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Leinster pounce for unlikely double

LEINSTER'S underage sides produced one of the unlikeliest of interprovincial doubles as they claimed both the U18 and U16 titles at St Andrew's, the first time they have won both since 2007.

For the U18s, they looked all but out of the competition after a 1-1 draw with Ulster on the second day - Ross Canning cancelling out an Adam Fallis goal - despite a 9-1 victory over Munster on the same day.

Having lost 3-2 to Ulster in the tournament opener, it left just one sequence of results on Sunday which would break Ulster's three-year winning streak - the Red Hands falling to Munster and the Blues getting a second success over the southern province.

But that transpired in incredible fashion as Munster's U18 boys picked up a memorable 1-0 victory. It allowed Leinster to gleefully step into the breach. They duly grasped the opportunity as they put nine goals past Munster again. Jordan Sutton grabbed a hat-trick, with Jonathan Roberts claiming a brace along with Jeremy Duncan.

Earlier in the day, Leinster's U16s continued their excellent form at youth level with a fifth title in six years.

On Saturday, their title hopes looked to be rocked as Ulster produced a brilliant performance to run up a 2-0 victory but they were ultimately left to rue Hugh Lavery's superb performance in goal for the Blues.

Thanks to Friday's 1-0 win over Ulster and a rampaging 6-0 win over Munster on Saturday morning, it left Leinster ahead going into day three on goal difference by three goals.

Again there was a helping hand from Munster, whose 6-3 loss was enough to leave Leinster needing any sort of win over the southerners in the tournament's final game.

Doubles for Luke Madeley and Jack Ryan -- two of the key men all weekend along with a towering show from David Nolan in midfield -- saw them net a 4-1 victory to claim the title.

Rathdown took their first three points since returning to the Senior Schoolgirls Premier League with a 4-2 win over Bray's St Gerard's.

The Glenageary school, under former Irish international Graham Shaw, were full value for their win following initial losses to Mount Anville and Loreto Beaufort.

The away side were first out of the blocks with a strong midfield performance in particular from Leinster players Orla Macken and Sarah Evans; Rathdown's pressure paid off as Evans netted the opener. And they went further ahead midway through the first half when Macken drove home.

Trailing 2-0 at half time, the home side awoke and pushed hard to get back into the game, a convincing performance from Bryony Biggam led to the Bray side pulling a goal back.


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