16/03/02.The Ireland Youths (pictured in training) got the best start to their upcoming Four Nations Championship campaign with an impressive 30-9 win over Italy in Galway
The Irish led 16-9 at half time thanks to a 26th minute try from number 7 Oisin Hennessy following a good line-out take from his namesake Sean and a concerted drive from the home pack. Full back John Kermath converted to add to three earlier penalties, a just reward for his tremendous performance overall.
On the stroke of half time the Italian number 7, Nicola Pavin landed his third successful effort to keep the visitors in the hunt.
The Irish put themselves under pressure at the start of the second half and lost Kermath to injury at the close of the third quarter. However they got back to their game plan and scored two further tries for an emphatic victory
Their third try came courtesy of Stephen Carey who came off his wing to score in the 61st minute following neat interplay between Breffni O’Donnell and David Bryan. Kermath added the conversion before departing injured to be replaced by Paddy O’Toole who moved to out-half with Bryan switching to full-back. Then in the 33rd minute the Italians were penalised for pulling down a rolling maul and the subsequent penalty was converted by O’Toole.
John Kermath (Boyne/Leinster); Stephen Carey (Nenagh/Munster), Claude Crawford (Banbridge/Ulster), Breffni O’Donnell (UL Bohs/Leinster), John Harney (Clonmel/Munster); David Bryan (Exiles), Robert Pollock (Monaghan/Ulster); Matthew Black Portadown/Ulster), Frank Leonard capt (Corinthians/Connacht) Ronan Loughney (Corinthians/Connacht); Sean Hennessy (Co Carlow/Leinster), Leonard Sullivan (Killarney/Munster); Cian O’Connor (Cashel/Munster), Oisin Hennessy (Monaghan/Ulster), Tim Ryan (Highfield/Munster).
Replacements. Eamon Bracken (Tullamore/Leinster) for Loughney.. Phillip Currie (Portadown/Ulster) for Leonard. Adam Friel (Exiles) for Black. Tom Doran (Exiles) for T.Ryan. Patrick Gill (Exiles) for Pollock.
Paddy O’Toole (Galwegians/Connacht) for Kermath. Dave O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht) for Crawford.