GARRYOWEN have bragging rights over rivals Young Munster after a 32-26 victory in Division 1A the AIL at Dooradoyle last weekend. The Light Blues had Ben Healy largely to thank for the win as the former Glenstal Abbey School out-half kicked 22 points.
Healy is forging a big reputation in his fledgling career with the Munster Academy, which has already seen him play five times for the A team in the Celtic Cup, and last Friday’s performance only enhances his growth.
Garryowen got the scoring underway inside five minutes when former Irish U-20 centre Dave McCarthy broke away for an intercept try that was duly converted by Healy. Munsters were soon back on level terms thanks to an Evan O’Gorman effort. Shane Airey added the extras.
Healy restored Garryowen’s lead from the kicking tee but Munsters got in for the second try through Alan Tynan. Again, Airey nailed the conversion kick to put The Cookies 14-10 in front. However, some ill-discipline from the away side handed Healy chances to kick Garryowen ahead heading into half time and he duly obliged with two penalties that gave them a two-point lead after 40 minutes.
The Garryowen number 10 kicked a third penalty in a row four minutes into the second half and Cian O’Shea’s try looked to have put the Dooradoyle side into an unassailable lead but the red card for Liam Coombes gave Young Munster an avenue back into the contest. He was sent off for a tackle in the air and Conor Mitchell immediately scored Munsters’ third try.
Healy hit back with his fifth penalty of the evening to put Garryowen 29-19 in front but a grandstand finish was still in store thanks to a breath-taking Conor Phillips try for Munsters. Airey nailed the conversion to cut Garryowen’s lead to three. However, it was to be Healy’s day and despite the numerical disadvantage, Garryowen showed excellent character and sealed a vital win thanks to their out-half’s sixth effort from the kicking tee late on.
Elsewhere in Division 1A, Shannon fell to a disappointing 31-19 defeat to Dublin University at College Park. Dublin University led 10-7 at the break but a superb second half showing saw them home to a comfortable victory.
Giuseppe Coyne started the scoring after three minutes with University’s first try that was duly converted by James Fennelly. Shannon were not put out by the early concession and fought back to level the score at seven apiece when Jake Flannery dotted down after a sustained period of pressure with Conor Fitzgerald converting. However, it was the Dublin side that went in ahead at the break through a Fennelly penalty.
Dan Sheehan’s converted try then gave Dublin University a superb start to the second half, before Shannon hit back again with a Craig Casey effort that was again converted by Fitzgerald. That was as good as it got for Tom Hayes’ side, however, as Dublin University hit two tries in quick succession to ease to victory. Ikem Ugwueru crossed for Shannon’s third try in the closing stages but it came too late to mount a comeback.
Shannon will look to get back to winning ways when they welcome Lansdowne to Thomond Park on Saturday. A win for Hayes’ side could see them leapfrog their opponents. Young Munster also have a home game against UCD, while Garryowen make the trip to bottom placed Terenure.
In Division 2A, both Old Crescent and UL Bohemian play their AIL games on Friday evening. Nenagh Ormond are the visitors to Rosbrien, while Bohs travel to second placed Cashel. In 2C, Bruff welcome Omagh to Kilballyowen Park and Thomond are on the road to City of Derry.