Leinster Juniors win Interpro’ title…
May 8, 2010 12:00 am client
The Leinster Juniors beat the Ulster Juniors 32-14 on Saturday in Coleraine to retain the Junior Interprovincial title and the McGee Cup that accompanies it…
Having drawn with Munster (15-15) and beaten Connacht (23-17) in the opening two rounds, Declan O’Brien’s Leinster side went into the Ulster game as outsiders to retain their title but his young side responded to the challenge and their 4 try demolition of Ulster allied with Connacht’s surprise 25-24 victory over Munster in Ballincollig ensured the McGee cup was returning home.
They led Ulster 10-7 at half-time with Arklow’s Johnny Butterworth touching down for a try with Wicklow’s Barry Lynn kicking a penalty and conversion to Ulster’s converted try. Lynn though broke his hand just before half-time and had to be replaced by 19 year old Harry Kennedy from Boyne.
Leinster started the second half well with Cill Dara’s Damien Broughall touching down for a try with Boyne’s Brian Collins added the extras. Leinster suffered a blow shortly after though with Collins having to retire due to an ankle injury. He was replaced by 18 year old fellow Louth man Dundalk’s Gearoid McDonald whose first job was to knock over a penalty to leave Leinster leading 20-7.
Ulster, who lost 21-14 to Munster last time out, edged closer to Leinster with a second converted try.
At 20-14 and with 20 minutes left the game was in the melting pot but has been their forte in this series Leinster finished very strongly with replacement scrum-half Peter Sutton from Newbridge touching down for Leinster’s 3rd try. With minutes left on the clock and after great work from Portarlington’s David Murphy Leinster added the coup de grace with McDonald touching down for his team’s fourth try.
James Clifford and Eamon Hyland were excellent up front for Leinster with David Murphy and Johnny Butterworth the pick of the backs but it was Leinster young replacements Peter Sutton, Harry Kennedy and Gearoid McDonald who turned the game in Leinster’s favour with their energy, enthusiasm and energy that epitomised Leinster Juniors this year.
Afterwards Kilkenny clubman John Phelan was presented with the championship trophy and the Leinster management would like to thank Coleraine RFC for their excellent facilities and indeed were excellent hosts overall.
Leinster awarded 20 new caps over the 3 games and their policy of youth paid dividends, the average age of the Leinster back-line was 21.
Champions Leinster used 30 representatives from 16 different clubs during the 2010 campaign, which is a significant testament to the players on how well they gelled together in such a short space of time.
The province’s five selectors – David Coughlan, Mick Clavin, Trevor Wardrop, Bill Douglas and Ger McDonald – had some vital insight and input into this fresh Leinster set-up.
1. James Clifford (Monkstown)
2. Ger Moore (Cill Dara)
3. Mark Southern (Newbridge)
4. Brendan Kelly (Enniscorthy)
5. Eamon Hyland (Cill Dara)
6. John Phelan (Kilkenny)
7. Ross McAuley (Skerries)
8. Damien Broughall (Cill Dara)
9. Gavin Kennedy (Ashbourne)
10. Brian Collins (Boyne)
11. David Murphy (Portarlington)
12. Barry Lynn (Wicklow)
13. Bevan Duffy (Boyne)
14. Johnny Butterworth (Arklow)
15. Niall O’Donoghue (Coolmine)
16. Luke Goff (Enniscorthy) for Ger Moore
17. Stephen Soraghan (Dundalk) for Mark Southern
18. Sean Wall (Enniscorthy) for Brendan Kelly
19. Peter Sutton (Newbridge) for Gavin Kennedy
20. Kieran Howlin (New Ross)
21. Harry Kennedy (Boyne) for Barry Lynn
22. Gearoid McDonald (Dundalk) for Brian Collins
23. Paul Devitt (Skerries)
24. Mark Whelan (Wexford) for Ross McAuley
Declan O’Brien – Head Coach
Maurice Logue – Assistant Coach
Noel Ferguson – Kit Manager
Joe Duffy – Fitness and Conditioning Coach
Barry Kehoe – Physio
Ger Ryan – Medic
Enda Finn – Manager