Munster A overcome Connacht Eagles in Celtic Cup opener

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Munster A overcome Connacht Eagles in Celtic Cup opener

Bill Johnston kicked 14 points as Munster A edged past Connacht Eagles in the Celtic Cup on Friday night

MUNSTER A opened their inaugural Celtic Cup campaign with a hard fought 24-16 victory over the Connacht Eagles at Musgrave Park on Friday evening.

First-half tries from Liam Coombes and James Hart along with four penalties and a conversion from Bill Johnston clinched the win for Peter Malone’s Munster A side.

Darren O’Shea captained Munster with 11 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players included along with a number of senior and club players.

A late change for Munster saw Stephen Fitzgerald drop out of the squad. Alex Wootton moved to full-back and Liam Coombes was promoted from the bench to the wing with Sean French taking his place among the replacements.

While Stephen Fitzgerald missed out on playing for Munster A, his younger brother Conor kicked 11 points in all, three penalty goals and a conversion for Connacht A.

Connacht A had led their hosts 13-5 at half-time. 

MUNSTER A: Alex Wootton; Calvin Nash, Matt More, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston, James Hart; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Ciaran Parker; Darren O’Shea (C), Sean O’Connor; Jack Daly, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes. Replacements: Billy Scannell, Cronan Gleeson, Keynan Knox, Evan Mintern, Dan Walsh, Jack Stafford, Ben Healy, Sean French.

CONNACHT EAGLES: Darragh Leader; Rory Scholes, Kieran Joyce, Peter Robb, Colm de Buitléar; Conor Fitzgerald, James Mitchell; Matthew Burke, Tom McCartney (C), Conor Carey; Peter Claffey, Joe Maksymiw; Cillian Gallagher, Cian Huxford, Mikey Wilson. Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan, Conor Kenny, Cormac Daly, Neal Moylett, Conor McKeon, Conor Dean, Sean O’Brien.