Munster A lose out Bedford Blues in British and Irish Cup

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster A lose out Bedford Blues in British and Irish Cup

The Munster A side lost to Bedford in the British and Irish Cup in Cork on Friday night

HOLDERS Munster A suffered their first defeat in this season’s British and Irish Cup when going down on a 25-14 scoreline to Bedford Blues at Musgrave Park on Friday night.

The visitors came from 14-0 down to ease past their hosts in a competitive round three fixture.

Leinster Academy player Jeremy Loughman started in the front row for Munster A after signing a three-month development contract with the province.

Friday night’s game in Cork saw three Munster players, Joey Conway, Jack O’Sullivan and Bryan O’Connor make their B&I Cup debuts.

Jeremy Loughman made his first appearance for Munster A.

Munster had 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.

Munster A will face Bedford in the return fixture at Goldington Road next weekend.

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. Scrum-half 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.

The Championship outfit were level shortly after the break as winger Dean Adamson touched down with Hooley again on target. 

Bedford took the lead for the first time on 52 minutes as Hooley landed a long-range penalty to make it 17-14 to the visitors.

A further Hooley penalty then moved 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 pounced on a loose ball to claim his second try of the night and seal the victory.B&I Cup Round-Up:

MUNSTER A: Stephen Fitzgerald; Jack Power, David Johnston (Capt), Alex McHenry (Dave McCarthy, 56 mins), Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston (Conor Fitzgerald, 79 mins), James Hart (John Poland, 56 mins); Joey Conway (Bryan O’Connor, 52 mins), Mike Sherry (Duncan Casey, 52 mins), Jeremy Loughman; Fineen Wycherley, Sean McCarthy (Jack O’Sullivan, half-time), Sean O’Connor, Tommy O’Donnell, Gavin Coombes (John Foley, 74 mins).