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Munster Under-20s Stay On Course For Interpro Title

Munster Under-20s Stay On Course For Interpro Title

A fascinating final round of the IRFU Under-20 Interprovincial Championship is in prospect next Friday as Munster, currently in pole position with two wins from two, look to complete a clean sweep of victories away to Connacht. Second-placed Leinster remain in the hunt with a home game against winless Ulster to come.


ROUND 2 – Friday, September 11

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CONNACHT U-20s 28 ULSTER U-20s 8, the Sportsground
Scorers: Connacht: Tries: Michael Boland, Peter Claffey, Tim Carroll; Cons: Simon Keller 2; Pens: Simon Keller 3
Ulster: Try: Adam McBurney; Pen: Andrew Magrath

MUNSTER U-20s 22 LEINSTER U-20s 8, the Mardyke
Scorers: Munster: Try: Shane Daly; Con: Tom McHale; Pens: Bill Johnston 2, David O’Mahony, Tom McHale 2
Leinster: Try: Matt Byrne; Pen: Tommy Whittle

Under-20 Interpros Round 1 – Leinster And Munster Claim First Round Wins

The Connacht Under-20s produced a dominant second half performance to run out comfortable 28-8 winners over Ulster at the Sportsground on Friday night.

In very wet conditions, the visitors opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty from Academy out-half Andrew Magrath. His opposite number Simon Keller landed two equally impressive place-kicks to give Connacht a deserved 6-3 lead at half-time.

Mossy Lawler’s youngsters came out with renewed enthusiasm on the resumption and following a superb midfield break by their excellent blindside Matthew Burke (pictured below), he offloaded for winger Michael Boland to score in the left corner and Keller converted.

Ulster were not going to give in without a fight and their ‘pick and go’ game was gaining momentum. Their efforts were rewarded in the 55th minute when hooker and captain Adam McBurney got over in the Bohermore end right corner. Magrath missed the conversion, leaving the scoreline 13-8.

Ballinasloe clubman Keller steadied the ship for the hosts with another penalty goal on the hour mark, and five minutes later lock Peter Claffey touched down after several rucks deep in the Ulster 22. Keller’s successful conversion widened the margin to 23-8.

The westerners added a final gloss with 72 minutes on the clock, a scrum in midfield seeing scrum half Stephen Kerins feed onrushing Corinthians full-back Tim Carroll to finish crisply in the right corner.

CONNACHT U-20: Tim Carroll (Corinthians); Michael Boland (UCC), Alan McMahon (Dungarvan), Daire Byrne (Sligo), Jack Keegan (Sligo); Simon Keller (Ballinasloe), Stephen Kerins (Sligo); Conan O’Donnell (Sligo), Caolan Maloney (Garryowen), Conor Kenny (Buccaneers), Cillian Gallagher (Sligo), Peter Claffey (NUIG), Matthew Burke (Galwegians), Gavin Croke (Old Belvedere), Matthew Cosgrove (Sligo).

Replacements: Conal Slater (Co. Carlow), Darog Smyth (Galwegians), Matthew Murphy (Tullamore), Cian Barry (Cork Constitution), Neilus Mulvihill (Unattached), Ryan Feehily (Sligo), Charlie McMicken (Buccaneers), Ryan Guilfoyle (Co. Cavan).

ULSTER U-20: Robert Lyttle (Queen’s University); Conor Kelly (Queen’s University), Alex Kane (Queen’s University), Kieran Joyce (Ballymena), Jonny Rosborough (Ballymena); Andrew Magrath (Ballymena), Liam Free (Queen’s University); Ben Halliday (Malone), Adam McBurney (Ballymena) (capt), Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins), Ronan McCusker (Rainey Old Boys), Hugh Sloan (Queen’s University), Conall Boomer (Belfast Harlequins), Lewis McNamara (Instonians), Matthew Fisher (Belfast Harlequins).

Replacements: Tristan King (Malone), Andrew Shaw (Rainey Old Boys), Rory Squires (City of Derry), Harry Cleland (Instonians), Ethan Harbinson (Banbridge), Chris Gibson (Ballynahinch), Matthew McDowell (Belfast Harlequins), Matthew Hooks (Armagh).

A magnificent performance by the Munster Under-20s saw them take a big step towards winning this season’s Under-20 Interpro crown with a resounding 22-8 victory over Leinster at the Mardyke on Friday.

Despite the torrential rain that fell hours before this round 2 clash, the Mardyke pitch was in excellent condition and both teams must be credited for producing a cracking contest.

The Leinster pack held the upper hand in the scrum but with Munster Sean O’Leary, Dan Walsh and John Foley dominating the lineout, the forward exchanges were evenly contested even if Peter Malone’s home side were on the back foot for long periods.

Dublin University out-half Tommy Whittle had a disappointing day with the boot, missing two kickable penalties for Leinster at a time when there was little between the sides.

Munster had to replace their out half twice. Bill Johnston had to leave the pitch with a hand injury after 35 minutes which resulted in full-back David O’Mahony moving to half-back. However, he too had to depart in the 45th minute and Rockwell’s Tom McHale slotted in at out-half.

Early pressure by Leinster was rewarded with a successful penalty by Whittle after eight minutes. Munster were level five minutes later when Johnston knocked over with his first attempt at the sticks.

The Garryowen clubman had Munster in front midway through the half as Leinster began to concede some needless penalties. O’Mahony took over the kicking duties following Johnston’s withdrawal and he extended Munster’s advantage with a long range effort five minutes before the break to give them a 9-3 half-time lead.

Whittle was off target with a penalty five minutes into the second period as Leinster began to dominate again. A great burst by their left winger Hugo Keenan was halted on the 22 by a try-saving tackle from John Poland which resulted in the Munster scrum half being yellow carded. From the resulting penalty, Whittle missed the target.

McHale, taking over from the injured O’Mahony, pushed the Munster youngsters further in front with a 56th minute penalty, but a great Leinster move involving Keenan and Rowan Osbourne sent Terenure College’s Matt Byrne in for an unconverted try in the corner.

Crucially, Munster responded in quick fashion. PBC Cork centre Shane Daly intercepted a pass on halfway and he raced over the line for a try which McHale converted for a decisive 19-8 lead. Restored to 15 players, the hosts grew in stature and a McHale penalty six minutes from time put the game beyond Leinster’s reach.

MUNSTER U-20: David O’Mahony (Young Munster); Colm Hogan (Glenstal Abbey School), Shane Daly (PBC Cork), Paul Kiernan (UCC) (capt), Lee Molloy (Rockwell College); Bill Johnston (Garryowen), John Poland (PBC Cork); Peter Meyer (Young Munster), Vincent O’Brien (Cork Constitution), Ben Betts (Young Munster), Sean O’Leary (Cork Constitution), Barra O’Byrne (Garryowen), Kelvin Browne (Shannon), Dan Walsh (Cork Constitution), John Foley (Shannon).

Replacements: Shane Fenton (Young Munster), Shane O’Hanlon (CBC Cork), Rob O’Donovan (Cork Constitution), Pat Staff (Young Munster), Evan Mintern (Cork Constitution), Tom McHale (Rockwell College), Jamie McAleese (Glenstal Abbey School), James O’Connor (Young Munster).

LEINSTER U-20: Jack Power (Dublin University); Matt Byrne (Terenure College), Conor O’Brien (Clontarf), Jimmy O’Brien (Newbridge College), Hugo Keenan (UCD); Tommy Whittle (Dublin University), Nick Peters (Gonzaga College); James Bollard (Dublin University), John Molony (Clongowes Wood College), Adam Coyle (Naas), Michael Melia (Terenure College), James Ryan (Terenure College) (capt), Will Connors (UCD), David Aspil (St. Mary’s College), Max Deegan (Lansdowne).

Replacements: Hugo Kean (St. Mary’s College), Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf), Greg McGrath (Lansdowne), Greg Jones (UCD), Neil Reilly (Clontarf), Rowan Osbourne (Clongowes Wood College), Matthew Gilsenan (UCD), Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College).


Friday, September 18 –

LEINSTER U-20s (2nd) v ULSTER U-20s (4th), Donnybrook, 7pm

CONNACHT U-20s (3rd) v MUNSTER U-20s (1st), the Sportsground, 5pm