Connacht U18 Schools 0-23 Ulster U18 Schools

Connacht U18 Schools failed to register a score as they were over-powered by a strong Ulster Schools side at the Sportsground last Wednesday.

Connacht V Ulster 2012 350 1Despite a strong display from the forwards in the opening exchanges, with Colin Joyce, Pat O’Toole and Conor Kyne proving tough opposition to the Ulster front row, it was the visitors who took the lead after 12 minutes. Ulster fullback Jack Owens kicked the penalty after Connacht were caught offside at the ruck inside their own 22m. Owens added another thee points five minutes later, his halfway line kick aided by the strong wind. Indeed it was the elements that proved to be Connacht’s biggest foe in the first half. Playing into the gale limited Connacht’s options as outhalf Colin Kean and centres Dwayne Corcoran and Sean Dempsey were forced to run the ball from deep.

With Connacht’s kicking game limited the Ulster defence were able to concentrate on pinning Connacht in their own half and after 25 minutes of pressure Ulster outhalf Conor Shiels stepped inside the covering Connacht defence to score his first of two tries. Jack Owens converted to leave the half-time score at 13-0 to the visitors.

Connacht V Ulster 2012 350 2Connacht came out the better side after the break but too often the stirling work of forwards Mark Kelly, Kevin Hastings and Jack Codyre was wasted through handling errors.

Locks Aaron Broderick and Fergal Tully were immense in the defensive line, making tackle after tackle, and when the backline sparkled, Paddy Glavey, Cathal Evans and Finn Stoneman looked dangerous in attack.

Connacht’s best attacking opportunity of the game came when Glavey pounced on a loose ball, stepped passed a number of Ulster defenders and skipped through the defensive line. He was unfortunate to be narrowly beaten to his own chip through as, Ballymena Academy’s Thomas Gaston just won the footrace to the line.

As the Connacht challenge wilted Conor Shiels and Rory Campbell scored further tries for Ulster and despite playing with the elements Connacht were unable to break down the physical Ulster defence leaving the final score at 23-0 to Ulster.

Connacht: C Evans; F Stoneman, S Dempsey, D Corcoran, P Glavey; C Keane, J Mitchell; C Joyce, P O’Toole, C Kyne; A Broderick, F Tully; M Kelly, K Hastings, J Codyre.

Replacements: C Gavin, F Murphy, C Liheen, E Galvin, S Tobin, H Hughes, S Doyle, C Lowndes.

Ulster: J Owens; T Gaston, J McClore, R Bell, R Campbell; C Shiels, J Fullerton; M Lagan, M Montgomerie, A Gilkinson; L Benson, T Donnan; D Dass, A McGrath, D Morton.

Replacements: A Shaw, R Squires, C McIlmurray, A Thompson, J Gallagher, P Kidd, J McCallan, C McKee

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