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Friday, 6 September, 2002, 20:46 GMT 21:46 UK
Munster too strong for Vale
Mike Mullins lined up for a Munster side without seven players on Ireland duty
Mike Mullins (centre) scored two of Munster's tries
Munster 48-23 Ebbw Vale

Munster strolled to their second successive Celtic League win of the new campaign with victory over Ebbw Vale in Cork on Friday night.

The Irish side had gone behind in the first minute to a Mark Meenan drop goal but quickly got back on track and four first-half tries ensured their victory was never in doubt.

Mossie Lawlor touched down in the eighth minute after some clever interchange play with full-back Jeremy Staunton, who then missed the conversion.

Fellow winger John O'Neill added another in the right corner 10 minutes later and Staunton was spot on with the conversion to give Munster a 12-3 lead.

It was 17-3 five minutes later when former Northampton scrum-half Dominic Malone set up Staunton to feed Mike Mullins for his first try of the evening which went unconverted.

  Scoring details:
Munster (27) 48:
Tries: O'Neill, Mullins 2, Holland, Lawlor, Quinlan, Williams.
Cons: Staunton 5.
Pens: Staunton.
Ebbw Vale (9) 23:
Tries: Penalty try, T Morris.
Cons: Meenan 2.
Pens: Meenan.
Drop goals:Meenan 2
Att: 2,500

Staunton was more successful with a 31st minute penalty as Munster stretched their lead to 20-3 as Ebbw Vale prop David Jones was sin-binned for a high tackle.

Vale out-half Meenan sent over another drop goal two minutes later.

But the visitors' 14 men were soon stretched as Alan Quinlan overlapped in the left corner and rode a weak challenge to score Munster's fourth try of the night, converted by Staunton.

Welsh woe continued when winger Matthew Rowlands was sin-binned on his debut a minute for half-time as Ebbw Vale played out the opening period with just 13 men.

Meenan slotted over the resulting penalty and the half ended with Munster leading 27-9.

Jason Holland (right) in Heineken Cup action for Munster last season
Jason Holland was among the try-scorers

The restart offered little respite as the still depleted Welshmen conceded another Mullins try 68 seconds into the second half, which Staunton converted.

Despite the early setback, Ebbw Vale were showing no signs of capitulation.

And when referee Tony Spreadbury awarded the visitors a penalty try after full-back Richard Davies had been tripped on the try line chasing a loose ball, there were signs of a recovery.

Munster captain Jim Williams nipped that in the bud eight minutes later, breaking away to score under the posts with Staunton's conversion sending the home side through the 40-point barrier.

Ebbw Vale hit back with a Tyron Morris try, converted by Meenan, but Munster again stepped up a gear as Jason Holland scored a try.

Staunton converted to complete a miserable night for the still winless Welsh.


Munster: Jeremy Staunton; John O'Neill, Mike Mullins, Jason Holland, Mossie Lawlor; Killian Keane, Dominic Malone; Marcus Horan, James Blaney, Simon Kerr, Mick Galwey, Mick O'Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Colm McMahon, Jim Williams (capt).
Reps: John Fogarty, Donncha O'Callaghan, AN Other, Mike Prendergast, Conor Mahony, Dominic Crotty.

Ebbw Vale: Richard Davies; Matthew Rowland, Rhys Shorney, Martin Ridley, Aaron Takarangi; Mark Meenan, Bryan Shelbourne; Adam Black (capt), Chris Bevan, David Jones, Ockert Booyse, Neil Edwards, Kati Tuipolotu, Tyrone Morris, Will Thomas.
Reps: Paul Jones, Keiron Crawford, Peter Sidoli, Rhys Williams, Andrew Bevan, Scott Mitchell, Paul Matthews.


The final

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