Friday 15 December 2017

Munster sides chasing interprovincial hat-trick

Matt Byrne scored Leinster's first try
Matt Byrne scored Leinster's first try Newsdesk Newsdesk

A trio of wins for Munster's interprovincial sides last Friday and Saturday sees Munster U-20s, U-19s and U-18 Clubs all in contention for interprovincial glory this weekend.

The province's strong showing began at the Mardyke on Friday night when Munster U-20s overcame poor playing conditions and the loss of two playmakers - Bill Johnston and Dave O'Mahony - in overcoming Leinster 22-8. Before their departures, Johnston contributed six points from the boot with O'Mahony landing a long range effort to hand Munster a 9-3 lead at the interval.

Leinster scored the first try of the game through Matt Byrne but that was soon neutralised by a Shane Daly intercept try for the men in red which was converted by Tom McHale. The replacement out-half then added his second penalty to put the game beyond the visitors and Peter Malone's charges now travel to Connacht this evening in search of their first Interprovincial Championship since it changed from an U-21 to an U-20 competition.

Colm McMahon's U19s also enjoyed success over Leinster and they too travel to the Sportsgound in the knowledge that a win will secure Interprovincial honours. Defeating their provincial counterparts 26-18 at CIT, Liam Coombes (Munster) and Barry Goulding (Leinster) traded opening half tries and the Blues would cross again before the tide fully turned in Munster's favour. When it did, Gavin Coombes, Peter Kelleher and Jack O'Driscoll all ran in tries with Conor Fitzgerald converting all three.

Bouncing back from a narrow defeat in Dublin the week previous, a strong second half performance saw Munster U18 Clubs cross for four unanswered tries against Connacht.

Ethan Green was first to score before Alex Molly completed a hat-trick of tries and with David McCarthy adding three conversions to his earlier penalty, Munster ran out deserved 29-3 winners.

In action against Ulster at CBC, Cork tomorrow, should Munster win and Leinster lose to Connacht, the U18 Clubs Championship will come down to points difference.

Despite Leinster securing the U18 Schools title with a win over Ulster last weekend, Munster's representatives will look to end their campaign on a positive note against the Ulstermen.

With places on the Ireland U18 Schools side at stake, a highly competitive affair is expected in what will be the second of the fixtures at CBC tomorrow.

Interprovincial Fixtures

Today: Connacht U20 v Munster U20, Sportsground, 5.0

Tomorrow: Connacht U19 v Munster U19, Sportsground, 5.0

Munster U18 Clubs v Ulster U18 Clubs, CBC, Cork, 11.0

Munster U18 Schools v Ulster U18 Schools, CBC, Cork, 1.0

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