Sunday 19 August 2018

Shanahan's killer blow as U-18s retain interpro title

Club’s U-18 team who reclaimed the interprovincial crown
Club’s U-18 team who reclaimed the interprovincial crown

The Munster U-18 Clubs, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, ended their interprovincial campaign on the best note possible last Saturday by defeating Leinster 33-29 at Donnybrook to retain their title.

Commencing their campaign away to Connacht at the Sportsground, Noel O'Meara's men came from behind to eventually emerge as comprehensive 22-7 winners and continued their winning momentum in style at Thomond Park the following weekend, racing into a 32-0 half-time lead against Ulster.

The second half was a far more competitive affair but the hosts' overall dominance was reflected in the 32-7 full-time score, setting up last Saturday's title decider on Leinster soil.

Patrick Scully opened the scoring for Munster with a try which full-back Conor O'Brien converted.

Leinster soon pegged this back with a converted try of their own, and added another five-pointer to take the lead 12-7.

But Munster's reply was swift, striking back through a Ben Daly intercept try with O'Brien again adding the extras.

The tit-for-tat scoring continued as a Leinster converted try on half-time gave the hosts a 19-14 advantage heading for the dressing-rooms.

Leinster's lead was neutralised upon the resumption, this time Seaghán Walsh crossing and O'Brien duly converted.

A Jamie Shanahan try eventually put some daylight between the sides and Daly slotted an excellent conversion from out wide, however there was more drama to come in this pulsating contest as Leinster hit back with two unconverted tries for a one-point lead with the clock ticking down.

Fighting to the end, the final say came the way of Munster as Shanahan's second try handed them a hard-fought 33-29 victory and the interprovincial title for the second year running.

Irish Independent

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