WICKLOW pair Jack McKenna and Liam Walsh both featured for Leinster U-18's as they lifted the Youth Inter-Provincial trophy on Saturday afternoon.
Connacht was the side that stood between Leinster and glory but a performance of real mettle saw Leinster emerge triumphant by 10-7 in Mullingar.
Leinster went into the final as favourites. They had already beaten Connacht earlier in the league and their 48-3 semi-final annihilation of Ulster, in which McKenna and Walsh both scored tries, meant that expectation weighed on the young Leinster squad's shoulders. And they didn't disappoint. Thanks to a helping hand from hooker McKenna and Rathdrum man Walsh, both stars of Wicklow RFC who have recently been involved in the international set-up, Leinster retained their title.
McKenna and Walsh are both 17 and are currently studying for their leaving certificates, which they will sit in June.
Saturday's triumph is just desserts for the Trojan work the pair endure for rugby. Every Monday they train in Presentation College Bray and every Wednesday they venture up to Naas for another gruelling session and inbetween they endure a strict gym regime; so it is fair to say that Saturday's euphoria was well-earned.