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).


Connacht Emerging Talent squad named for game against Leinster North Midlands