Connacht Youths concluded their Inter provincial campaign with a good win against Ulster last Saturday in the Sportsground. Connacht started the brighter and within minutes good approach work by forwards  Jack Codyre, Pat O’Toole and Colin Joyce set up a penalty which was converted by  centre Conor Lowndes to give Connacht an early 3-0 lead. The Connacht forwards continued to dominate and a lineout was driven by Evan Galvin and Aaron Broderick to allow the excellent Conor Kyne to crash over and reward Connacht for their early dominance with a 8-0 lead. Ulster came more into the game and secured a penalty which was converted from distance by centre Graeme Currie to reduce the deficit to 8-3 at half time.

Following the restart great persistence by flanker Darragh Maher provided another penalty opportunity which Conor  Lowndes converted to extend Connacht’s lead to 11-3. Ulster refused to buckle and following sustained pressure by forwards Luke Lewis, Bradley Young and Caleb Montgomery they responded with a converted penalty to keep Ulster very much in the game at 11-6. Connacht then upped the pace and with some great distribution by centre Sean Dempsey, allied to line-breaks by Paddy Glavey and Finn Stoneman who set up a ruck close to the ulster line. Quick ball was feed by scrum half Jason Mitchell to second row Peter Claffey who crashed over to give Connacht a commanding 16-6 lead. Connacht continued to dominate and as Ulster attempted to clear their lines full back Cathal Evans counter attacked to set up a ruck which was used to feed out half Sean Tobin who scored a great try to leave the final score at 23-6 to Connacht.

The win places Connacht as second seeds where they will play Munster in the semi- final of the inter-provincial series in January.  Leinster play Ulster in the other semi-final.

Connacht XV: (15-9) Cathal Evans (Corinthians), Finn Stoneman (Galwegians), Conor Lowndes (Galwegians), Sean Dempsey (Buccaneers), Paddy Glavey (Westport), Sean Tobin (Westport), Jason Mitchell (Galwegians), (1-8) Conor Kyne (Galwegians), Pat O’Toole (Westport), Colin Joyce (Corinthians), Aaron Broderick (Corinthians), Peter Claffey (Ballinasloe) Evan Galvin (Buccaneers), Darragh Maher (Monivea), Jack Codyre (Ballinasloe – Captain).

Replacements: (16-23) Craig Hansberry (Corinthians), Fintan Murphy (Castlebar), Rory Murphy (Westport),Fergal Tully (Ballina), Conon O’Donnell (Sligo), Harry Hughes (Buccaneers), Michael Green (Creggs), Sean Doyle (Buccaneers)

Ulster XV: (1-8): Luke Lewis (Ballynahinch), Adam McBurney (Randalstown), Bradley Young (Carrickfergus), Caleb Montgomery (Portadown), JJ Kane (Dungannon), Liam Gordon (Virginia), Josh Ferguson (Malone), Joe Cross (Randalstown, capt);

(9-15): Conor Crilly (Randalstown), Lee Spence (Ballynahinch), Greg Wilson (Malone), Graeme Currie (Portadown), Mark Widdowson (Malone), Simon Crooks (Ballymena), Jack Hargan (City of Derry);

Replacements (16-23): Lee Geddis (Banbridge), Seamus Cunningham (Virginia), Aaron Winter (Portadown), Iain McMenamin (Carrickfergus), Jordan McCaw (Ballymoney), Jason Gribbon (Dromore), Ryan McMenamin (City of Derry), Tom Murphy (Malone).


“There was a great enthusiasm and buzz and a real keenness to learn all there is to know about rugby.” The rise of Women’s Rugby at Corrib R.F.C