YOUNG Munster bounced back superbly from their shock Munster Senior Cup defeat to Cashel to record a terrific 26-18 victory over St Mary’s College on the opening day of the AIL Division 1A season at Templeville Road.
Munsters’, who led 16-5 at half-time, had tries from Derry O’Connor and Hugh McGrath, while an 18-point haul from the boot of scrum-half Brian Haugh helped the Greenfields side stun their fancied hosts.
Elsewhere, in Division 1A, Garryowen shipped a disappointing 30-13 defeat to Dolphin at Dooradoyle. The ‘light blues’ trailed 7-11 at half-time, but conceded three further tries in the second half. Garryowen’s points came from an Andrew O’Byrne try and eight points from goal-kicker Jamie Gavin.
In Division 1B, Shannon’s first ever fixture outside of the AIL’s top flight ended in a 23-16 defeat to Blackrock College at Thomond Park.
The young Parish side appeared to have done enough to secure a draw when David O’Donovan crossed for a 77th minute try, which was superbly created by the impressive Tadhg Bennett.
However, Shannon were hit with a sucker blow in added time when ‘Rock flanker Sam Cooke broke away from the half-way line to score.
UL-Bohemian made a disappointing start to life in 1B when shipping six tries in a 36-9 defeat to Terenure College at Lakelands. Shane Airey kicked three penalty goals for the Annacotty side, while Limerickman Willie Staunton landed three conversions for the home side.
In Division 2A, Old Crescent were thumped 54-15 by Old Wesley at Donnybrook. The Crescent points came courtesy of tries from Will Hanly and Luke Russell, while Kevin Meade landed a penalty and Shane Mullally converted one of the tries.
Bruff’s also lost, suffering a 13-33 home defeat to NUIM Barnhall.
In Division 2B, promoted Richmond suffered a 22-15 defeat to Boyne, despite leading 8-3 at half-time.
Thomond got their campaign off to a fine start, beating Sunday’s Well 35-14 at Liam Fitzgerald Park also in 2B. Dermot Fitzgerald bagged two tries and kicked two penalties and two conversions. Darragh O’Neill also struck for a brace of tries, while Dean O’Brien added the fifth try.