Sport Rugby

Monday 11 December 2017

Fitzpatrick heroics snatch title for Leinster

LEINSTER U-20 17 ULSTER U-20 17

Wing Ian Fitzpatrick was the hero as his second try, 10 minutes into injury-time, rescued a draw for Leinster and guaranteed the Interprovincial Series at Donnybrook.

Ulster imposed their game plan early on, with No 8 Lorcan Dow a shining light. He had the strength to make the line in the fifth minute for Mark Best to convert.

Leinster were forced to feed off scraps, but right wing Cian Kelleher bumped off the first tackler and sped to the posts for the equaliser in the 16th minute, out-half Ross Byrne converting from the shadow of the sticks.

Ulster continued to dominate the ball, creating an opening on the left for Ross Adair to squeeze through four minutes into first-half injury-time.

Referee Will O'Connor played out 15 minutes of overtime – there were a number of stoppages – and Fitzpatrick hared down the left to make it 12-12 at the interval.

Leinster were down to 13 players at one point, replacement Jack O'Neill in the bin and No 8 Josh Murphy sent off for his second yellow.

The extra manpower told when Ulster full-back David Busby dived in on the left, but Fitzpatrick's sharp finish gave Leinster a draw and the title.

LEINSTER U-20 – B Dardis; C Kelleher, G Ringrose, S O'Neill, I Fitzpatrick; R Byrne (C McKeon 69), N McCarthy (C Rock 69); I Soroka, D Donnellan (S Delahunt 43), O Heffernan (C Trenier 51); R Molony (capt), S Gardiner; M Triggs, S Keelan, J Murphy (J O'Neill 43).

ULSTER U-20 – D Busby; P Colhoun, J Knight, M Best (C McKee 29), R Adair; J Bingham, C Young (M Rainey 75); R Kane (D Morton 63), P Finlay (A Kerr 67), J Craig (M Lagan 51); M Campbell (J Darling 66), S Barr; F Taggart, J Atkinson (B Alexander 17), L Dow.

Ref – W O'Connor (IRFU)

Irish Independent

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