The Leinster Under-18 Clubs squad were crowned Inteprovincial champions for this season after a final 25-6 win over chief challengers Munster at Waterpark RFC.
2014/15 IRFU UNDER-18 CLUBS INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP:
ROUND 3 – Saturday, September 27
MUNSTER UNDER-18 CLUBS 6 LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS 25, Waterpark RFC
Scorers: Munster: Pens: Liam Coombes 2
Leinster: Tries: Darragh Sweeney, Jack Regan, Conor Nash; Cons: Ciaran Frawley, Sean O’Brien; Pens: Ciaran Frawley, Sean O’Brien
CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS 18 ULSTER U-18 CLUBS 10, the Sportsground
Tries from Darragh Sweeney, Jack Regan and Conor Nash secured the victory for the Dan van Zyl-coached Leinster youngsters, while they kept their Munster counterparts to just six points.
Both teams went into this Interprovincial decider after impressive wins over Ulster and Connacht and it was the visitors who started the stronger.
The Munster U-18 Clubs were pinged for going off their feet at the breakdown and out-half Ciaran Frawley landed the penalty to make it 3-0.
His opposite number Liam Coombes moved Munster level just three minutes later with a very well-struck penalty from the left. It was an action-packed opening quarter with both sides playing some good rugby.
Munster full-back Sean Ivess made a great break out on the left wing after captain Dylan Reeves Wasik and Ross O’Neill turned over Leinster ball but his pass did not go to hand and the chance was gone.
Leinster were excellent in the scrum and lineout and their opening try came from this platform as they won a penalty off a scrum, kicked to the corner and moved the ball left from a slick lineout with scrum half Sweeney eventually diving over.
Frawley missed the conversion and Munster nearly struck back shortly afterwards when Reeves Wasik charged down an attempted clearance five metres out from the Leinster line but he could not gather the loose ball.
Leinster touched down again on 36 minutes with the lineout pivotal. This time Sweeney was the provider as he passed it inside to Gorey back rower Paul Boyle (pictured below) after another well-executed lineout move.
Boyle was hauled down just short of the line, but second row Regan forced his way over from close range with Frawley adding the conversion for a commanding 15-3 half-time lead.
Munster came out for the second half keen to reduce the deficit and they did just that on 44 minutes when Leinster went offside in their own 22 after early Munster pressure. Coombes kicked his second penalty to narrow the gap to nine points.
The momentum was Munster’s and Coombes was handed another opportunity when Jack Quilter’s excellent tackle on Nash forced the turnover. Leinster illegally halted the move but Coombes was just off target with the penalty that would have moved his side to within a score.
The hill for Munster became a mountain on the hour though when Waterpark’s own Jordan O’Regan (pictured below) was adjudged to have tackled Chris Maloney dangerously under the shadow of his own posts with referee Jonny Erskine awarding a penalty and sending O’Regan to the sin-bin.
Replacement Sean O’Brien from Mullingar kicked the resulting penalty to restore Leinster’s 12-point lead.
The win was sealed with 15 minutes to go when Leinster caught Munster out with a quick lineout on the left flank with full-back Nash running in under the posts and O’Brien adding the conversion.
Fiach O’Loughlin’s Munster charges fought back gamely with David McCarthy releasing his centre partner Quilter to break through a gap in midfield but the Leinster defence stood firm.
Tadhg McElroy was sent to the sin-bin late on for not retreating after Cork Constituion’s Ross O’Neill took a quick tap close to the Leinster line, but it was the visitors celebrating at the final whistle after a deserved three-try success.
MUNSTER U-18 CLUBS: Sean Ivess (Newcastle West); Sean Gray (Crosshaven), Jack Quilter (Tralee), David McCarthy (Skibbereen), David Gleeson (Newport); Liam Coombes (Skibbereen), Jordan O’Regan (Waterpark); Peter Kelleher (Ballincollig), Tom Darcy (Newcastle West), Ian McCarthy (Highfield), Robert Carey (Midleton), Dylan Reeves Wasik (Bruff) (capt), Robbie Walsh (Waterpark), Ross O’Neill (Cork Constitution), Alan Fitzgerald (Shannon).
Replacements: Shane Bushe (Crosshaven), Luke Jordan (Dolphin), Darragh Joyce (Garryowen), David Flynn (Ennis), Sean Murphy (Newcastle West), Finn Rhys Thomas (Dungarvan), Eoin Lacey (Fermoy), Kieran Coughlan (Young Munster).
LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: Conor Nash (Navan); Ben McEntagart (Navan), Peter Howard (Cill Dara), Aiden McDonald (Kilkenny), Chris Maloney (Birr); Ciaran Frawley (Skerries), Darragh Sweeney (Malahide); Greg McGrath (Wexford), Ben Devlin (Kilkenny), Jack Aungier (Suttonians), Joe Carley (Enniscorthy), Jack Regan (Birr), Conor Hand (Navan), Conor Farrell (Navan) (capt), Paul Boyle (Gorey).
Replacements: Tadgh McElroy (Dundalk), Eoin Corcoran (Longford), Stephen McGivern (Dundalk), Sean Masterson (Portlaoise), Kevin Dolan (De La Salle Palmerston), Niall O’Neill (Naas), Sean O’Brien (Mullingar), Christian Byrne (Navan).
CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS: Luke Carty (Buccaneers); Paul Prendergast (Westport), Darragh Cummins (Sligo), TJ Ford (Sligo), Colm de Buitlear (An Ghaeltacht); Paul Kilcoyne (Sligo), Ryan Feehily (Sligo); Aaron Murray (Corinthians), Cian Hornibrook (Galwegians), Darrog Smith (Galwegians), Joe Campbell (Corinthians), Cillian Gallagher (Sligo), Malcolm Hanley (Galwegians), Mark O’Dowd (Ballina), Matthew Burke (Ballinrobe) (capt).
Replacements: Shane O’Hehir (Sligo), Hadi Mousa (Sligo), Josh Hays (Galwegians), Cian Quinn (An Ghaeltacht), Daniel Molloy (Ballina), Corey Reid (Buccaneers), Conor Murray (Buccaneers), Justin Coen (Monivea).
ULSTER U-18 CLUBS: Thomas McGookin (Ballyclare); Josh Henry (Randalstown), Jack McCool (Limavady), Tom Campbell (Malone), Jack Murphy (Malone); Cormac Fox (Armagh), William Holden (Portadown); Blaise McKnight (Newry), Daniel O’Neill (Rainey Old Boys), Corey Logan (City of Derry), Matthew McMaster (Dromore), Kieran Thompson (Ballymena), Ryan Hughes (Dromore) (capt), Kalem Travers (Instonians), Aaron Hall (Ballyclare).
Replacements: Andrew Jackson (Banbridge), Fintan Quinn (Rainey Old Boys), Michael McColgan (Omagh), Brendan McSorley (Clogher Valley), Mark Gillespie (Donegal Town), Conor Cambridge (Carrickfergus), Marcus Heath (Dromore), Nathan Graham (Malone).
Leinster 60 Ulster 3, Navan RFC
Connacht 17 Munster 23, the Sportsground
Ulster 6 Munster 34, Kingspan Stadium
Leinster 38 Connacht 7, Naas RFC
Munster 6 Leinster 25, Waterpark RFC
Connacht 18 Ulster 10, the Sportsground