Ulster U18 13  – Connacht U18  15

Last Saturday in Banbridge on a day made for open running rugby, the Connacht U18’s got their intro-provincial campaign off to a winning start by narrowly beating Ulster by 15 points to 13. Con U18 v Ulster350Connacht stared the brighter but failed to capitalize on their early pressure. Ulster on their first visit to the Connacht  half, set up a penalty opportunity which was beautifully converted by out-half Trevor Morris  to give Ulster an early 3-0 lead. Towards the end of the first quarter Connacht pressure was rewarded when good ruck ball was used to send full back Tom McHale into space to score in the corner and give Connacht a 5-3 lead.  Coming up to half time a quick tap by Connacht scrum half Stephen Kerins set up good field position, the ball was quickly moved to winger Patrick Daly near the 10 meter line, he evaded the first tackler and then outstripped the cover, to score a peach of a try and give Connacht a 10-3 halftime advantage.

Ulster started the second half in determined mood and a line-out deep in Connacht territory allowed Ulster to put the visitors under intense pressure, eventually Connacht infringed and the Ulster out-half Trevor Morris converted to narrow the gap to 10-6. Connacht responded with another glorious try when out half Simon Keller went through a gap, feed centre Ruairi Greene who drew the cover to allow winger Paddy Griffin to crash over in the corner to give Connacht a commanding 15-6 lead. For the last quarter Ulster laid siege to the Connacht line, but outstanding defence by Captain Matthew Cosgrove, fellow back rowers Aaron Wotton & Connall O’Brien allied to the work rate of lock Pater Claffey meant that the Connacht line remained intact. However in the last play of the game Ulster created the opportunity for centre Jack McCool to score under the posts and give Ulster a well-deserved bonus point.

In the other U18 interprovincial match Leinster defeated Munster 25-6 in Donnybrook. Next weekend Connacht travel to Waterpark RFC where they face Munster on Sat 4 Oct with a 1:00 kick-off.   

Connacht: 

1 Conan O’Donnell  (Sligo)

2 Michael O’Connell (Galway Corinthians)

3 Joseph Ugbo (Galwegians)

4 Samuel  Holland (Ballinasloe)

5 Peter Claffey (Ballinasloe)

6 Connall O’Brien                (Buccaneers)

7 Joseph Conway               (Sligo)

8 Mathew Cosgrove (Capt. Sligo)

9 Stephen Kerins (Sligo)

10 Simon Keller (Ballinasloe)

11 Paddy Griffin (Galway Corinthians)

12 Tom Dawson (Westport)

13 Ruairi Greene (Galway Corinthians)

14 Patrick Daly (Ballinrobe)

15 Tom McHale (Westport)

16 Joe Bennett (Sligo)

17 Eoghan Slevin (Buccaneers)

18 Matt Gavin (Buccaneers)

19 Aaron Wooton                (Castlebar)

20 Eoghan Maher (Monivea)

21 Darragh Cummins (Sligo)

22 Dean McMahon (Monivea)

23 Ryan Fehily (Sligo)

Ulster:

1. Niall Farrelly (Virginia RFC)
2. Adam McBurney (Randalstown RFC)
3. Jonathon Rosbotham (Dromore RFC)
4. Ronan McCusker (Rainey Old Boys RFC)
5. Kieran Thompson (Ballymena RFC)
6. Cory Logan (City of Derry RFC)
7. Ryan Hughes (Dromore RFC)
8. Josh Ferguson (Malone RFC)
9. Jason Gribbon (Banbridge RFC)
10. Trevor Morris (Dromore RFC)
11. Evan Burke (Cavan RFC)
12. Jack McCool (City of Derry RFC)
13. Ryan Purvis (Portadown RFC)
14. James Waugh (Banbridge RFC)
15. Joseph Bingham (Ballynahinch RFC)

16. Jonathon Stewart (Carrickfergus RFC)
17. Dermot Gallagher (Donegal Town RFC)
18. Ben Halliday (Malone RFC)
19. Matthew McMaster (Dromore RFC)
20. Christopher Wilson (Dromore RFC)
21. Josh Cromie (Banbridge RFC)
22. Cameron Fulton (Coleraine RFC)
23. Andrew Hutchinson (Banbridge RFC)

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Club & Community statement following the conclusion of domestic rugby season