Young Munster lose despite O'Connell efforts
Young Munster 9 Cork Constitution 10
Paul O'Connell played his first full 80 minutes since last October but even his efforts were not sufficient to earn a win for Young Munster.
But while the 2009 Lions captain relished getting in game-time, it was a disappointing result for his club who were denied right at the death by Ulster Bank League rivals Cork Constitution.
Derry O'Connor kicked penalties for Young Munster after 15 and 25 minutes but on the half hour at Tom Clifford Park, Constitution got in for the opening try. They moved the ball wide and winger Niall O'Driscoll went over in the corner.
Three minutes later, the visitors suffered a big blow when second row Ian Nagle was shown a yellow card but Young Munster could not make their numerical advantage count as they led 6-5 at half-time.
Referee Michael Black was replaced for the second half by Tommy O'Donoghue.
Young Munster looked to have the points in the bag when O'Connor kicked his third penalty with four minutes of normal time remaining with Constitution winger Cronan Healy being sin-binned for a late tackle.
But the Leesiders came back. They looked to have scored a try but were called back for a knock on. However, in the sixth minute of injury-time, centre Alex Ryan broke through for the match-winning try.
The result ended Cork Con's three-match losing streak in Division 1A, but the day was all about O'Connell and the fact that he played the entire 80-plus minutes will be a huge boost for Munster ahead of their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Harlequins next month.
Young Munster: Pens: Derry O’Connor 2
Cork Constitution: Tries: Niall O’Driscoll, Alex Ryan
HT: Young Munster 6 Cork Constitution 5