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February 21, 2005

Munster 25 - 19 Glasgow Warriors

Celtic League match played at Thomond Park on Sunday February 20th 2005 | No comments

Dan scored Glasgow's only try at Thomond Park
Glasgow's quest to earn a rare overseas triumph was wrecked last night as European specialists Munster staged a powerful second-half fightback in Limerick.

Glasgow had been well placed at the halfway stage when they held an eight-point advantage over the second-placed team in the Celtic League. But they couldn't find enough answers at Thomond Park after the province's pack switched on to maximum power, though they did snatch a bonus point.

Glasgow had suffered a setback in the final stages of preparation when veteran winger Kenny Logan pulled out with a back problem. He was replaced in the starting line-up by Gareth Maclure, with exciting young Ayr star Steve Manning filling in as bench cover.

Coach Hugh Campbell's preparations had also been badly affected by uncertainty over which other back-up players would be available - particularly the contingent from Glasgow Hawks. For Munster, John Kelly returned to competitive action for the first time since October having shaken off the injury picked up training with the national squad.

Former All Blacks No15 Christian Cullen was originally due to be rested, but he answered his team's call when Shaun Payne left due to a family illness.

And the province were able to call on the services up front of Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan and Donncha O'Callaghan, who all figured in the previous weekend's Six Nations victory for Ireland over Scotland.

Glasgow couldn't have wished for a more encouraging start as they opened up a quick 6-0 lead thanks to two crisply-struck penalties from stand-off Calvin Howarth. His first strike from 50 metres came in the second minute following a lineout offence, then he found the target from closer range after another touchline breach by the home forwards.

Munster hit back with an identical score by veteran playmaker Paul Burke when Glasgow were guilty of entering a maul from side-on. The visitors' reply was swift and sharp as lock Dan Turner claimed a well-worked try in the wake of a controlled multi-phase sequence. Howarth was again spot-on with the kick.

The Scots kept up their impressive pressure and Howarth found his range again to land another penalty when Alan Quinlan illegally scooped the ball from the back of a scrum.

Munster came alive at last and pinned Glasgow back inside their danger-zone for a sustained period. The defence held firm until Jason Holland squeezed through after fine work by Eoin Reddan and Burke.

When Burke banged over his second penalty immediately after the restart, the tide started to turn, and Munster grabbed control when Quinlan finished off the last in a series of rolling maul drives. Burke converted to give his side the lead for the first time.

Then substitute Rob Henderson sent James Storey in for the decisive score, goaled by Burke.

Howarth sent a penalty effort wide of the target, but he made amends with a successful kick in stoppage time to salvage a consolation bonus point.

Report by Kevin Gallagher from the Scotsman website.

Referee J Kaplan (South Africa)
Attendance 5000
Man of the Match
Team
1
Kevin Tkachuk
2
Scott Lawson
3
Andrew Kelly
4
Joe Beardshaw
5
Dan Turner
6
Steve Swindall
7
Cammy Mather
8
Paul Dearlove
9
Graeme Beveridge
10
Calvin Howarth
11
Gareth Maclure
12
Scott Barrow
13
Graeme Morrison
14
Rory Lamont
15
Colin Shaw
Sub
Fergus Thomson
Sub
Ben Prescott
Sub
Andy Hall
Sub
John Barclay
Sub
Alasdhair MacFarlane
Sub
Andrew Henderson
Sub
Stephen Manning
Match Substitutions
Off On
Scott Barrow Andrew Henderson
Off On
Andrew Kelly Ben Prescott
Off On
Joe Beardshaw Andy Hall
Off On
Graeme Beveridge Alasdhair MacFarlane
Off On
Scott Lawson Fergus Thomson
Off On
Paul Dearlove John Barclay
Scorers
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Dan Turner Try 
Calvin Howarth Conversion
Calvin Howarth Penalty
Calvin Howarth Penalty
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