There was a feeling of déjà vu in Creggs on Saturday as the Leinster Juniors replicated their form of the previous Saturday with a strong start, wayward middle and strong finish this time against an experienced Connacht team to win 23-17…

Barry Lynn starting at 10 really brought the game to Connacht with strong running and clever positional kicks in behind the Connacht back three. Leinster dominated the opening exchanges but couldn’t break down a resolute Connacht defence and apart from a couple kicks from distance which fell short didn’t look like scoring.

Connacht though were growing in confidence and after break in play for treatment to a touch judge restarted on fire and with their first sortie into the Leinster 22 scored under the posts after a half-break by Paddy Pearson and a lovely off-load to Jordan Farringdon who scored under the posts, Pearson added the extras. Leinster though responded well and after good work in the tight Connacht were caught off-side and with the referee playing advantage Barry Lynn knocked over a drop-goal.

Shortly after the re-start Johnny Butterworth was sent to the bin for a late tackle, Connacht kicked to the corner, from the ensuing line-out they drove for the line and despite Leinster’s best efforts after a couple of attempts, they eventually picked and got over the line with Eoin Rooney getting the vital touch down, again Pearson added the extra points. Deep into injury time Connacht Captain Kevin Higgins joined Butterworth in the bin for cynical play at a ruck, Connacht were further punished when Lynn knocked over the 3 points from this penalty leaving the score 14-6 in Connacht’s favour at half-time.

Leinster upped the intensity and tempo after the half-time break and Connacht struggled with the pace and started conceding penalties, it was from one of these penalties that Lynn knocked over another 3 points to bring Leinster within 5 of their hosts. But credit to Connacht, they responded well and started to put Leinster on the back foot, the Leinster defence was creaking and this time Leinster Captain John Phelan was sent to the bin for cynical play, Pearson like Lynn before punished Leinster with 3 points from this penalty.

Connacht were well worth their lead of 17-9 lead at this stage and were firmly in the driving seat. Leinster needed a change in direction and the introduction of Brian Collins was the catalyst suddenly turn-over ball was been run back with more venom and it was from one such turn-over that Collins ran from his own 22, with a clever kick through Devitt won the foot race to get his boot to the ball with Niall O’Donoghue collecting and feeding back inside to Devitt who touched down.

With 15 minutes to go it was a 1 point game but Connacht still tried to play an expansive game and just when they looked like they had manufactured an over-lap the excellent Bevan Duffy intercepted at close-counters to run 60 meters to touch down under posts. Leinster were in front 23–17 and Connacht looked beaten and with clever kicking from scrum-half Kennedy and Collins they kept Connacht pinned in their own half and finished out the game quite comfortably.

Best for Leinster behind the scrum were Barry Lynn, Johnny Butterworth and Bevan Duffy with Ger Moore, Brendan Kelly and John Phelan the pick of the forwards but it was Ross McAuley who was Leinster’s star with a massive performance from start to finish.

The Leinster management would like to extend their thanks to Creggs RFC for their excellent facilities and a pitch that was in superb condition. 


15: Niall O’Donoghue (Coolmine)
14: Johnny Butterworth (Arklow)
13: Bevan Duffy (Boyne)
12: Kieron Howlin (New Ross)
11: David Murphy (Portarlington)
10: Barry Lynn (Wicklow)
9: Gavin Kennedy (Ashbourne)

1: Mark Southern (Newbridge)
2: James Clifford (Monkstown)
3: Barry White (Cill Dara)
4: Marcus Stewart (Monkstown)
5: Brendan Kelly (Enniscorthy)
6: Eamonn Hyland (Cill Dara)
7: Ross McCauley (Skerries)
8: John Phelan (Kilkenny) CAPTAIN


16: Cillian Duffy (Boyne)
17: Ger Moore (Cill Dara)
18: Luke Goff (Enniscorthy)
19: Sean Wall (Enniscorthy)
20: Johnny Downey (Newbridge)
21: Brian Collins (Boyne)
22: Gearoid McDonald (Dundalk)