Connacht U19 19-22 Ulster U19
Ulster U19s kicked off their 2021 Men’s Interprovincial Championship with a 22-19 win over Connacht U19s in Donnybrook, Dublin.
Jonathan Gillespie’s Ulster started off the better side but Connacht fought back before the end of the first half to set up an exciting second.
Number 8 James McNabney showed his strength as he powered over the line for the first try of the game after nine minutes.
Connacht returned fire through the wide channels as their back-line impressed throughout the match.
Connacht winger Blaine Barry got the side’s first try of the match after out-half Harry West and full-back Adam O’Carroll combined well in the build-up.
Barry’s try went unconverted but the Westerners added a second when West got his first seven points of the game after another link-up with O’Carroll.
Ballymena Academy’s Ross McKay reduced the deficit to two early on in the second half but Connacht scored a third try in response when replacement back Tadhg Finlay finished off another nice move by the Connacht backline.
West converted the try and increased his side’s lead to nine points.
Ulster and Coleraine winger Rory Telfer kept his side’s hopes alive with a second try after some strong carries.
It was the power of the Ulster pack that helped the side prevail as a maul in the last minutes led to the decisive score and a win for the Ulstermen.
CONNACHT U-19: Adam O’Carroll (Ballinasloe RFC), Blaine Barry (Connemara RFC/Galway Corinthians RFC), Adam Madden (Galway Corinthians RFC), John Devine (Ballinasloe RFC) (capt), Hugh Reddan (Galwegians RFC) Harry West (Ballina RFC), Kelvin Langan (Monivea RFC/Galwegians RFC); Nicky Pfeiffer (Galwegians RFC), Dylan Keane (Galwegians RFC), Jonathon Flynn (Galway Corinthians RFC), Eoin Ryan (Sligo RFC), Gareth Kilkelly (Galway Corinthians RFC), Luke Walsh (Ballinasloe RFC), Adam Hunter (Sligo RFC), Fiachna Barrett (Ballina RFC).
Replacements: Adam Nash (Buccaneers RFC), Aaron Burke (Ballinasloe RFC), Alex Hennigan (Ballina RFC), Lorcan Fallon (Buccaneers RFC), Harry Regan (Ballina RFC), Andrew Sherlock (Galwegians RFC), Tadhg Finlay (DLSP FC), Liam Golden (Ballina RFC).
ULSTER U-19: Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy) James Campbell (RS Armagh), Cameron McCaughey (Down HS), Peter O’Hagan (MCB), Rory Telfer (Coleraine GS) Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy), Arthur Johnson (CCB); Cameron Hillis (CCB), Owen Warren (Ballyclare HS), Jack Boal (CCB), Jack Norton (Belfast HS), Charlie Irvine (Wallace HS), Paddy Brown (Ballymena Academy) (capt), Matthew French (Ballymena Academy), James McNabney (Cambridge House GS).
Replacements: Ethan Fitzsimmons (Down HS), Zac Soloman (CCB), Scott Wilson (Wallace HS), Kyle Ferguson (Ballyclare HS), Michael Crothers (MCB), Adam Scott (RS Dungannon), Lorcan Hanratty (MCB), Adam Warren (Ballyclare RFC), Angus Robson (Ballyclare HS).