was decided that Wood was held up over the line.

Garryowen captain Brian Fitzgerald then powered into the Cork Con 22 but the ball was lost and Cork Con cleared their lines.

A breakdown turnover from Player of the Match Jack Daly gave Garryowen another opportunity and their maul effort brought play deep inside the Cork Con 22. The ball eventually went wide where Donnacha Byrne made good ground before Cian Hurley powered over for the game’s opening try. Kelvin Langan notched the conversion to give Garryowen a 7-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

Before half-time, Garryowen stretched their lead to 10-0 thanks to penalty from Langan in front of the posts.

Cork Con weren’t in the changing rooms for too long before they came back out for the second half and they got back into the game with a try from John Forde who powered over from close-range after a number of carries close to the Garryowen line. Rob Hedderman notched the conversion to put just three points between the sides.

From the restart, Garryowen dominated possession and they were rewarded with a penalty but Langan’s attempt came back off the post as their lead remained at three points.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, a powerful maul eventually saw Nicky Greene cross in the corner and Langan’s touchline conversion came back off the post once against to leave eight points between the sides.

Garryowen made sure of the result just minutes later when Fitzgerald, who had an excellent game, broke through to Cork Con defence to cross next to the posts. Langan converted to give Garryowen a 22-7 lead.

The Limerick club saw out the remainder of the game in the middle of the pitch before the final whistle sounded which greeted jubilant scenes as Garryowen savoured a deserved victory.

Garryowen: Colm Hogan; Gordon Wood, Brian Fitzgerald (c), Jack Delaney, Colm Quilligan; Kelvin Langan, Neil Cronin; George Hadden, Max Clein, Oisin Kearney; Cian Hurley, Kevin Seymour; Jeronimo Ureta Saenz Pena, Jack Daly, Donnacha Byrne.

Replacements: Dean Fanning, Darragh McCarthy, Des Fitzgerald, Sean Rennison, Jonathan Keane, Jack Oliver, Nicky Greene.

Cork Constitution: Rob Hedderman; Rob Jermyn, Daniel Hurley, Harry O’Riordan, Matthew Bowen; Te Atawhai Mason, Adam Maher; Brendan Quinlan, Billy Scannell, Luke Masters; Sean Duffy, John Forde; Jack Kelleher, Ronan O’Sullivan, Dave Hyland (c).

Replacements: Gordon Good, Mark Donnelly, Charlie Connolly, Kamil Nowak, Matisee Lamarque D’Arrouzat, Louis Kahn, Johnny Murphy.

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