Munster A were denied three wins in a row in the British and Irish Cup as Bedford Blues came from 14-0 down to claim a 25-14 victory at Irish Independent Park on Friday night
After an excellent first half hour, Munster A led 14-0 but Bedford’s forward power told after the break as they fought back to claim the win.
There were a number of impressive performances on the night with Tommy O’Donnell, on his return from a short-term injury, James Hart, Bill Johnston and Stephen Fitzgerald the pick of the bunch.
The teams will face off again next week in the return fixture at Goldington Road.
Munster led 14-7 at half-time thanks to an early Jack Power try after a clever Hart grubber kick and an Alex McHenry effort on 24 minutes following a sustained period of pressure. Hart kicked both conversions and Munster A held a comfortable 14-0 lead.
Bedford battled back strongly, however, as prop Sean McCarthy crossed in the left corner after a rare attack to make it 14-7 at the interval as out-half Will Hooley added the conversion.
And the Championship outfit were level shortly after the break as winger Dean Adamson shot through a gap following a reverse pass to go in under the sticks with Hooley again on target.
Bedford took the lead for the first time on 52 minutes as Hooley landed a long-range three-pointer following a scrum penalty to make it 17-14 to the visitors.
A second scrum penalty just before the hour gave Hooley another opportunity and he duly obliged to move Bedford 20-14 in front.
Munster A battled back with Fitzgerald leading the charge as quick hands saw O’Donnell send Liam Coombes clear down the left flank but the Bedford scramble defence managed to recover.
And Bedford hit the hosts with a late sucker punch as Adamson pouned on a loose ball to claim his second try of the night and seal the victory.
B&I Cup Round-Up: Joey Conway, Jack O’Sullivan and Bryan O’Connor made his B&I Cup debuts in the clash.
Jeremy Loughman made his first appearance for Munster A.
Munster A: Stephen Fitzgerald; Jack Power, Dave Johnston (C), Alex McHenry (Dave McCarthy, 56), Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston (Conor Fitzgerald, 79), James Hart (John Poland, 56); Joey Conway (Bryan O’Connor, 52), Mike Sherry (Duncan Casey, 52), Jeremy Loughman; Fineen Wycherley, Sean McCarthy (Jack O’Sullivan, h-t), Sean O’Connor, Tommy O’Donnell, Gavin Coombes (John Foley, 74).