Creggs U18 out-half Michael Green has been staring for the Connacht youths over the past number of weeks in the interprovincial series. Michael has started in the crucial No.10 shirt against Leinster and Munster adding 10 points(two penalties and two conversions) to Connacht’s total. It’s one loss and one victory for Connacht as they go into the final round of games with an outside chance of winning the series. The next game is a home one this Saturday at 1.30pm in the Sportsground against Ulster. We wish Michael and his teammates the very best of luck on Saturday in their bid for honors.
Leinster U18 Clubs 29 Connacht U18 Clubs 6
Connacht made an encouraging start to their second interprovincial game away to Leinster, as good approach work by forwards Kevin Hastings, Aaron Broderick and Rory Murphy allowed out-half Michael Green to convert a penalty to give the visitor the early advantage.
However it went rapidly downhill from there as the visitors could not handle the Leinster onslaught. It started when the Leinster out-half Conor O’Brien’s sold an audacious dummy to shoot in under the posts for a 7-3 lead. Worst was to follow for the visitors as confusion on their own 5m scrum allowed flanker Conor Oliver to touch down and give Leinster a 14-3 advantage. Leinster continued to dominate and good interplay between backs and forwards created an overlap for the excellent Conor Oliver to outflank the despairing Connacht defence to stretch Leinster’s lead to 19-3. Soon after Connacht seemed to have defended the latest Leinster attach with a good turn-over, but they somehow managed to immediately hand back possession, which allowed Conor Oliver to complete his hat-trick and give Leinster a 24-3 interval lead.
To their credit Connacht started the second half with a lot more focus and immediately converted a penalty opportunity to give them some hope. The visitors dominated much of the second half but poor handling and a resolute Leinster defence prevented the visitors from making any further inroads on the score board. The final say was to be Leinster’s when a turnover ball was intelligently fed on the blind side to replacement full-back David McDermott who from 30 meters went over in the corner to leave the final score at 29-6 to Leinster.
The interprovincial series finishes next weekend, when Connacht play Ulster at the Sporstground (Sat at 1:30pm) and Munster take on Leinster in Thomand Park.
Leinster: K Dunne (Tullamore); A McGivney (Mullingar), S Moran (Kilkenny), J Nolan (Gorey), R Vallejo (New Ross); C O’Brien (Mullingar), J Carbery (Athy); H Hester (Navan), J McKenna (Wicklow), N Hannon, A Purcell (both Mullingar), C Joyce-Ahearne (Wexford), L Walsh (Wicklow), C Oliver (Skerries), G Dunne (Kilkenny)
Replacements used: E Doyle (Wexford), J White (Gorey), D O’Reilly (Mullingar), T Gonnelly (Dundalk), M Russell (Naas), D McDermott (Carlow), A Feeney (Suttonians), S Healy (Navan)
Connacht: Cathal Evans (Corinthians); Paddy Glavey (Westport), Conor Lowndes (Galwegians), Finn Stoneman (Galwegians), Harry Hughes (Buccaneers); Michael Green (Creggs), Jason Mitchell (Galwegians); Craig Hansberry (Corinthians), Pat O’Toole (Westport), Colin Joyce (Corinthians), Aaron Broderick(Corinthians), Rory Murphy (Westport), Evan Galvin (Buccaneers), Kevin Hastings (Westport), Jack Codyre (Ballinasloe)
Replacements used: Cormac Groden (Westport), Conan O’Donnell (Sligo), Fintan Murphy (Castlebar), Fergal Tully (Ballina), Darragh Maher (Monivea), Sean Dempsey (Buccaneers), Sean Tobin (Westport), Sean Doyle (Buccaneers)
Referee: W O’Connor (IRFU)
Munster Youths (U18) 6 Connacht Youths (U18) 14
Connacht Youths got their Inter provincial campaign off to a great start, with an away win last Sunday against Munster in Highfiled RFC. From the kick-off the visitors lead by No 8 Jack Codyre torn into their opponents with the front row of Conor Kyne, Pat O’Toole and Colin Joyce dominating the early exchanges.
Munster with the aid of the elements settled and a monster kick out of defence was chased down by wingers Joe White and Eoin O’Carroll to present out half Fionn McGibney with a penalty opportunity which he converted to give Munster a 3-0 advantage. Connacht kept to their game plan and kept Munster pined in their half with some great surges by flanker Kevin Hastings and second row Rory Murphy. However against the run of play Munster forwards Darragh Power and Idris Rqibi set up another penalty opportunity which was converted to stretch Munster’s lead to 6-0. The Connacht backs began to take advantage of their forward’s dominance and good approach work by half backs Jason Mitchell and Michael Green gave the platform for an initial surge by Evan Galvin to set up Craig Hansberry to crash over under the posts and give Connacht a 7-6 interval lead.
In the second half Connacht continued to dominate with centres Finn Stoneman and Conor Lowndes punching holes in the Munster defence, but line breaks by winger Harry Hughes and full back Cathal Evans failed to extend the visitors lead. Just as Munster looked to have weathered the storm, winger Paddy Glavey cut through their defence and with one man to beat elected to chip and chase to score under the posts. The try was converted to give Connacht some breathing space, on a score- line of 14-6. Despite applying a lot more pressure Connacht failed to add to their score, as a combination of wrong options and poor handling denied them. With time running out Munster started to exert more dominance with forwards Brendan Quinlan, Conor O’Sullivan and Ben Betts prominent, but good defensive work by the visitors kept their try line intact much to the satisfaction of the their coaches Eamonn Molloy, Cory Brown and Ambrose Conboy.
Munster XV: Dylan Horgan (Highfield), Eoin O’Carroll (Tralee), Kieran Duggan (Highfield), Mark Dorgan (Highfield), Joe White (Clonakilty), Fionn McGibney (Garryowen), Ronan O’Lahhoran (Ennis), Brendan Quinlan (Clanwilliam), Eoghan Greene (Sunday’s Well), Ben Betts (Young Munster), Aaron Hogan (Youghal), Conor O’Sullivan (Kanturk), Darragh Power (Waterpark), Connell Dodd (Waterpark), Idris Rqibi (Captain), (Skibbereen).
Replacements: Stephen Shine (Young Munster), Philip Poilot (Clonakilty), Peter Ryan (Nenagh Ormond RFC), Luke O’Leary (Sunday’s Well), Alex McAuliffe (Bruff), Gareth Molloy (Waterpark), Eathon Moloney (Nenagh Ormond), Cian Tierney (Bruff).
Connacht XV: Cathal Evans (Corinthians), Paddy Glavey (Westport), Conor Lowndes (Galwegians), Finn Stoneman (Galwegians), Harry Hughes (Buccneers), Michael Green (Creggs), Jason Mitchell (Galwegians), Conor Kyne (Galwegians), Pat O’Toole (Westport), Colin Joyce (Corinthians), Aaron Broderick (Corinthians), Rory Murphy (Ballinrobe), Evan Galvin (Buccaneers), Kevin Hastings (Westport), Jack Codyre (Ballinasloe).
Replacements: Conon O’Donnell (Sligo) Craig Hansberry (Corinthians), Fintan Murphy (Castlebar), Fergal Tully (Ballina), Darragh Maher (Monivea), Sean Tobin (Westport), Sean Dempsey (Buccaneers), Sean Doyle (Buccaneers).