The Irish U-18 side gave a very disciplined performance to record a fine opening victory in the FIRA U-18 championships in their first match in Hossegor with a comprehensive 27 nil win against Georgia.
The Irish Team started brightly and opened scoring in the fifth minute with a fine try by full back John O’Brien which was converted by Captain Eamonn Sheridan to give the Irish a seven nil lead. Despite good attacking play by the Irish backs and forwards it wasn’t until the 25th minute that the next swoop came. John O’Brien led an Irish counter attack from his own 22 and good interplay by the backs saw right wing David McIlwaine run from his own half to score under the posts. Eamonn Sheridan added extra points giving Ireland a 14 nil lead.
The stop start nature of the game suited the Georgians who were happy to keep the ball tight and slow the game down. Despite further Irish pressure there were no further scores in the first half.
The second half continued in the same vain with the Irish looking dangerous every time they got possession, but frequent stoppages due to Georgian injuries prevented the Irish boys from getting any real rhythm. Eamonn Sheridan increased the Irish lead 10 minutes into the second half with an excellent long range penalty taking the score to 17-0. Ireland introduced replacements Liam Carpenter for John Dever & Charlie Armstrong for Mark Flannagan early in the second half as they continued to pressurise the Georgians.
Another penalty by replacement out-half Niall Earls increased this lead to a 20 points to nil a few minutes later an excellent back line move saw left wing Colm Brody create an opening to put in replacement wing Aengus O’Connell for a score behind the posts with Niall Earls adding the extra point.
Despite further replacements which saw Charlie Ingle and Danny Barnes enter the game Ireland were unable to add to their score. Coaches Greg Lynch, Ritchie Murphy and Jimmy Duffy were delighted with this fine and disciplined performance which sets up a semi final clash with England at Tyrosse on Wednesday 4th April Kick off 5.30 French time.
15 – John O’Brien (Connemara)
14 – David McIlwaine (Larne)
13 – Eamon Sheridan (Navan) Captain
12 – Eoghan Conran (Naas)
11 – Colm Brady (Kilkenny)
10 – Rory Stynes (Carlow)
9 – Charlie Mulchrone (Wilmslow)
1 – James Robinson (Corinthians)
2 – Paul Molloy (Waterpark)
3 – Conor Higgins (Ballinasloe)
4 – Michael Lenihan (Mallow)
5 – Mark Flanagan (Mullingar)
6 – John Dever (Tallaght)
7 – Sean Dougall (Newcastle Falcolns)
8 – Dermot Murphy (Galwegians)
16 – Gavin Duffy (Sundays Well)
17 – Jason East (Sligo)
18 – Joe Mac Manus (London Irish)
19 – Charlie Armstrong (Penzance)
20 – Liam Carpenter (Westport)
21 – Seamus Mc Kimm (RGS High Wycombe)
22 – Adam Kennedy (Buccaneers)
23 – Niall Earls (Wicklow)
24 – Charlie Ingall (London Wasps)
25 – Danny Barnes (Tralee)
26 – Aengus O’Connell (Corinthians)