Leinster U19’s lose out to Ulster
September 5, 2016 12:00 am client
The Leinster U19s, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, turned a draw into a defeat in the first round of the Interprovincial Series at Osborne Park in Belfast on Saturday.
The game was all-square in the last minute of the game and Leinster held control of the ball. Somehow it slipped away and Ulster made excellent use of the turnover ball to be clinical when they most needed.
Centre James Hume broke away for the glory score and added the conversion to the ecstasy of his players.
Ulster got into their stride quickly when Mark Keane was on the end of an attack for Hume to convert for a seven-point bounce in the 15th minute.
Hume was central to keeping the scoreboard ticking over by hitting a penalty in the 14th minute in what was a clear signal that Leinster had to improve or they would be going home with their tails between their legs.
The rot was stopped when Leinster hooker Cathal Duff was able to breach the Ulster defence for Josh Miller to convert for 10-7 at the break.
The pendulum of play was swinging with the visitors as out-half Miller made Ulster pay for an indiscretion by levelling it at 10-all in the 44th minute.
Their main problem was they could not quite their noses in front, at any stage, to sow a seed of real doubt in Ulster.
When flanker Matthew Agnew rumbled from a lineout to restore the Ulstermen’s advantage, The Blues found the grit to climb level again when wing Peter Sullivan burst over in the 58th minute.
Their second rows Aaron Browne and Jack Dunne showed up well and Patrick Patterson lifted the tempo of the game when he was introduced as Leinster started to look the more likely to produce the goods.
However, Hume was able to provide a moment of true quality to rock Leinster to the core with a last minute seven-pointer to leave them with no time to respond.
“We lost a game we should have drawn,” reflected Leinster coach Morgan Lennon.
“It was very disappointing how we managed the endgame. We thought we learned something last week in our narrow loss to Gloucester about how to do that.
“We talked before about how we had to win three or four key moments in the game to win the game.
“We were not quite able to do that. We weren’t clinical enough when we had to be.”
At Osbourne Park – ULSTER 22 (J Hume try, pen, 2 cons; M Agnew, M Keane try each); LEINSTER 15 (C Duff, P Sullivan try each; J Miller pen, con).
Leinster: Peter Hastie (Wicklow RFC); Peter Sullivan (St. Andrews College), Sean O’Brien (Mullingar RFC), James Hickey (St. Michaels College),Michael Silvester (Clongowes Wood College); Josh Miller (Kilkenny College), H O’Sullivan (Belvedere College); Eoghan Clarke (CBC Monkstown), Cathal Duff (Clongowes Wood College), Jack Aungier (St Fintan’s High School), Jack Dunne (St. Michaels College), Aaron Browne (Cistercian College Roscrea), Ruadhan McDonnell (Longford RFC), Max Kearney (Belvedere College, Captain), Paddy Ryan (Newbridge College)
Replacements: Patrick Patterson (Blackrock College) for Hastie, JJ O’Dea (Navan) for McDonnell both 51 mins; Daniel Sheehan (Clongowes Wood College) for Duff 45 mins.
Ulster: Joe Finnegan; Mark Keane, James Hume (all RBAI), Lewis Simpson (Bangor), Ollie Brown (The Exiles); Michael Lowry (RBAI), Jonny Stewart (QUB); (Callum Reid (RBAI), Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy), Tom O’Toole (Campbell College, Capt), John McCusker (Rainey RFC ), James Nelson (Campbell College), Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch RFC), Matthew Agnew (Bangor Grammar), Joe Dunleavy (Letterkenny RFC).
Replacements: Zac Ward (Down HS) for Clarke 44 mins – temp; Zac Ward for Nelson 59 mins.
Referee: Robert O’Sullivan, IRFU.