Noel McNamara’s Leinster boys took back the U18 Schools Interprovincial Championship with a two tries-to-none win over Ulster at Deramore Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was nip and tuck throughout the first-half as Ulster made a physical statement with a big, bulldozing pack of forwards that won more collisions than they lost.
Their front row of Callum Reid, Alexander Clarke and Kyle van Giesen did damage at the scrum, while lock Alistair Burke broke tackles in the loose. 
They moved ahead in the 16th minute when centre Callum Smith shot a penalty for an infringement at a ruck.
It was growing into a high quality contest with both defences in hard to shut down the danger men like Leinster full-back Michael Sylvester and right wing Thomas O’Callaghan.
Ulster scrum-half Jonathan Stewart needed plenty of minding too with a vigilant back row of Caelan Doris, John Fairley and Andrew Murphy on red alert.
The pressure put on the visitors resulted in their loose-head Cathal Duff seeing yellow just before the break, placing the burden of reorganisation on McNamara.
On the restart, the home province was able to benefit from the extra man by doubling up their advantage as Smith slotted his second penalty.
The game could have slipped away from Leinster. Their defence was sorely tested as the big carriers came straight and hard with loose forwards Cameron Kelly and Matthew Agnew cleaning up the dirty work.
Leinster did well to stay in the game, but the visitors needed to do more. They had to pull something out of the fire.
It happened when captain Doris turned down a shot at goal for a lineout maul.
The ball was pulled in by second row Charlie Ryan and Doris was the man in the van to make the whitewash.
Fly-half Harry Byrne’s conversion turned over the lead 7-6 in the 45th minute.   
Back came Ulster to engineer a third penalty by Smith to slip them back in front as Leinster tight-head Eoghan Clarke was binned.
It was fast turning into a test of character and composure for Leinster with replacement William Fay making a real impact in the last quarter.
They stayed true to their patterns by moving menacingly into the 22. The ploy was taken to drive it up and, once again, Doris hands were the final ones on the ball for the match winner in the 67th minute.
“There has been a lot of hard work put into regaining this Championship,” said Team Manager Gordon Smyth.
“The boys have come through some difficult situations which revealed a huge amount of character.
“We got our just reward in the end.”  


At Deramore Park – ULSTER SCHOOLS 9 (C Smith 3 pens); LEINSTER SCHOOLS 12 (C Doris 2 tries; H Byrne con)
15. Joseph Finnegan (RBAI)
14. Josh Agnew (RS Armagh) / Christopher Jordan (Sullivan Upper) ht
13. James Hume (RBAI) / Angus Kernohan (Ballymena Academy) 65 mins
12. Callum Smith (Coleraine GS)
11. Ben Finlay (Wallace HS)
10. Michael Lowry (RBAI)
9. Jonathon Stewart (Wallace HS, Capt)
1. Callum Reid (RBAI)
2. Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy) / Clayton Milligan (Down HS) 66 mins
3. Kyle van Giesen (Regent House)
4. Alistair Burke (Ballyclare HS) / James Nelson (Campbell) 45 mins
5. Matthew Dalton (BRA)
6. Cameron Kelly (Methodist)
7. Matthew Agnew (Bangor GS)
8. Jack Barry-Glendinning (Campbell) / Zac Ward (Down HS) 65 mins.
15. Michael Silvester (Clongowes Wood)
14. Thomas O’Callaghan (C.B.C. Monkstown)
13. James Hickey (St. Michael’s)
12. Tommy O’Brien (Blackrock)
11. Ted O’Donoghue (Terenure)
10. Harry Byrne (St. Michael’s)
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (Belvedere) / Patrick Patterson (Blackrock) for 50 mins
1. Cathal Duff (Clongowes Wood)
2. Conor Gleeson (Gonzaga)
3. Eoghan Clarke (C.B.C. Monkstown)
4. Caelan Doris (Blackrock, Capt)
5. Charles Ryan (Blackrock)
6. Patrick Ryan (Newbridge) / Carl Keogh (Castleknock) 50 mins – temp
7. John Fairley (Blackrock) / Evin Coyle (Gonzaga) for Fairley 34 mins – temp / Jack Dignam (Terenure) for Fairley 41 mins
8. Andrew Murphy (Blackrock) / William Fay (CBC Monkstown) 50 mins.
Referee: K Imbusch, IRFU.