Thursday 8 December 2016

Two titles in the bag as Munster finish with a flourish

Published 25/09/2015 | 02:30

Munster U-19s celebrate their inter-pro title
Munster U-19s celebrate their inter-pro title
Munster U-20s celebrate their title
Munster U-20 captain Paul Kiernan hoists the inter-pro trophy

A successful three weeks of competitive action for Munster's age-grade representative sides saw those involved secure nine wins from 11 games and claim two interprovincial titles.

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On an opening weekend of mixed fortunes, the U-20s and U-19s both won in Belfast, but the U-18 Clubs and Schools both suffered opening-round defeats away to Leinster.

In poor conditions on home soil the following week, Peter Malone's U-20s and Colm McMahon's U-19s both beat Leinster.

The Munster U-18 Clubs returned to winning ways in Cork on that second weekend, crushing Connacht with four unanswered tries to keep their championship hopes alive.

Heading into the final weekend with three inter-pro titles at stake, on Friday night the U-20s claimed the first of the honours on offer, doing so in dramatic fashion.

They fought back from a 17-5 half-time deficit to grind out a 24-23 win over Connacht at the Sportsground.

Shannon No 8 John Foley's try and David O'Mahony's crucial conversion in the dying minutes did just enough in getting Munster over the line to secure the championship.

A double header at CBC in Cork on Saturday saw Munster U-18 Clubs and Schools both take on Ulster.

Despite Fiach O'Loughlin's Clubs side running out convincing winners, Leinster retained the title thanks to their win over Connacht.

Leinster also took the Schools title, sealing the deal the previous week against Ulster.

Marker

That said, Keith Murphy's Munster Schools side still laid down a marker in also defeating Ulster and finishing their campaign on winning note.

And the U-19s completed a weekend clean sweep for the province as they beat Connacht at the Sportsground, to claim a second inter-pro title for Munster.

Scoring three tries in the opening half and another three in the second, the result was never in doubt as Munster ran out 49-19 winners.

Irish Independent

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