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St Mary’s best in Webb Cup final thriller

(Pictured, stand-in captain Danny Hickey awaits the presentation of the trophy from Munster vice-president Mick Goggin)

Webb Cup final, St Mary’s 13, Thomond 12:

IF you were a neutral observer with little knowledge of Limerick’s oval ball tradition, you would certainly have thought that this decider, played on the back pitch of Thomond Park today, was for the most important trophy in rugby football.

It was a cracking game and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by the large attendance. The margin of victory for St Mary’s highlights the intensity of the occasion and both sides are to be warmly congratulated on their sporting attitude to the game and their total commitment throughout.

St Mary’s had slightly the better of the first half and led 10-5 at the break thanks to a try from Paul Loughran, which he also converted, and a penalty by Sean Lyons. Thomond responded with a try by Richie Ryan while their other scores came from a try from Mike O’Riordan and a conversion by Dessie Fitzgerald.

A second half penalty from the boot of the impressive Sean Lyons proved to be the winning score as St Mary’s lifted their second trophy of the week after beating the same opposition in the final of the McInerney Cup the previous Tuesday. The introduction of the club’s director of rugby, Chris de Loose, steadied the ‘Saints’ in the final minutes and the celebrations at the final whistle showed what winning this trophy really meant to the players.

At the presentation of the cup to stand-in captain of St Mary’s, Danny Hickey (captain Mark Gibbons was unable to play because of work commitments), Mick Goggin of the Munster Branch reminded us that this was the 43rd occasion that this trophy has been played for: “It remains one of the most prized trophies in Munster rugby,” he told us

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