Saturday 16 December 2017

Cookies overtake 'Tarf after ice-cool Tynan's late, late show

Ulster Bank League
Young Munster’s Cian Bohane in action during yesterday’s Ulster Bank League game against Clontarf. Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Young Munster’s Cian Bohane in action during yesterday’s Ulster Bank League game against Clontarf. Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Teenage out-half Alan Tynan was the toast of Young Munster after his last-ditch drop goal steered the Cookies past top four rivals Clontarf.

Munsters came away from sunny Castle Avenue with a 13-11 win and four precious match points as they ended their two-match losing streak in Division 1A, climbing above 'Tarf into third place in the process.

This was a tight contest throughout, with Munster's Cian Bohane and Robin Copeland making their presence felt as the visitors grabbed the game's first try through left winger Craig O'Hanlon, which Tynan converted.

However, O'Hanlon's opposite number Rob McGrath hit back with an unconverted effort, adding to David Joyce's earlier penalty as the north Dubliners, who had won their last four matches, led 8-7 at the turnaround.

Tynan and Joyce exchanged penalties before the former stepped up as his side's match-winner right at the death. The Tipperary youngster's coolly-struck drop goal gives Munsters a timely boost ahead of their April 8 date with Cork Constitution.

Only two points separate the sides in the standings as they chase a much-coveted home semi-final.

This was a costly defeat for Clontarf, who have fallen from second to fourth, but they are only three points behind Con with two rounds remaining.

Old Belvedere gave themselves a fighting chance in their battle against relegation from Ulster Bank League Division 1A as they shared the spoils with 14-man Lansdowne at Anglesea Road.

First-half tries from John O'Donnell (two) and Ireland Under-20 international Paul Boyle had leaders Lansdowne in pole position for another win, but with the visitors' blindside flanker Joe McSwiney sent off in the second period, Belvo dug deep to claim a 15-all draw and two potentially vital points.

Hooker Max Abbott's late try, meanwhile, clinched a dogged 26-20 victory for Cork Constitution against Munster rivals Garryowen at Temple Hill.

Garryowen, who are battling to avoid relegation, outscored the Leesiders by three tries to two but fell agonisingly short in the end. Indiscipline cost them dear, with Con out-half Tomas Quinlan clinically dispatching four penalties through the posts as part of a 16-point personal haul.

There were scoring chances at both ends before Munster centre Sam Arnold broke the defensive line and touched down in the seventh minute for Garryowen. Hunting for their fourth victory in a row, Constitution hammered away at a resilient Garryowen defence before Quinlan opened the hosts' account with a 25th minute penalty.

However, Garryowen took a 12-10 lead into the break thanks to full-back Liam Coombes' fifth try of the campaign.

The Light Blues kept plugging away and were rewarded with their third try in the 67th minute. A well-worked back row move, including a strong run from number 8 Bailey Faloon, saw scrum half Cronin released for an unconverted try and a 17-16 lead.

The Corkmen responded with Quinlan's fourth penalty success in the 76th minute but Cronin cancelled that out with three points of his own.

However, the play-off-chasing hosts, who had now nudged their way into second place, denied Garryowen with that decisive try from Abbott under the posts.

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