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Celtic League – Good Start By Irish Clubs.

Celtic League – Good Start By Irish Clubs.

Irish sides got off to a good start in the Celtic League with Leinster winning 31-18 in Donnybrook and Ulster overcoming Ebbw Vale 19-0 in Eugene Cross Park

Leinster’s 31-18 win over Pontypridd ensured the title holders a maximum points haul. They had a brace of tries from Brian O’Driscoll and Denis Hickie – the two outstanding performers on the night – and a fifth from Malcolm O’Kelly.

In Wales David Humphreys kicked four penalties for Ulster who led 12-0 as a dull game drifted to a close before Paddy Wallace scored a late try to give the final scoreline a flattering aspect.

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And in Selkirk, an injury time drop goal from Mark McHugh gave Connacht a one point win (28-27) over Scottish newcomers, Borders.

Newport came a cropper at home where they were beaten 13-5 by Bridgend whose Lion Daffyd James scored a try to cap a marvellous personal performance.

Meanwhile there was further bad news for Munster as they prepared for their game with Llanelli, when Frank Shehan cried off the staqrting line up with a shoulder complaint. His place goes to James Blaney with John Fogarty coming onto the bench.