Poor start costs clubs
England Counties 29
AIB Clubs 25
A brilliant second-half display came too late to rescue the Irish as they suffered a narrow defeat at Stourbridge last night.
And it was four nightmare minutes at the start of the game that proved costly to David O'Mahony's side.
England Counties ran in two tries in that time, the first coming on just 90 seconds when Jack Harrison found David Howells, who broke through two tackles before charging to the line. Sam Ulph kicked the extras and was in action again moments later, slotting over a second conversion after a solo Luke Baldwin try to help England to a 26-3 lead at the break.
Ireland chalked up their first try on 47 minutes when Shannon's Michael Essex touched down.
Ireland ran in a second try seven minutes later when Kelly hacked on a loose ball on halfway and won the race to the line to score, before Galwegians winger John Cleary dived over to narrow the gap, but it wasn't enough.
Ireland Clubs -- O'Shea (Clontarf); Cleary (Galwegians), Moloney (Dolphin), Ryan (Cork Constitution), Kelly (Shannon); Keeshan (Dolphin), Cronin (Dolphin); Gately (Cork Constitution), Essex (Shannon), Shawe (Ballymena), Huntly (Blackrock College) (Crawford (Clontarf) 65), Walsh (Shannon), Leyden (Old Belvedere), O'Mahony (Dolphin) (Dundon (Clontarf) 78), Cogan (Cork Constitution) (Hogan (St Mary's College) 61).
Ref -- A McMenemy (Scotland).