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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 20:25 GMT 21:25 UK
Ulster shade Munster win
Munster 15-16 Ulster

CELTIC LEAGUE
Ulster fly-half Adam Larkin
Munster (6) 15
Pens: Staunton 5
Ulster (13) 16
Tries: Mallon
Cons: Larkin
Pens: Larkin 3
Att: 4,000

Adam Larkin's penalty in the seventh minute of injury-time earned Ulster a nail-biting victory over Munster in Friday's Celtic League clash at Musgrave Park.

A Seamus Mallon try had helped Ulster to a 13-6 interval advantage but three second half penalties from Jeremy Staunton seemed set to end the home side's three-match losing run.

However, Larkin, who had missed three penalties early in the second half, held his nerve with the last kick of the game to earn Ulster's third win out of their opening four Celtic League matches.

The opening half of the match was scrappy with the only scores coming from Staunton penalties in the 14th and 29th minutes.

Staunton's second score came after a Ronan McCormack transgression which saw the former Connacht player sin-binned.

However, losing McCormack only seemed the fire up the visitors and Larkin's 31st minute penalty was quickly followed by a Seamus Mallon try which followed great work by Ulster skipper Andy Ward.

Larkin's conversion put Ulster 10-6 ahead and the Ulster fly-half added another penalty in first half injury-time.

The Ulster number 10 missed three great penalty chances in the eight minutes after half-time.

Staunton then reduced Ulster's lead to 13-9 in the 64th minute when he slotted his third penalty.

Matt McCullough became the second Ulster player to be sin-binned 10 minutes later and Staunton punished the foul play with another three points which left the minimum between the teams.

Staunton seemed to have earned Munster victory when he slotted over another penalty in the third minute of injury-time.

However, Larkin's last-ditch effort stunned the home crowd.


Munster: S Payne, M McPhail, M Mullins, J Jones-Hughes, M Lawlor, J Staunton, E Reddan, S Kerr, J Flannery, M Cahill, T Hogan, D Pusey, S Keogh, D Wallace, J Williams (capt). Replacements: D Crotty, C O'Sullivan, F Murphy, C McMahon, E Halvey, J Danagher, F Roche.

Ulster: B Cunningham, S Young, S Mallon, S Stewart, T Howe, A Larkin, K Campbell, R McCormack, P Shields, R Moore, M Mustchin, M McCullough, A Ward (capt), N Best, T McWhirter. Replacements: N Brady, B Young, R Frost, R Wilson, R Spee, R Constable, J Topping.


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