Friday 9 December 2016

Connacht Juniors do their province proud despite coming up short on final day

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

Scrum-half Dylan Carpenter in a ruck. Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Scrum-half Dylan Carpenter in a ruck. Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
The Connacht Junior squad. Photo: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Connacht Junior team concluded their Inter-pro campaign with a disappointing away defeat to a classy Munster outfit last weekend.

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The final score of 50-7 certainly did not reflect the game but Munster did enough to clinch the title.

Connacht got their campaign underway three weeks earlier with a difficult trip to face Ulster in Ballynahinch.

In a competitive match Connacht were left to rue missed chances as the home side ran out 33-20 winners.

The huge performance put in by the players boded well for the remainder of the campaign.

Impressive

The performance was particularly impressive given that preparations in the build-up to the series were interrupted by several players being unable to attend training on a regular basis due to ongoing club commitments.

Connacht then drew with Leinster in the second round of matches. This was their only home match of the series, hosted by Westport Rugby Club.

In a game that either side could have won Connacht struck late to secure a 23-23 draw.

This result meant Connacht went into their final game against Munster knowing a win could see them finish as high as second in the overall standings.

In a game played in front of a fantastic crowd in Richmond Rugby Club, Munster were in no mood to see the title removed from their grasp on the final day.

The home forwards were particularly impressive and gave their attacking players the platform they needed to run out convincing winners.

The defeat ultimately saw Connacht finish bottom of the table after the three-match series but the province can take pride in the fact that there was very little between them and their rivals, particularly those in Leinster and Ulster.

Connacht Junior Squad: Conor Mason (Ballina), John Keaveney (Ballina), Adam Bourke (Westport), Chris Ryan (Westport), Liam Scahill (Westport, capt), Roy Stanley (NUIG), Stephen Joyce (Monivea), Lorcan Laheen (Monivea), Dylan Carpenter (Westport), Ross Keller (Ballinasloe), Kevin Corcoran (Westport), David McDonagh (Connemara) - Vice Captain, Matthew Mannion (Monivea), David Brunker (Ballina), Chris O'Neill (Ballina), Joe O'Connor (Westport), Cormac Groden (Westport), Eugene Conroy (Connemara), Eddie Dunning (Westport), Mickey Murphy (Ballina), Ian Heanue (Connemara), Coleman Maher (Monivea), Michael Macken (Ballyhaunis), Rory Cosgrove (Tuam), Cathal Dempsey (Tuam), Sean Tobin (Westport), Liam Griffith (Claremorris).

Irish Independent

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