Connacht U18 edge out Ulster in Interprovincial opener

Ulster U18 8-15 Connacht U18 – Saturday 5th September – Magherafelt, Co. Derry

Connacht U18 beat their Ulster counterparts in the opening match of the 2015 Interprovincial Championship in a sun-drenched Hatrick Park, home of Rainey Old Boys RFC in Magherafelt.

Connacht started the brighter of the two sides and after 10 minutes of pressure scrum-half Barry Walsh had the opportunity to put the visitors ahead when Ulster were deemed offside at a ruck. The attempt went narrowly wide and it was Ulster who got on the scoreboard first with a converted penalty after 13 minutes. The home side had the majority of possession for the first quarter but a stoic Connacht defence held firm and it was Connacht who crossed the whitewash first, captain Barry Walsh diving in from close range after a number of powerful pick-n-goes from the Connacht pack.

Ulster regrouped and a number of successful driving mauls saw them crash over for a try in the dying moments of the first half. The maul had been set from a lineout after a Connacht infringement saw #7 James Brandon yellow carded for the teams repeat infringements. The missed conversion left the halftime score Ulster 8 – 5 Connacht.

If Ulster won the first half then it’s fair to say Connacht were the more determined of the second half, Ulster had their own man in the sinbin for repeated infringements and it wasn’t long before Connacht made the extra man count, second-row David Robb crossing the tryline despite the attention of a number of Ulster players. With the backline now getting clean ruck ball from the forwards their attacking prowess converted to points when, with seconds left on the clock, full-back Jonah Culligan sprinted in for a well worked try and Connacht had secured the win with a final score Ulster 8-15 Connacht.

Connacht U18 make the trip down to Cork this Saturday to take on Munster in the home of CIT in Bishopstown.

Connacht U18 v Ulster

1 Jeff Alova Ballinasloe RFC Garbally College
2 Luke Sweeney Ballina RFC Gortnor Abbey, Crossmollina
3 Kuba Wojtkowicz Sligo RFC Sligo Grammar School
4 Adrian Cummins Sligo RFC Summerhill College, Sligo
5 David Robb Galwegians RFC Colaiste Einde
6 Dylan Tierney Corinthians RFC St Joseph’s College, Galway
7 James Brandon Creggs RFC CBS Roscommon
8 Michéal O’Neill Ballinasloe RFC Garbally College
9 Barry Walsh © Castlebar RFC St Gerald’s College, Castlebar
10 Rory Gaffney Galwegians RFC St Joseph’s College, Galway
11 Mark Balaski Castlebar RFC St Gerald’s College, Castlebar
12 Conor Burns Dunmore RFC Dunmore CS
13 Corey Reid Buccaneers RFC Marist College, Athlone
14 Thomas McGann Buccaneers RFC Ballymahon CS
15 Jonah Culligan Galwegians RFC Lisdoonvarna
16 Sean Tonra Castlebar RFC St Gerald’s College, Castlebar
17 James Kelly Buccaneers RFC Marist College, Athlone
18 Mark Keegan Sligo RFC Summerhill College, Sligo
19 Gary Duffy Ballinrobe RFC Colaiste Colman, Claremorris
20 Ross Hickey Sligo RFC Summerhill College, Sligo
21 Rob Hennessy Galwegians RFC St Joseph’s College, Galway
22 Niall Gray Sligo RFC Sligo Grammar School
23 Michéal O’Reilly Corinthians RFC St Joseph’s College, Galway

Management Team:

Head Coach: Lyndon Jones

Assistant Coaches: Geoff Kenny & Charlie Couper

S&C: Niall O’Toole

Physio: Rob Maxwell

Manager: Luke Murphy

 

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