IT was a case of honours even in the first Ulster Bank League game to be played under the Clifford Park floodlights as great Limerick rivals Young Munster and Garryowen finished tied, 16 points each, in their 1A tie on Friday night.
Garryowen fought back from a 10-point deficit, 16-6, early in the second half to secure a deserved share of the spoils against their hosts. Indeed, the ‘light blues’ could well have won the game late on, only for James Frawley’s 78th minute penalty attempt to hit the top of an upright before sliding outside the posts.
Young Munster, looking to bounce back from an opening day defeat to Lansdowne, settled first and led 6-0 after seven minutes through two penalty goals from out-half Paul Downes.
However, winger Frawley tied up the match when landing two penalty goals for the visitors in the 12th and 16th minutes.
After two sides had a player sin-binned, Munsters’ managed to take a 13-6 lead into the half-time break when replacement Alan Kennedy barged over the try-line and Downes was on target with the conversion.
After Downes landed his third penalty within a minute of the re-start the Munsters’ lead was 10 points. However, Garryowen managed to maintain their unbeaten start to the top flight through Frawley’s 44th minute penalty goal and a successful conversion of Liam McMahon’s 70th minute try.
SCORERS: Young Munster; Alan Kennedy try, Paul Downes three pens, con. Garryowen: Liam McMahon try, James Frawley three pens, con.
YOUNG MUNSTER: Craig O’Hanlon, Warren Kelly, Daragh O’Neill, Diarmuid McCarthy, Michael Vaughan, Paul Downes, Gary Fitzgerald; David Begley, Ger Slattery (Capt), Paul Allen; Darragh Gallagher, Sean Duggan; Alan Ross, Diarmuid Dee, Tom Goggoin. Replacements: Daniel Montgomery, Gerard O’Flaherty, Alan Kennedy, Wayne Murphy, Michael Mullally.
GARRYOWEN: Alex Wootton; James Frawley, Andrew O’Byrne, Joseph Purcell, James McInerney; Conan Doyle, Neil Cronin; Ben Rowley, Liam McMahon ,Jonathan Phelan; Aaron McCloskey, Paul McCarroll; Jonathan Keane, Elliot Fitzgerald, Josh Hrstich (Capt). Replacements: Liam Cronin, Michael O’Donnell, Mark Hanrahan, Edward Barry, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham.
REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)