Clontarf prove too strong for understrength Munsters
Dublin side score six tries to move to within 80 minutes of third league title in four years
Clontarf’s Mick McGrath is tackled by James O’Connor of Young Munster in Sunday’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A semi-final. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
Clontarf 37 Young Munster 29
An understrength Young Munster team suffered their third Ulster Bank League semi-final defeat in as many years as defending champions Clontarf proved too strong at Castle Avenue.
’Tarf ran in six tries, including a brace from former Leinster winger Mick McGrath, to claim a 37-29 win and move within 80 minutes of their third Division 1A title in four years.
Young Munster were without Dan Goggin, Cian Bohane, Robin Copeland and Gavin Coombes, who started for Munster ‘A’ in Friday’s B&I Cup final success over Jersey Reds.
It was McGrath who led the way, breaking through a ruck to score under the posts in the third minute with David Joyce converting.
One of Young Munster’s leading performers this season, teenage outhalf Alan Tynan, was in inspirational form early on, cutting through for a brace of first-half tries. Crucially, Andy Wood’s home side took advantage of a yellow card to score 10 points in the lead-up to half-time, outhalf Joyce landing a penalty and converting captain Ben Reilly’s late score.
Either side of Tynan’s 50th minute penalty, McGrath burst through for his second try and centre Conor O’Brien also touched down in the corner, to increase Clontarf’s advantage.
Clontarf replacement Rob McGrath joined his brother as a try scorer on the hour mark and scrumhalf Mark Sutton tagged on the sixth try late on.
Munsters can hold their heads high as this was a proud performance from a youthful squad that is clearly going places. A penalty try in the final play supplemented a 72nd-minute converted score from Ireland Under-20 international Jack Lyons.
CLONTARF: R Keogh; M Brown, C O’Brien, M D’Arcy, M McGrath; D Joyce, M Sutton; V Abdaladze, J Harris-Wright, R Burke-Flynn, B Reilly (capt), M Kearney, T Ryan, K Moran, M Noone. Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ivan Soroka, Eoghan Browne, Adrian D’Arcy, Andrew Feeney, Evan Ryan, Rob McGrath.
YOUNG MUNSTER: S Airey; D O’Mahony, C Nash, J Harrington, J O’Connor; A Tynan, R Guerin; G Ryan, G Slattery (capt), C Skehan, A Kennedy, F Wycherley, E Mundu, D Walsh, D Ryan.Replacements: M O’Mara, S Rennison, E Ryan, D Begley, J Lyons, A Griesel, T Goggin.
Referee: Gary Conway (IRFU)