Junior Interprovincial Series
Leinster 15-14 Connacht
Leinster Juniors defeated Connacht Juniors 15-14 in the opening match of the Interprovincial Series in Newbridge RFC on Saturday.
Connacht totally dominated the set piece in the early stages of the game and this gave them the platform to score the first try of the match. Monivea's Matthew Mannion crossed on 18 minutes before slotting the conversion himself to put Connacht seven up.
Connacht continued to dominate play but Leinster fought back to level matter on the half-hour. Leinster’s Ronan Costello and captain John Shine combined well with Liam Caddy touching down after Ian Burke’s chip through. Burke added the extra two points to bring the sides level.
The Connacht response was swift as Mannion ran in under the posts for his second try of the game. Mannion added another two points making it 14-7 to the men in green.
Dunmore's Marty Cummins was given a yellow card just before half-time and while Connacht managed the period well they couldn’t stop Leinster from making a dream start to the second half as Ivan Jacob scored in the corner. Burke missed the conversion as Connacht held on to a slender 14-12 lead.
Neither team would dominate the remainder of the game but, crucially, Leinster managed to play a lot of the game in Connacht territory and applied huge pressure to the Westerners try-line in the closing stages.
In the 78th minute, this pressure finally told as referee George Finn awarded Leinster a penalty from the scrum. Ian Burke ensured Leinster’s win after slotting the penalty and David Mahon’s men were able to hold on for the win.
Connacht: Coleman Maher (Monivea RFC); Peter O Toole (Connemara RFC), Matthew Mannion (Monivea RFC), Mike Allen (Ballina RFC), Enda Hogan (Monivea RFC); Seamie Fahy (Monivea RFC), Mickey Murphy (Ballina RFC) (C); Padraig Mannion (Monivea RFC), Ger Fahy (Monivea RFC), Adam Bourke (Westport RFC), Vinnie Lally (Monivea RFC), Marty Cummins (Dunmore RFC), Stephen Joyce (Monivea RFC), Fergal Tully (Ballina RFC), Roy Stanley (NUIG RFC).
Replacements: Shane Faulkner (NUIG RFC), Eugene Conroy (Connemara RFC), Cormac Grodan (Westport RFC), TJ Berry (Connemara RFC), Jack Winters (Ballinrobe RFC), Alan Tierney (Tuam RFC), Ryan Guilfoyle (NUIG RFC), Ian Murphy (Tuam RFC).