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Byrne Try Helps Schools Team To Second Win

Byrne Try Helps Schools Team To Second Win

St. Michael’s College flanker Alex Byrne scored the clinching try on Wednesday as the Ireland Under-18 Schools side chalked up their second successive win at the U-18 Six Nations Festival in Glasgow, beating France 8-5.

Ireland’s good form at underage level continued when the U-18 Schools side defeated France 8-5 at the U-18 Six Nations Festival in Glasgow.

The victory over the French was preceded by a 22-5 victory over Italy and now sets up a championship decider against England this Saturday.

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The Ireland team was radically changed from the one that beat Italy, with only four players remaining in the starting line-up. With so many changes to the side and along with France starting well, Ireland were slow out of the blocks and France went ahead midway through the first half with an unconverted try. After that, Ireland began to find their feet and began to dominate proceedings across the park, but could not turn the pressure into points before half-time arrived.

The trend continued into the second half, but in the 45th-minute, talented out-half Andrew Burke slotted a penalty to make it 5-3. Ireland kept the pressure on with good play between backs and forwards and the pressure eventually told when flanker Alex Byrne crashed over for an excellent try in the right hand corner. The conversion was missed by Burke, but Ireland had the lead 8-3.

The Irish had further opportunities to score after that, but the inevitable comeback from France, late in the game, saw them camped on the Irish line. But they were repelled with some well organised defence. Ireland kept their line and the scoreboard intact for a well deserved win.

Afterwards, Irish coach Peter Melia said: “The boys were magnificent out there and it sets us up for a tilt at the overall title on Saturday. As always, France and England are the usual strong contenders, but we will take a great deal of confidence from this victory through to the next game.”

Ireland Under-18 Schools v France – Photo Gallery


15 – David Kearney (Clongowes Wood College)
14 – Robert Johnson (Blackrock College)
13 – Richard Reaney (Royal School Armagh)
12 – Shane Gahan (Gonzaga College)
11 – Ronan O’Mahony (Castletroy CC)
10 – Andrew Burke (Crescent CC)
9 – Chris Nolan (CBC Cork)
1 – Patrick McAllister (Royal School Armagh)
2 – Peter Kelleher (PBC Cork)
3 – Adam Macklin (Methodist College Belfast)
4 – James Sandford (Royal School Armagh) (capt)
5 – Stephen Mahony (St. Michael’s College)
6 – Alex Byrne (St. Michael’s College)
7 – Brian O’Hara (PBC Cork)
8 – Peter O’Mahony (PBC Cork)

Replacements used: Matthew Healy (Gonzaga College) for Nolan (40 mins), Patrick McGowan (Ballymena Academy) for Sandford (hamstring) (51), James Ryan (Rockwell College) for Mahony (dead leg) (57), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College) for Burke (60). Not used: Ricky Andrew (Ballymena Academy), Mark Atkinson (Grosvenor Grammar), Sam Bell (Methodist College Belfast), Nermin Lovic (Belvedere College), Thomas Sexton (Belvedere College), Felix Ross (The Kings Hospital), Kyle O’Dwyer (CBC Cork).

Management –

Lorcan Balfe (Manager)
Peter Melia (Coach)
Paul Barr (Assistant Coach)
Ossie Fogarty (Doctor)
David Lyons (Physiotherapist)

Ireland U-18 Schools Fixtures –

Saturday, April 14: England U-18 v Ireland U-18 Schools, Burnbrae, West of Scotland FC, kick-off 1pm