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Ulster Kick Off Colleges Interpros With A Win

Ulster Kick Off Colleges Interpros With A Win

The Irish Colleges Interprovincial Series, sponsored by Treasury Holdings, got underway with an emphatic win for Ulster over their Connacht counterparts at Enniskillen this week.

Ulster Colleges produced a sparkling display of rugby on Tuesday at Mullaghmeen, Enniskillen RFC, when they defeated Connacht Colleges 58-8, outscoring the visitors by ten tries to one.

Ulster now progress to the Irish Colleges Interprovincial Series final against Munster or Leinster at Monkstown Rugby Club, Sydney Parade, Dublin on Wednesday, December 17.

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Connacht had the best of the early exchanges and when Ulster went offside in front of their own posts, Sean Joyce converted the resultant penalty.

Ulster’s forwards took control with driving play and after ten minutes Ulster out-half Mark O’Connor released David McIlwaine to score in the corner.

With the Ulster forwards in rampant form, a great break by David Funston saw him feed Peter Budina for an easy run-in for a try.

From the restart, a scintillating break by Alan Smith ended with him offloading for Alan Whitton to score a try and increase the Ulster lead after 17 minutes.

Ulster Colleges were now playing with confidence and with scrum half Andrew Semple controlling the game, further tries followed from Alan Smith and Andrew Kerr to leave the half-time score 25-3 in Ulster’s favour.

Into the second half, Ulster continued where they left off with Mark O’Connor putting Budina through for a try with a delightful chip kick. O’Connor also added the extras.

This was followed by an individual try from centre Funston, converted by O’Connor.

Budina and Mark Riddle scored further tries for Ulster Colleges, one of which was converted by O’Connor.

Connacht Colleges, to their credit, never gave up despite the deficit and were rewarded with a try by Barry Ahern.

Ulster completed the game on top and confirmed their superiority with a converted try from Ali Birch.

This was a great all-round balanced display by Ulster Colleges. Ulster coach Chris Galway was delighted with the quality of rugby played by his charges.

He said afterwards: “I was pleased by the driving, controlled play by the forwards which laid the foundation for this comprehensive victory.

“I was impressed with the attitude and commitment of all the players but I thought Dave Funston, Andrew Kerr and Adam Cupples were outstanding.

“We now look forward to the final which I hope will give us the opportunity to win our first Interprovincial title.”

Leinster Colleges and Munster Colleges are meeting today (Wednesday) in the other play-off at Monkstown FC.