Munster A just edged out Connacht Eagles 32-26 in an eight-try thriller at Dooradoyle this afternoon.
Ronan O’Mahony and Cian Bohane both touched down in the first half to give Munster A a 15-12 half-time lead with captain Barry O’Mahony dotting down twice in the second 40 to secure the win.

Connacht centre Darragh Leader scored a hat-trick of tries after winger Matt Healy crossed early on for the Westerners but it was to no avail as Munster A secured their third win over the Eagles in three Interprovincial clashes this season.

Peter Malone fielded a strong side for the clash with new signing Quentin MacDonald starting alongside senior players such as Billy Holland, Paddy Butler and Ivan Dineen.

Similarly,  Connacht also fielded a strong side with former Irish international Gavin Duffy captaining the Eagles from full-back.

Connacht made a dream start when Healy darted through a gap in the Munster defence before touching down in the left corner with out-half Miah Nikora off-target with the conversion.

Johnny Holland hit back with the first penalty of the game after a Connacht offside to make it 5-3 to the visitors after eight minutes.

Leader crossed for his first try in the 22nd minute when Connacht exploited an overlap on the left wing and this time Nikora’s conversion sailed through the posts and Connacht had a healthy 12-3 lead.

Munster hit back with their first try just three minutes later when Ronan O’Mahony finished well in the right corner after a great break by Luke O’DeaHolland was off-target with the difficult conversion but the Connacht lead was cut to four.

Munster A took the lead for the first time just after the half hour when Bohane powered over from close-range with Holland adding the easy conversion to give Munster A a 15-12 half-time lead.

The game produced another four tries in the second half with Munster A captain Barry O’Mahony scoring the first after 49 minutes when he pounced on a mistake in the Connacht midfield before showing great pace to outsprint the retreating defence and touch down. Holland once again added the conversion and Munster led 22-12.

It took just three minutes for Connacht to respond as Leader scored his second try with Jack Carty kicking the conversion to reduce the Munster lead to just three.

Munster A’s Ryan Murphy was sin-binned for an off-the-ball incident before Barry O’Mahony scored his second try with Rory Scannell converting as the game entered the final 20 minutes. But the visitors responded immediately yet again with Leader completing his hat-trick and Carty landing a superb touchline conversion.

Scannell put some daylight between the sides with his first penalty on 70 minutes and the Munster A defence held strong for the final ten minutes to secure the win.

Munster A: Ronan O’Mahony (David Johnston); Darren Sweetnam (Darren Moroney), Ivan Dineen (Harry McNulty), Cian Bohane (Niall Kenneally), Luke O’Dea (Alex Wootton); Johnny Holland (Rory Scannell), Brian Haugh (Ryan Foley); Peter McCabe (Mike Lynch), Quentin MacDonald (Kevin O’Byrne), Brian Scott (Ger Sweeney); Billy Holland, Darren O’Shea; Shane Buckley (Darragh Moloney), Barry O’Mahony (Capt), Paddy Butler (Ryan Murphy).

Connacht Eagles: Gavin Duffy (Capt.); Danie Poolman, Conor Finn, Darragh Leader, Matt Healy; Miah Nikora, Frank Murphy; Ronan Loughney, Jack Dineen, Nathan White; Aly Muldowney, George Naoupu; Mata Fifita, Conor Gilsenan, Eoin McKeon. Replacements: Conor Muldoon, Finlay Bealham, JP Cooney, David Nolan, Aaron Conneely, Marcus Walsh, Jack Carty, Rory Parata, Shane Layden.

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