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Under-19s Warm Up At ‘Hinch

Under-19s Warm Up At ‘Hinch

Ballynahinch entertained the Ireland Under-19 squad in a pre World Championship warm-up match played at Ballymacarn Park on Saturday. The hosts ran out 24-10 winners.

In almost perfect conditions, the Irish side kicked off playing with the wind advantage towards the clubhouse in the first half.

Both sides took their time to settle with elementary mistakes causing a lack of rhythm to the play. The ‘Hinch side did manage to gain control by the 10-minute mark, driving play deep into the Irish half of the field, their bigger and more experienced pack making their presence felt in the tight. Ireland U19s

The U-19 team had a few useful stars – St. Mary’s scrum half Kris Greene has a quick turn of pace and he managed to get his back line moving well with a fast accurate pass. Out-half Darragh Fitzpatrick from Blackrock College did his best to keep the home side in their half of the field but enterprising counter attacking from the ‘Hinch back three of Jonny Cullen, Thomas Seymour and Peter Connell brought the match to life with some entertaining footwork.


Hinch opened the scoring in the 26th-minute when quick ball was flashed across the Irish line to find David Harris who neatly stepped inside his man to score under the posts. Frank Jones added the extras to give the home side a seven-point lead.

The U-19s hit back hard, driving play deep into the home side’s half and when quick ball was moved right it gave winger Alan Gaughan an opening – the big Buccaneers man rounded Cullen to score in the corner. The conversion from Eoin O’Malley was missed to leave the Hinch leading 7-5 at half-time.

From the restart, the Irish took the lead when ‘Hinch’s front row were penalised at a scrum and Darragh Fitzpatrick kicked for the corner to set up a catch and drive from a five-metre lineout. Their number 8 and skipper Paul Ryan crossed the line for the score, which O’Malley failed to convert, leaving the visitors leading 10-7.

‘Hinch, now playing with the breeze at their backs, recaptured the lead in the 48th-minute when Cullen was put clear down the left wing after good work from Stuart Morrow. Cullen rounded the Irish cover to score in the corner. Jones missed the extras, but the Hinch were now back in front.

As the game drifted into the final quarter, both sides made a number of changes, however, with most of the ‘Hinch players having played as team they suffered less from the disruption. Cullen grabbed his second try in the 68th-minute, this time he had the pleasure of rounding Chris Cochrane to score in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed.

Hinch V 19s

‘Hinch sealed their victory in the 75th-minute when David Harris grabbed his second try of the afternoon.

The ‘Hinch pack had forced play deep into the Irish ’22 and after numerous phases of play they managed to gain extra numbers out left where Harris made it over in the corner. Replacement out-half James McBriar added the conversion from the touchline to complete the scoring – 24-10 – in game that was a useful workout for both sides.

Ireland Under-19 coach Derek Suffern said afterwards: “I was delighted with the performance from both teams, it was a very useful workout. The U-19s will play Italy in Rome next week and we may have another run-out, perhaps in Dublin, before the World Championship begins.

“We still have to get our players from the schools that are
involved in their respective Provincial Schools Cup finals, so today’s fixture gave us a great opportunity to have a good look at a number of the lads pushing for selection.”