Young Munster recorded a great win over local rivals Garryowen in the most anticipated game of the round.
The Ulster Bank League returned last weekend and it proved to be a very positive round for Limerick sides with four wins in four games for local sides which included a derby win for Young Munster, Shannon kept up their impeccable home record, Crescent made it 11 wins from 11 and Bohs got back to winning ways.
Young Munster 25 Garryowen 0
On Friday night, Young Munster played host to Garryowen at Tom Clifford park and put on a superb performance to inch within four points of their local rivals.
The home side set the tone early on an out half Shane Airey knocked over a penalty with just three minutes played. Their next score took about 25 minutes to come but Airey was again on hand to add another penalty to the cookies scores. Shortly after their second successful penalty, the home crowd were delighted as they watched prop Gavin Ryan go under posts following some good pressure on the away side’s line, 13-0 would be the half time score.
@YoungMunsterRFC took care of local business in style as @GarryowenFC fell short of the mark. @FineenWych gave me super images on a cold, wet, dark night at headquarters. #AIL#Limerick#rugby pic.twitter.com/ZEurLfAiyM
— Liam Coughlan (@Liam09C) January 5, 2018
It was one way traffic again in the second half, and within 15 minutes of the restart Gearoid Prendergast’s side, who had lost on three separate occasions already this season to Friday’s opponents, put the game to bed when hooker Ger Slattery got over after a very well worked maul. The final score of the game came with less than twenty minutes to go on the clock when Fineen Wycherly, who was invloved in Munster’s defeat to Connacht the week previous, used his notable size to power through the Light blues defence and seal a memorable win for the Greenfields club. You can see all three tries from the contest below.
Shannon 25 Naas 3
Shannon made it six home wins from six on Saturday as they overcame the challenge of Naas on the back pitch in Thomond park, 25-0. The home side made the perfect start when winger Stephen Fitzgerald raced in for a try following an intercept in the first minute of the game, which set the tone for the rest of the game. Fitzgerald’s brother, Conor, was as accurate as ever with the boot landing a huge penalty shortly after his brothers try to leave to side’s 10 points apart with seven minutes gone. The away side replied with a penalty on 9 minutes before the former Irish Under 20 fly half knocked over another penalty with a quarter of the game played, and the side’s went in 13-3 at the break with the Kildare outfit defending well for large periods of the first half.
3 we win the scrum well and gain a penalty. Conor Fitz kicks to touch and we have a lineout on the Naas 22 pic.twitter.com/O8qKOh9Zay
— Shannon RFC (@Shannon_RFC) January 6, 2018
Duncan Casey increased Tom Haye’s side lead with a try off a very well worked maul six minutes into the second half and whilst Johne Murphy and his side did have chances to score in the second 40, they couldn’t break down Shannon’s impressive defence, and it was that defence that created the final try of the game for replacement scrum half Aaron Hehir to make it a total of 9 wins for the division 1B leaders.
Old Wesley 15 UL Bohemians 17
UL Bohemians recovered from a 12-0 deficit at one point against Old Wesley to return to Limerick with all four points to take to University of Limerick side off the foot of the table. It looked as if Bohs were in for another miserable afternoon in Donnybrook when the home side raced into a 12-0 lead after just twelve minutes on the clock but Christy Neilan’s men showed great resilience throughout the 80 minutes and reduced to score to 12-3 by half time when Munster scrum half James Hart slotted a penalty.
Ten minutes into the second half and it was a similar story to the first as Wesley went over for an unconverted score but that try proved to be the kickstart the Red Robins needed and Mike lynch went over ten minutes after on the hour mark and Hart converted to leave just a score between the sides. With less than five minutes to go, Noel Kinnane went over to tie up the game, but when the scrum half converted, what proved to be the vital score, the travelling side went in front for the first time. Poor kicking off the tee resulted in the home side’s loss, who had the opportunity to win the game with a penalty in the final play, but fortunately for the Limerick side it sailed right and wide.
Thanks to Harry for these photos.
Old Crescent 40 Sundays Well 19
The Christmas break didn’t seem to effect Old Crescent’s superb run of form as the Rosbrien side made it 11 league wins in a row on Friday as they ran out comfortable 40-19 winners over Sundays Well. Things didn’t get off to the best start for the home side however as Well’ went into an early, short lived, lead with a try on five minutes but the conversion was off target. Out half Ronan McKenna went over for his side two minutes later, which he converted to give Crescent the lead. The next score came from the away side on the half hour mark but similar to the first try, Brendan Guilfoyle’s side responded well when winger Val Mcdermott dotted down, but McKenna was unsuccessful with the conversion to leave the sides 12 a piece at the interval.
The second forty, Old Crescent showed why theu are unbeaten and top of the league with a very impressive performance. A converted try in the first minute from Alex Simpson set the tone and was soon followed by their fourth, securing the bonus point, their sixth of the season, from Brian Tuohy. The Cork side did get a converted score of their own back to bring them within 7 points of the league leaders at 26-19 but that would be the closest they would come as a penalty try and a second from McKenna meant the Limerick side got off to the perfect start for 2018.
— Eamon Myers (@arantaobhline) January 5, 2018
Captain Darragh O’Brien leads Old Crescent off the field after hard fought 40-19 win over Sunday’s Well in Rosbrien tonight! The run continues, played 11 won 11! pic.twitter.com/MH32Y7YjIM
— Old Crescent RFC (@OldCrescentRFC1) January 5, 2018