The Munster Under-18 Schools squad, coached by Mark Butler, claimed a long-awaited Interprovincial title after a hard-fought 19-10 win over Leinster at CBC Cork’s excellent Lansdowne ground on Saturday.
2014/15 IRFU UNDER-18 SCHOOLS INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP:
ROUND 3 – Saturday, September 27
MUNSTER UNDER-18 SCHOOLS 19 LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS 10, CBC Cork
Scorers: Munster: Try: Billy O’Hora; Con: Bill Johnston; Pens: Bill Johnston 4
Leinster: Tries: Jordan Larmour, David Duggan
After a 24-3 win over Connacht at the Sportsground in their Interpro opener, last week’s 22-7 victory over Ulster meant that Munster knew a victory on Saturday would secure the title.
Their head coach Mark Butler decided to keep faith with the side that won in Ulster with Rockwell out-half Bill Johnston – a brother of Munster Academy member David Johnston – retaining the captaincy.
The Munster youngsters started superbly and played some brilliant rugby to race into a 19-0 half-time lead. Crescent College winger Billy O’Hora scored the game’s first try in the right corner after a period of pressure. Johnston added the conversion and well-struck four penalties.
It was by no means one-way traffic in that first half, however, with some excellent Munster defence keeping the visitors at bay.
Leinster, who have dominated this competition for the past decade, were reduced to 14 men when winger Tim Carroll was red carded for taking Colm Hogan out as the full-back rose for a high ball in the 51st minute.
That seemed to galvanise the Noel McNamara-coached visitors and they spent much of the second period on the front foot.
Leinster were back in the game when winger Jordan Larmour touched down with scrum half David Duggan also claiming a try to make it 19-10.
Crucially, however, both conversions were missed which allowed Munster some vital breathing space and superb defence helped the hosts see out the game and a brilliant unbeaten campaign.
Afterwards, IRFU Committee member Greg Barrett presented the Interpro trophy to winning captain Bill Johnston (pictured below).
Congratulations to all the players involved in the Munster squad as well as coaches Mark Butler, Ken O’Connell, Tony Trehy, Denis Leamy and team manager Kevin Long.
A special word of thanks to CBC for the use of the school’s wonderful facilities and their outstanding hospitality.
MUNSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: Colm Hogan (Glenstal Abbey); Glen Dickinson (Crescent College), Calvin Nash (Crescent College), Alex McHenry (CBC Cork), Billy O’Hora (Crescent College); Bill Johnston (Rockwell College) (capt), Jack Lyons (Crescent College); Joey Conway (Castletroy College), Mark O’Mara (Castletroy College), James Kendrick (Rockwell College), Kevin O’Leary (PBC Cork), Gavin Coombes (Bandon Grammar), Jack O’Sullivan (PBC Cork), Bailey Faloon (Crescent College), John Foley (St. Munchin’s College).
Replacements: Ty Chan (Ardscoil Rís), Conor Beary (Rockwell College), Jack Tierney (Rockwell College), Ronan Coffey (Ardscoil Rís), Mike Casey (Rockwell College), Daryl Egan (Rockwell College), Jack Stafford (Glenstal Abbey), Jack O’Donnell (Ardscoil Rís).
LEINSTER U-18 SCHOOLS: James McGowan (Blackrock College); Tim Carroll (Cistercian College, Roscrea), Jack Kelly (St. Michael’s College), Tim Foley (Cistercian College, Roscrea) (capt), Jordan Larmour (St. Andrew’s College); Conor Dean (Blackrock College), David Duggan (St. Michael’s College); Rory Mulvihill (St. Michael’s College), Conor Johnson (Newbridge College), Richard Mouatt (Blackrock College), Oisín Dowling (St. Michael’s College), Brian Egan (Belvedere College), Caelan Dorris (Blackrock College), Jonny Guy (St. Andrew’s College), Barry Fitzpatrick (St. Michael’s College).
Replacements: Daniel McCaffrey (Belvedere College), Gavin Murray (Castleknock College), Emmet Burns (Blackrock College), Tom De Jongh (Belvedere College), Matthew Keane (Cistercian College, Roscrea), Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere College), Conor Jennings (Belvedere College), Alan Tynan (Cistercian College, Roscrea).
Connacht 0 Ulster 53, Ballinasloe RFC
Connacht 3 Munster 24, the Sportsground
Leinster 17 Ulster 17, Templeville Road
Ulster 7 Munster 22, Kingspan Stadium
Munster 19 Leinster 10, CBC Cork