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Leinster Colleges Make It Three In A Row

Leinster Colleges Make It Three In A Row

Leinster Colleges made it three in a row yesterday with a 20 point victory over their Ulster counterparts in the Treasury Holding Interprovincial colleges final at Sydney Parade. Brendan Johnston reports from Monkstown RFC.

Leinster Colleges continued their domination of the Interprovincial series with a 44 – 24 win but not before Ulster had posed a few questions in this decider played at Sydney Parade yesterday.

With the Leinster pack signalling their intent in the second half, the home side under coach Eoin Hogan prevailed to capture a third successive title.

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Notwithstanding the cold and overcast afternoon at the Monkstown RFC grounds, there was plenty to hold the attention in this festive offering. Ulster aiming to win the championship for the first time had begun brightly with Josh Devitt touching down beside the posts barely a minute gone in the game.

Leinster were soon back in contention with former schools outhalf, Brian Hogan finding the distance on three occasions before a break by Conor Hogan set up Craig Morrin for Leinster’s opening try on 26 minutes.

Leinster crossed the Ulster line once more before the break through Laurcan Kavanagh to lead 19-5 only for Ulster to knock them back with back-to-back tries from Mark O’Connor (the latter converting his own try with a difficult touchline kick and Ali Burch.

Collins restored Leinster’s lead with his fourth penalty on 52 minutes, the tide turned once more and having threatened the Ulster line in successive moves, Leinster went over for what proved the decisive score when the impressive Ian Leonard powered his way over just short of the hour mark.

The floodgates opened with further tries Hogan and Max-Rantz McDonald and although Ulster were to end their dry spell with a score from Andrew Ferguson, Leinster completed the scoring with a well worked try from Barry McLoughlin.

Leinster: C Morrin, L Kavanagh, I Leonard, C Hogan, M Rantz-McDonald, B McLoughlin try each, B Collins 4 pens, con
Ulster: J Devitt, A Birch, A Ferguson try each, M O’Connor try, 2 cons

Leinster Colleges: Mark Geraghty, Conor Hogan, Craig Morrin, Laurcan Kavanagh, Darren Fanning, Brian Collins, Sean Treacy, Ian Leonard, Cian Culleton, Mark Hamilton, Nathan Lawless, Robert Smith, John Downey, Eeoghan Nihill, John Dever, Donagh O’Shea for Treacy, Joe Gorman for Cian Culleton, David Toman for Nihill, Barry McLoughlin for Collins, Max Rantz-McDonald for Morrin, Gary Miller for  Smith.

Ulster Colleges: David McIlwaine, Josh Devitt, David Funson, Peter Elliott, Alan Smyth, Andrew Semple, Andrew Ferguson, Michael Bradford, Neil Simpson, Mick Dunleavy,  Andrew Kerr, Matthew Irvine, Adam Cupples, Ali Birch
Subs: Alan Whitten for Bradford, Steven Morton for Ferguson, Mark Riddell for Dunleavy,  Jon Brown for Semple, Scott Browne for Smyth, Ricky  McCarthy for Elliott

Referee: David Keane (IRFU)