WATCH: Munsters’ hit Garryowen for six in Limerick Charity Cup final

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at Markets Field

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent, at Markets Field

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steven.miller@limerickleader.ie

Munsters’ hit Garryowen for six in Limerick Charity Cup final

Young Munster celebrate their 40-6 win over Garryowen

CLINICAL Young Munster regained the Sporting Limerick Charity Cup with an impressive 40-6 final victory over arch rivals Garryowen at the Markets Field on Friday night.

Munsters’ scored six tries in all, including a brace for New Zealand full-back Clayton Stewart, as Gearoid Prendergast’s side scored a convincing victory over their All-Ireland League Division 1A rivals.

The winners led 14-6 at half-time, but added four tries in the second half as well as succeeding in keeping their opponents scoreless, to close out an impressive victory.

The success was a timely boost for Munsters’ who sit in eighth-place in the AIL Division 1A table at the mid-point in the regular season.

Before the AIL resumes for the new Limerick Charity Cup holders on January 19, Garryowen, who were losing the final for the second successive season, will face Cork Con in the Munster Senior Cup final on January 5 and Lansdowne in a Bateman Cup semi-final seven days later.

Both sides were short a number of their All-Ireland League ‘regulars’ with a Munster A/Development side facing Ireland U20s in a challenge game at Musgrave Park tomorrow, Saturday.

Young Munster got off to the perfect start when winger Darragh O’Neill made a terrfic break before sending full-back Clayton Stewart crashing over for the game’s opening try inside two minutes. Shane Airey’s conversion helped Munster’s into a 7-0 lead.

However, Garryowen hit back quickly and two penalty goals inside the opening quarter from their young winger John Hurley reduced Munsters’ lead to a single point, 7-6.

The see-saw nature of the scoring continued, however, when Darragh O’Neill’s well-placed kick into the corner helped earn excellent field position deep inside the Garryowen ‘22.

From the resultant line-out industrious second-row Alan Kennedy barged over from close range for the Greenfields’ side’s second try. Airey’s unerring conversion made it 14-6.

Munsters’ had a chance to increase their lead in first half stoppage time when awarded a scrum penalty. However, Airey’s penalty attempt from just inside the Garryowen half fell short of the upright before being cleared.

Munsters’ did stretch their lead six minutes into the second half with an excellently-worked try. From a penalty kicked deep inside the ‘22, Munsters’ won the resultant line-out before mauling forward. The ball was quickly spun out the back with Shane Airey feeding Evan O’Gorman, who put Derek Corcoran in under the posts. The out-half’s conversion made it 21-6.

Try number four for the winners, which effectively put the game to bed, arrived in the 56th minute when Ireland rugby league international Edward O’Keeffe created the opening for Kiwi full-back Stewart to scamper over for his second try of the decider. 

It was Stewart’s second successive year to win a Charity Cup medal as he was a key member of the Nenagh Ormond side which defeated Garryowen in last season’s final. Airey’s fourth conversion made it 28-6.

Munsters’ were not done yet, however, and the 2016 winners added a fifth try from replacement Daniel Walsh in the 76th minute off a well-executed maul.

Airey made it five conversions from five when adding the extras.

A late opportunist try from out-half Airey, from Edward O’Keeffe’s kick through, rounded off the scoring for the winners.

SCORERS: Young Munster: Clayton Stewart two tries, Alan Kennedy, Derek Corcoran, Daniel Walsh try each, Shane Airey try, five cons. Garryowen: John Hurley two pens.

GARRYOWEN: Andrew O’Byrne; John Hurley, Bryan Fitzgerald, Paul Clancy, Daniel Hurley; Jamie Gavin, Steven Atkinson; Jack Mullany, Niall Horan, Andrew Keating; Scott Leahy, Dean Moore; Sean Rennison, Shane Brosnahan, Alan Fitzgerald. Replacements: David Canny, Derry Gleeson, Ben Rowley, Evan Maher, Harry Byrne, Oisin Cooke, Tommy O’Hora.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Clayton Stewart; Edward O’Keeffe, Derek Corcoran, Evan O’Gorman, Daragh O’Neill; Shane Airey. Jack Lyons; Peter Meyer, Mark O’Mara, Conor Bartley; Tom Goggin, Alan Kennedy; Fintan Coleman, Conor Mitchell, John Foley. Replacements: Shane Fenton, Gavin Ryan, Alan Ross, Daniel Walsh, Stephen Kerins, Luke Fitzgerald, Paul Allen.

REFEREE: Andy Brace (IRFU)