Munster U18 Schools 23        Connacht U18 Schools 15               

On a day made for open running rugby the Connacht U18 Schools took on their Munster counterparts in Musgrave Park. As it was the opening game of the interprovincial series there were many mistakes but this was compensated by a fiercely competitive match where neither side was prepared to give an inch.

U19s Munster2300A mistake from the kick-off lead to a Munster penalty which was beautifully converted by Gearoid Lyons to give Munster an early lead of 3-0. Connacht settled and good surges by flanker Kevin Hasting and prop Conor Kyne provided a penalty opportunity for Dwayne Corcoran which he converted to level the scores at 3-3. Following a period of Munster dominance a lineout near the visitors try line, lead to a penalty advantage which Munster elected to run. Poor defending by the visitors allowed fullback Stephen Fitzgerald to score a converted try to give Munster a 10-3 lead. Connacht responded with a second penalty from Corcoran, but this was quickly cancelled out by a second penalty from Lyons to leave the score at 13-6. Connacht finally applied consistent pressure, as scrum-half Jason Mitchell got his forwards and backs to combine and set up a great scoring opportunity under the Munster post. In desperation the Munster forwards infringed to allow Corcoran to convert and leave the half time score at 13-9 to Munster.

Connacht started the second half as they had finished the first. Initially they set up a long range opportunity for Corcoran U19s Munster300which he magnificently slotted from near half-way to draw within a point at 13-12. A second penalty under the Munster posts, which would have given Connacht the lead for the first time, was taken quickly, but the Munster defence were alert to the danger, and they managed to get a turn over and clear their lines. With the game on a knife edge, Connacht continued to attach but an intercept by the very alert Stephen McMahon, who ran in from 40 meters, delivered a hammer blow to Connacht and stretched Munster’s lead to 20-12. Connacht continued to battle and responded with another Corcoran penalty, but any hope of a fight back was extinguished when Lyons landed another penalty to close out the match on a score of 23-15 to Munster.

Then next series of matches will be on Wed 12/Sept with Connacht vs. Ulster in the Sportsground at 2:00 and Munster vs. Leinster in Thomond Park.  

Munster: Stephen Fitzgerald (Ard Scoil Ris); Robbie Deegan (Ard Scoil Ris), Stephen McMahon (Rockwell College), JJ O’Neill (Castletroy College), Greg O’Shea (Crescent College) capt; Gearoid Lyons (Crescent College), Ben Riley (Rockwell College); Liam O’Connor (Christian Brothers College), Luke O’Halloran (St. Munchin’s College), Liam McMahon (Crescent College); Dylan Lane (PBC), Mike O’Donnell (Crescent Comprehensive); Morgan Carey (PBC), David St Ledger (PBC), Cormac Blake (Crescent College).

Replacements: Stephen McCarthy (PBC) for McMahon (25), Sean McNulty (Rockwell College) for St. Ledger (44), Jack Boland (Glenstal Abbey) for McNulty(51), Denis O’Connell (Rockwell College) for O’Halloran (55), Frank Bradshaw Ryan (Ard Scoil Ris) and Edward O’Keeffee (St. Nessan’s) for Lane and Fitzgerald (both 60), Ed Barry (Crescent Comprehensive) for Riley (69).

Connacht: Cathal Evans (St Joseph’s Patrician College, Galway); Finn Stoneman (Coláiste Éinde, Galway), Conor Lowndes (Coláiste Iognáid, Galway), Dwayne Corcoran (Rice College, Westport), Paddy Glavey (Glenstal Abbey); Sean Tobin (Rice College, Westport), Jason Mitchell (St Joseph’s Patrician College, Galway); Conor Kyne (Coláiste Chroí Mhuire. Spiddal), Pat O’Toole (Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh), Craig Hansbury (Calasanctius College, Oranmore); Aaron Broderick (St Joseph’s Patrician College, Galway), Peter Claffey (Portumna Community School); Evan Galvin (Marist College, Athlone), Kevin Hastings (Scoil Muire agus Padraig, Swinford), Jack Codyre (Garbally College, Ballinasloe).   

Replacemnts: Cathal Laheen (Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew) for Hansbury  (36), Mark Kelly (Cistercian College Roscrea), Harry Hughes (Marist College, Athlone) for Claffey & Stoneman (both 44), Ciaran Gavin (Cistercian College Roscrea) for O’Toole (49),Colin Joyce  (St Joseph’s Patrician College, Galway) for Kyne (50), Sean Doyle (Moate Community School) for Evans (54), Rory Murphy (Ballinrobe Community School) for Hastings (57), Colin Keane (Presentation College, Headford) for Tobin (60).

Referee: N Connell (IRFU).

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