Highfield just come up short in rousing cup semi-final

They pushed the holders Young Munster all the way before losing to a late penalty
Highfield just come up short in rousing cup semi-final

Highfield's Paddy Ryan scoring a try against Young Munster in the Munster Senior Cup at Woodleigh Park.

Highfield 13 Young Munster 16 

HIGHFIELD’S brave Munster Senior Cup bid just came up short against the holders Young Munster in a rousing semi-final at Woodleigh Park on Saturday.

The Cork side showed they’re more than capable of going toe-to-toe with top tier league opposition in a game which revealed precious little between the teams.

Not for the first time, Munsters had out-half Evan Cusack to thank for slotting the winning penalty with a finely judged kick a couple of minutes from the end of regulation after Field were penalised in a scrum.

It was a facet of play which proved unsatisfactory throughout with the rivals earning alternate penalties with each set and precious few went without a whistle.

The Cork side still had 10 more minutes to rescue the tie and a place in the final against Garryowen, notably when Field won a scrum penalty of their own from a kickable position.

Replacement out-half James Taylor opted for a kick to touch, but Munsters stood defiant to everything Field could throw at them, their cause assisted by a couple of penalties which went their way, too.

Cusack and Shane O’Riordan exchanged early penalties before the Munsters number 10 edged his side front with a second kick after 24 minutes.

The visitors consolidated their position with a brilliant try a minute from the interval with some text-book offloading and support play from backs and forwards line which resulted in hooker Aaron Hennessy touching down. Cusack converted for 13-3.

Highfield replied immediately with a second O’Riordan kick after Munsters couldn’t control the re-start and were penalised for offside from the fumble.

And within a couple of minutes of the second-half starting, Field were on level terms as their forwards engineered a try for returning prop Dave Ryan.

It stemmed from a high tackle on the outstanding Ronan O’Sullivan with O’Riordan planting the ball in the corner from where the forwards muscled their way through for Ryan to score with O’Riordan converting for 13-13.

Every inch of ground was hard earned as space became a premium such was the organisation and commitment of both defences.

It always appeared a kick would determine the outcome and Cusack showed how to set-up a derby decider with the light blues.

Scorers for Highfield:

Try: P Ryan Con: S O’Riordan Pens: S O’Riordan (2).

Scorers for Young Munster:

Try: A Hennessy Con: E Cusack Pens: E Cusack (3) HIGHFIELD: L Kingston; B Murphy, P O’Toole, E Moloney, P Stack; S O’Riordan, C Bannon, captain; J Rochford, C Mackintosh, P Ryan; E Keating, F O’Sullivan; D O’Connell, M Cronin, R O’Sullivan.

Subs: T Coomey, D Fitzgerald, M Dillane, J Duffy, D O’Sullivan, J Taylor, S Burns.

YOUNG MUNSTER: C Phillips; C Hayes, H Fleming, L Fitzgerald, C O’Shaughnessy; E Cusack, J Lyons; D Begley, A Hennessy, C Bartley; T Goggin, captain, S Rigney; F Coleman, B Faloon, J Foley.

Subs: M O’Mara, P Allen, A Quinlivan, L Neilan, D O’Callaghan, C Casey, P Ryan.

Referee: P Sheehan (MAR).

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