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Munster Prove Too Strong

April 27, 2012 12:00 am By Munster Rugby

The first half performance that saw them play into a strong wind and lead 16-12 at half-time probably set the seal on Munster’s 31-12 British & Irish Cup final win over Cross Keys at Musgrave Park.

And it has to be said that the final scoreline did absolutely not reflect either the closeness of the contest nor the quality of the Welsh opposition.

Munster owed much to a solid set piece both at scrum time and out of touch and their ability to withstand pressure, no more so than just after the hour mark when Cross Keys, trailing 26-12 came calling with intent only to be denied by teak-tough Munster defence.

A try at that stage would have opened up all sorts of possibilites but instead Munster not only resisted but fashioned a break-out that ended in a try from Ivan Dineen that finally broke Welsh hearts.

But the real damage was done at the start of the second half when Cross Keys number 8, the impressive Jevon Groves, was stripped of the ball on his own 22 by Luke O'Dea who then boldly scooted off to score in the corner.

Scott Deasy landed a marvellous conversion to stretch Munster's lead to fourteen points and in truth it was far too big a gap for Cross Keys to bridge because Munster were simply playing too well.

Jason Tovey opened the scoring with a penalty after less than two minutes of play to begin a personal kicking battle with Scott Deasy that ended three apiece before Deasy edged ahead with his conversion of Duncan Williams 26th minute try.

That score came about from a tail of lineout take on the Keys 22 by the superb Billy Holland with Williams racing for the line, the defence fixed by the runners outside.

The visitors, though facing the wind in the second half, looked well capable of turning things around but of course were not helped by that Groves error and once Munster had stood up to their assault on the hour the visitors were looking down the barrell of a gun.

Munster: S Scanlon; L O'Dea (JJ Hanrahan 70), D Barnes, I Dineen, D Hurley; S Deasy (D Cusack 72), D Williams G Hurley 75); D Kilcoyne, S Henry (D Fogarty 48), S Archer (J Ryan 75); B Hayes (B O'Mahony 60), I Nagle; B Holland (capt), D O’Callaghan B O'Hara 75), P Butler.

Cross Keys: G David; K Baller, L Andrews, P Williams, N Trowbridge; J Tovey, R Dyer; R Cornock, G Price, M Jones; D Hodge; T Lampard; R Peebles, R Nash capt, J Groves. Replacements: L Rawlins, J Sollis, C Gould, C Trayhern, M Popham, L Williams, O Jones.

Referee: J Matthews (SRU).

S Deasy 3 Conversions; 3 Penalties

I Dineen 1 Try

L O'Dea 1 Try

D Williams 1 Try

J Tovey 4 Penalties
S Scanlon; L O'Dea (JJ Hanrahan 70), D Barnes, I Dineen, D Hurley; S Deasy (D Cusack 72), D Williams G Hurley 75); D Kilcoyne, S Henry (D Fogarty 48), S Archer (J Ryan 75); B Hayes (B O'Mahony 60), I Nagle; B Holland (capt), D O’Callaghan B O'Hara 75), P Butler.
G David; K Baller, L Andrews, P Williams, N Trowbridge; J Tovey, R Dyer; R Cornock, G Price, M Jones; D Hodge; T Lampard; R Peebles, R Nash capt, J Groves. Replacements: L Rawlins, J Sollis, C Gould, C Trayhern, M Popham, L Williams, O Jones.
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