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Garryowen Claim Bank Of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup

19th January 2018 By The Editor

James Mc Inerney on the attack for Garryowen

James Mc Inerney on the attack for Garryowen INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Garryowen overcame UL Bohemian 18-3 in a competitive encounter at Market’s Field on Friday night to win their 39th Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup.

Garryowen overcame UL Bohemian 18-3 in a competitive encounter at Market’s Field on Friday night to win their 39th Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup.

In what was the 127th Senior Cup final, Garryowen led at half-time by five points courtesy of a converted try, and extended their lead after the break with a second try and two penalties.

An early sin-bin for UL Bohemian set the tone of the first quarter, as wing Jamie McNamara received a yellow for a dangerous tackle after five minutes.

Garryowen made the brighter of the two starts and took advantage of a depleted UL Bohs’ side through a bruising forwards pack and back-line to complement.

A kicking game from both sides paved the way for a series of handling errors, as the teams looked to settle early nerves.

Garryowen began to pressurise and it wasn’t long before they secured the first points on the board at Market’s Field.

Out-half Jamie Gavin sent a high-ball cross-field and found wing Liam Coombes who collected brilliantly, off-loading to Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham.

The outside centre showed his pace to race under the posts before captain and scrum-half Neil Cronin added the extras after 15 minutes.

The Division 1A side continued to threatened UL Bohs’ 22 but a series of penalties handed back possession on several occasions.

UL Bohs’ were then penalised for not releasing as Cronin stepped up to narrowly push a long-range penalty left of the sticks on the 30-minute mark.

Possession and territory then went the way of Bohs’ after a kick-through from back-row, James Ryan, led to a forwards’ effort towards the line.

Garryowen stood tall and a forced knock-on eventually resulted in the leaders kicking away to deny further pressure.

However, UL Bohs’ soon found themselves back in the opposition 22 and a penalty opportunity in front of the posts saw out-half Robbie Burke convert.

Half-time: UL Bohemians 3-7 Garryowen

After the interval, Garryowen continued to dominate with the centre pairing of O’Brien-Cunningham and Peadar Collins impressing in midfield.

Gavin then put boot to ball and sent a threatening kick into the air, as O’Brien-Cunningham chased and looked to have been through for his second before spilling the ball forward in the 46th minute.

Cronin then came close after following a kick through to touch down, however the scrum-half was called back for off-side after racing through the Bohs’ defence.

In the 63rd minute, the Garryowen captain converted a penalty opportunity left of the posts to extend his side’s lead in this year’s final.

A series of knock-ons prevented Garryowen from building further momentum inside the 22, as UL Bohs’ defence held strong.

After several drives from the pack, Garryowen then found space down the right, the back-line eventually locating full-back Andrew O’Byrne who impressively touched down in the 76th minute.

Cronin pushed the conversion wide but minutes later landed another penalty to further cement Garryowen’s hold on the Munster Senior Challenge Cup.

UL Bohs’ continued to fight until the end but an eventual knock-on resulted in the final whistle and victory for Garryowen.

Full-time: UL Bohemian 3-18 Garryowen

UL Bohemian: James McCarthy; Jamie McNamara, Adrian Enright, Henry Flemming, Colin Ryan; Robbie Burke, Joe Murray; Mark Bromell, Joe Bennett, Michael Lynch, Daragh Frawley, Edward Kelly, James Ryan, Ian Condell (C), Noel Kinane.

Replacements: David Rowsome, David OConnor, Michael Mullally, Darragh OGrady, Robert Hennessy, Sean English, Pauric Nesbitt.

Garryowen: Andrew O’Byrne; Liam Coombes, Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham, Peadar Collins, James Mc Inerney; Jamie Gavin, Neil Cronin (C); Andrew Keating, Liam Cronin, JP Phelan, Tim Ferguson, Dean Moore, Darren Ryan, Mikey Wilson, Mark Rowley.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Niall Horan, Sean Rennison, Dave Mc Carthy, Aaron Rice, Aaron McCloskey, Jack Daly.

Referee: Richard Horgan (MAR)

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