Connacht U19’s streaked to a 29 points to nil lead at half time in a fine display in St Mary’s RFC last Saturday. Monivea’s Caolan Blade crossed the line after five minutes following after a forward drive and a number of pick and goes, Rory Paratta added the conversion. Blade was involved again ten minutes later when number eight, Aidan Butler, broke 40 metres from a 5m scrum, drew the cover and left the scrum-half sprint in from halfway for a superb try. Paratta added the extras to put the visitors ten points up.

25mins into the match Connacht were on the attack again. After excellent work from the backs who were stopped by a knock on close in the pack won a scrum against the head and the influential Butler picked an went over. Paratta converted to give Connacht a commanding lead of 17 points.

Another fine break from deep within their own half by Blade Butler allowed Ian Costigan the space for an excellent finish. Asserting their dominance just before the break, Connacht’s Andrew McAleer ran an excellent line to break through the midfield. Possession was recycled and after good hands from back-row colleagues Joe Bercis and Aidan Butler, Paul Hackett powered over in the corner.

Five minutes into the second half, a quick turnover deep in Connacht territory saw Mathew Mellotte eat up the ground down the wing before chipping, regathering and offloading to Jacob Walshe who recycled and Caolan Blade went speeding over.

Leinster then managed to get a foothold as Connacht stepped off the gas. Concerted pressure saw Leinster score two late tries but that couldn’t take the gloss off a great win for Connacht U19, the final score Connacht U19 31-12 Leinster U19. Connacht will now face Leinster U19A in Ashbourne this Saturday in the decider.


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