The opening round of Shane Horgan Cup took place on Monday evening with the South-East and North Midlands U16 and U18 sides meeting at Cill Dara RFC.

The U16 sides will compete in the Shane Horgan Cup, while U18 area teams will compete in a new competition alongside their U16 counterparts.

The remaining Shane Horgan Cup Round 1 games between the North-East and Midlands will take place at a later date. The Metropolitan area will play their first matches in Round 2.

Shane Horgan Cup (U16) – South-East 14 North Midlands 14

The South-East and North Midlands finished their Shane Horgan Cup contest all-square in some tough conditions at Cill Dara RFC on Monday evening.

With rain falling throughout, it was almost half-time when the first try was scored. Left-wing Stefen San Agustin crossed the whitewash for the South-East, with Shane Walker kicking the conversion.

The North Midlands struck first in the second period through centre Culann Carbery, with Aaron O’Donohoe knocking over the conversion to level matters.

The back and forth continued when lock Max Richards scored his side’s second try to restore the South-East’s lead – Walker again converting.

It looked as though the South-East would hold on for the win but North Midlands full-back Andrew Osbourne had other ideas. He made a burst for the line to the right of the posts. O’Donohoe held his nerve to kick the extras and ensure the points were shared.

U18 – South-East 24 North Midlands 12

The rain had eased by the time the U18 tie between the South-East and North Midlands kicked off, allowing for a more free-flowing game.

The South-East got the scoring underway through right wing Jack Hanlon, with Tim Corkery kicking the conversion.

Corkery was called into action again after blindside flanker Mark Boyle went over to extend the South-East’s lead.

The North Midlands struck before half-time to reduce the arrears to nine. Patrick Corrigan scored his side’s first points of the game, though the conversion was off target.

North Midlands piled on the pressure in the second period but the South-East defence stood firm, forcing errors from their opponents.

A break from centre Josh O’Connor saw him score from his own 22. O’Connor dodged tacklers on his way to the line, scoring in the left corner and extending the South-East’s advantage.

Another South-East try with five minutes to go from replacement Barry Gray secured the bonus point. The North Midlands had the final say when Jamie Osbourne scored and converted a try right at the end.