Connacht U19s were victorious against Leinster U19s in the Interprovincial Play off final after a hard fought, nail biting 20-15 win.

Rory Paratta kicked Connacht into a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes following some solid work from the Connacht pack. Leinster tied the score 5mins later after some scintillating running from their backline carved through the Connacht defence.

U19 InterPro1350Rory Paratta pushed Connacht another three points ahead 10 minutes from half time and Ian Costigan was unlucky not to score after a superbly weighted kick from Paratta deep into the Leinster 22.

Leinster then began a period of dominance with Connacht defending bravely until the stroke of half time when Leinster scored a penalty try following another dangerous backline attack.

Connacht were aided by the wind in the second period but it was Leinster who started the brighter again running dangerously from deep. Connacht began to exert territorial pressure through the boot of Caolan Blade, Ben Carty and Rory Paratta and the pressure eventually told when, with 15 minutes left in the game, Ben Carty sliced through the middle to hold off two tacklers before dotting down by the posts, Rory Paratta converted stretching Connacht’s lead to 13-8 just 10 minutes left.

U19 InterPro2350Leinster immediately responded with a well worked try from Centre Peter Robb under the posts. That left the score at 15-13 to Leinster with less than seven minutes left but Connacht refused to buckle and came roaring back at Leinster. That attack was turned over on Leinster’s 22 and from the resulting counter attack Leinster roared up the pitch. It took a huge tackle by Andrew McAleer to force a fumble and some confusion in the Leinster ranks which Ian Costigan took advantage of to score in the corner. Rory Paratta converted leaving the score at 20-15 and through Leinster battered the Connacht defence for the final three minutes, they were unable to breach the line and the ferocious defensive line held tight for Connacht to claim the 2012/13 U19 inter-provincial title.

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