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Connacht stun Leinster with late comeback at inaugural U18 festival

Munster joined the western province at the top of the table with a comfortable win over Ulster at UL.

Below are reports from the first day of Clubs games at the IRFU U18 inter-provincial festival. Check out reports from the Schools games here

Connacht U18 Clubs 33
Leinster U18 Clubs 26

CONNACHT CAME BACK from the dead to stun Leinster in the opening game of the IRFU U18 inter-provincial festival at the University of Limerick on Saturday.

Connacht celebrate after the game Connacht pulled off a big comeback win over Leinster. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Leinster looked a step ahead as they carved out a lead from second row Patrick Kieran’s try in the third minute.

This was temporarily wiped out by wing Rory McLeane’s lightening counter from 60 metres in what was a moment of magic conjured against the flow of the game.

The eastern province established control from out-half Tim Corkery’s finish of centre Josh O’Connor’s impressive carry.

Wexford man O’Connor broke away again to set up fullback Jamie Osbourne for Leinster’s third try, converted by centre Karl Martin, for 17-5 in the 25th minute.

The blues appeared to be moving out of sight when their right wing Ben Jones took off into the right corner.

Connacht needed something to keep them in touch and they found it from flanker Oisin McCormick’s carry from close range, out-half Cathal Forde’s conversion reducing it to 22-12 at the break.

Ultimately, it turned out to be a crucial intervention as hooker Eoin de Buitlear surged over from a maul, converted by Forde, to make it 22-19 in the 44th minute.

In a match of swinging fortunes, Osbourne danced around the defence to restore Leinster’s lead with a seven-pointer.

Josh O'Connor with Donnacha Byrne Leinster's Josh O'Connor with Donnacha Byrne of Connacht. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

It was then the boys from the west who took over as centre Dylan Keane ghosted through and prop Cian Scanlon powered over the line for the 14 points that turned the game their way.

Connacht scorers:
Tries: R McLeane, O McCormick, E de Buitlear, D Keane, C Scanlon
Conversions: C Forde [4]
Leinster scorers:
Tries: J Osbourne [2], T Corkery, P Kieran, B Jones
Conversions: K Martin [2]

Connacht’s best:

Donnacha Byrne – When Connacht were on the rack, their number eight embraced the challenge with a muscular impact at close quarters.

Leinster’s best:

Josh O’Connor – The power of the outside centre caused Connacht all sorts of problems, his running game creating chances for others, most notably for Jamie Osbourne’s first try.


15. Conor O’Shaughnessy (Galwegians RFC & St Jarlath’s College),
14. Luke Hogge (Sligo RFC & Colaiste Mhuire),
13. Daragh Hanrahan (Corinthians RFC & Colaiste Iognaid)
12. Sam O’Sullivan (Creggs RFC & Marist College)
11. Rory McLeane (Oughterard RFC & Colaiste Einde),
10. Cathal Forde (Corinthians RFC & Colaiste Iognaid),
9. Aodha Hession (Creggs RFC & Roscommon CBS)

1. Conal O’Grioffa (Corinthians RFC & Scoil Chuimstitheach, Chiaran)
2. Eoin de Buitlear (Corinthians RFC & Scoil Chuimstitheach, Chiaran
3. Cian Scanlon (Corinthians RFC & Scoil Chuimstitheach, Chiaran)
4. Martin Fallon (Buccaneers RFC & Marist College)
5. Darragh Murray (Buccaneers RFC & Colaiste Chiaran, captain)
6. Diarmuid McCormack (Corinthians RFC & Colaiste Iognaid)
7. Oisin McCormack (Ballinasloe RFC & Garbally College)
8. Donnacha Byrne (Sligo RFC & Summerhill).


16. Matthew Earley (Carrick On Shannon & Sligo Grammar)
17. Caolan Hopkins (Ballina RFC & St Joseph’s Foxford)
18. Alan Duffy (Ballina RFC & Jesus and Mary Enniscrone)
19. Cathal Fleming (Monivea RFC & Holy Rosary College)
20. Hubert Costello (Corinthians RFC & Calasanctius College)
21. Leo McFarlane (Buccaneers RFC & Marist College)
22. Dylan Keane (Ballinrobe RFC & Cistercian Roscrea)
23. Hubert Gilvarry (Sligo RFC & Sligo Grammar)
24. Jack Power (Galwegians RFC & Colaiste Iognaid)
25. Harry Bilsager (Buccaneers RFC & Gallen CS)
26. Kacper Palamarczuk (Westport RFC & Rice College).


15. Jamie Osbourne (Naas RFC),
14. Ben Jones (MU Barnhall RFC)
13. Josh O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC)
12. Karl Martin (Boyne RFC)
11. Ryan Foley (Athy RFC);
10. Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC)
9. Will Reilly (Portlaoise RFC)

1. Sean Kelly-Komolafe (Wexford Wanderers RFC)
2. Finn Tierney (Wanderers RFC)
3. Jordan Finney (Navan RFC)
4. Patrick Kieran (Greystones RFC)
5. Ryan Doyle (MU Barnhall RFC)
6. Mark Boyle (Gorey RFC)
7. Rob Murphy (Gorey RFC)
8. David Murphy (Blackrock College RFC, captain)


16. Jack Hanley (MU Barnhall RFC)
17. Temilolhwa Adewunmi-Lasisi (Enniscorthy RFC)
18. Michael Hand (Birr RFC)
19. Cathal Purcell (Dundalk RFC)
20. Phillip Byrne (Tullow RFC)
21. Cormac Fenton (Wicklow RFC)
22. Niall Hilliard (MU Barnhall RFC)
23. Diarmuid Brannock (Cill Dara RFC)
24. David Manning (Mullingar RFC)
25. James Reilly (Ardee RFC).
26. Fionn O’Hara (Mullingar RFC)


Munster U18 Clubs 32
Ulster U18 Clubs 10

Munster joined Connacht at the top of the U18 inter-provincial series table with a comfortable upending of Ulster in Saturday’s second game.

Richard Wallace celebrates his try with Ethan Coughlan Munster were comfortable winners in the day's second game. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The southern province got out to a fast start with a penalty from centre Jamie Shanahan and an intercept from distance by out-half Tony Butler, converted by the captain.

The one-way traffic continued when flanker Richard Wallace made his way home for a try in the 20th minute.

There was little evidence of a meaningful response from Ulster, enabling Munster to strike again through Jack Barrett for 20-0 on half-time.

The threat of Ulster centre Matthew Hamilton opened the way for left wing Stuart Wightman to speed into the left corner to eat into the deficit.

The home side were hurt by the loss of Shanahan with a serious looking leg injury to remove their primary leader.

Munster reacted with typical character for second row Craig Hannon to burst over for their fourth try and wing Ihechi Oji for their fifth ahead of James McMaster’s consolation for the visitors.

Munster scorers:

Tries: T Butler, R Wallace, J Barrett, C Hannon, I Oji
Penalties: J Shanahan [1]
Conversions: T Butler [1]
Ulsters scorers:
Tries: S Wightman, J McMaster

Munster’s best:

Jamie Shanahan – There was sound reasoning behind the centre’s appointment as captain for his alert and decisive defence and as a facilitator in attack.

Ulster’s best:

Matthew Hamilton – The inside centre was mostly restricted to working without the ball, putting his shoulder to the tackle, and carrying forcefully when given the chance.


15. Tim Hegarty (Old Christian’s RFC)
14. Ihechi Oji (Douglas RFC)
13. Conor McMahon (Nenagh Ormond RFC)
12. Jamie Shanahan (Skibbereen RFC, CAPT)
11. Liam Murphy (Young Munster RFC)
10. Tony Butler (Ennis RFC)
9. Ethan Coughlan (Ennis RFC)

1. Eddie McIntosh (Clonmel RFC)
2. Dylan Murphy (Nenagh Ormond RFC)
3. Darragh McCarthy (Cobh Pirates RFC)
4. Jay Traynor (Waterpark RFC)
5. Craig Hannon (Galbally RFC)
6. Fearghail O’ Donoghue (Cashel RFC)
7. Richard Wallace (Killarney RFC)
8. Jack O’Keeffe (Nenagh Ormond RFC).


16. Ciaran Bohane (Ballincollig RFC)
17. Kian Regan (Tralee RFC)
18. Matt McCarthy (Clonakilty RFC)
19. Tadhg Galvin (Bandon RFC)
20. Jack Cosgrave (Young Munster RFC)
21. Gavin Foley(Skibbereen RFC)
22. Jack Barrett (Bruff RFC)
23. Dylan Brosnan(Young Munster RFC).


15. Luke McMullan (Dungannon)
14. Stuart Patterson (FS Lisburn)
13. James Campbell (City of Armagh)
12. Matthew Hamilton (Malone)
11. Stuart Wightman (Belfast Met)
10. Thomas McDevitt (Instonians)
9. Rory Maginty (Letterkenny)

1. Sam Rainey (City of Armagh)
2. Evan Charters (Virginia)
3. Michael McKeon Boyle (Virginia)
4. Stephen Kelly (Letterkenny)
5. Cein McColgan (City of Derry)
6. Ashley Tweed (Ballymoney)
7. Jack Milton (Ballyclare)
8. James Crummie (City of Armagh).


16. Keenan Barrett (Letterkenny)
17. James McMaster (Grosvenor)
18. Philip Nicholl (City of Armagh)
19. John Glasgow (City of Armagh)
20. Sam Murray (City of Armagh)
21. Kyle Gill (Ballynahinch)
22. Rhys Cobain (Belfast Met)
23. Thomas Wilson (Carrickfergus)
24. Oran O’Neill (Malone)
25. Alan Thompson (Coleraine).

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