Ulster Boys’ Clubs U18 17-17 Sponsored by ATU Connacht Rugby U18s

 

The day opened with a closely contested meeting between two evenly matched sides, with both camps having to settle for a share of the points.

Ulster took an early lead in Newforge, making the most of waves of forward pressure, as the ref awarded a penalty try.

However, Connacht were immediately back on the attack, when dynamic winger Gérard Murtagh was denied what would have been a sensational try as he was held up after a searing run from the halfway line.

The visiting side’s forwards then showed great control, with Patrick Egan crashing over for Connacht’s first try.

Ulster regained the lead just before half-time after an opportunistic finish from Zach McCartney. Connacht’s defence waited for the ball to emerge from a ruck and be played out to the backs. The Ulster lock seized the opportunity to reach over a pile of bodies and touch the ball down.

Connacht were then reduced to 14 men early in the second half, after Cian Brady was carded for an infringement at the breakdown. However, the men in green did manage to show great spirit, building pressure, with hooker Sean Rohan bringing the sides level at 12-each.

After that, it was Ulster’s turn to be down to 14 men, after Peter Bird was shown a yellow card for not rolling away. The resulting kick veered just wide.

Although, it wasn’t long before the Connacht pressure reaped results. A chip and chase from replacement Sean Walsh saw him race clear of the Ulster defence, before he released Gérard Murtagh into space, with the winger crossing the line.

Ulster got back on level terms with a late lineout maul creating the space for hooker James McCannon to make a break down the blind side to score a vital try to level the game.

Ulster U19 50-14 Sponsored by ATU Connacht U19

Connacht’s U19s had a tough outing against their Ulster counterparts in the second game of the day, coming out the wrong side of a 50-14 scoreline.

Ulster set the tone for this game early on, with Bryn Ward putting Josh Stevens through the gap to touch down under the posts in the opening minutes. Lukas Kenny then added a brace of tries, with Zac Soloman wrapping up the bonus point for the hosts.

Connacht’s inside centre, Hugh Gavin, then got the away side on the board, showing both strength and skill to push through for Connacht’s first try.

Ulster restated their dominance, with a try from Bryn Ward just before half-time, seeing them go in at the break with a 29-7 lead.

Ben McFarlane and Jacob Oliver continued Ulster’s scoring after the break with a pair of tries.

Connacht then hit back, with the men in green’s second try coming from substitute Blayze Molloy. Molloy cleverly charged down a kick inside the Ulster 22, showing great composure to gather the ball cleanly and cross the line.

Ben McFarlane added to Ulster total before the end, finalising a tough day at the office for the travelling side.

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