The Leinster Under-20’s, sponsored by SWORD Security, withstood a nail-biting closing minutes to seal an excellent 18-15 victory away to Ulster in Friday evening’s interprovincial clash in Ravenhill…

The hosts began the stronger and their early pressure told when Ballymena centre Luke Marshall raced clear to score a try in the corner after 7 minutes. Out-half Paddy Jackson’s conversion fell wide of the upright but he made amends nine minutes to extend Ulster’s lead to 8-0 after a well struck penalty.

Leinster rallied and a brace of penalties from Cathal Marsh on 28 and 30 minutes reduced the deficit to 8-6 at the interval. The visitors made three substitutions early on in the second half which signalled an upturn in their fortunes and in the 56th minute Andrew Boyle swooped to score a try off a well-rehearsed move from a set-piece.

Marsh’s conversion made it 13-8 and Leinster were on the up. Soon the lead was extended to ten points when UCD wing forward Eoin Joyce touched down, but credit to Ulster who fought til the last and were rewarded for their pressure with a try from substitute Stephen Irvine, converted by Jackson, in the 77th minute.

Leinster held on and will next face Munster in Donnybrook on Friday, 17th September (KO: 7pm).

ULSTER SCORERS: L. Marshall, S. Irvine (1 try each), P. Jackson (1 penalty, 1 conversion)

LEINSTER SCORERS: A. Boyle, E. Joyce (1 try each), C. Marsh (2 penalties, 1 conversion)

ULSTER UNDER-20: 15: Charlie Simpson (Ballymena); 14: Chris Colvin (QUB), 13: Stewart McIlwaine (QUB), 12: Luke Marshall (Ballymena) CAPTAIN, 11: Michael McAuley (QUB); 10: Paddy Jackson (MCB), 9: Conor Spence (BRA); 1: Andy Warwick (Ballymena), 2: Jonny Murphy (Banbridge), 3: Kyle McCall (Ballynahinch), 4: David Whan (Ballymena), 5: Ian Henderson (BRA), 6: Calum Thelfor (Dungannon), 7: Dominic Gallagher (Trinity), 8: David McGuigan (Friends School)

REPLACEMENTS: 16: Darryl Maxwell (Malone), 17: Conor Carey (MCB), 18: Adam Best (Currie RFC), 19: Stephen Irvine (Ballynahinch), 20: Stephen Leckey (Glasgow Hawks), 21: Blane McIlroy (MCB), 22: Chris Leathem (Banbridge)

LEINSTER UNDER-20: 15: Michael Sherlock (Skerries), 14: Sam Coghlan-Murray (UCD), 13. Alex Kelly (UCD), 12: Collin O’Shea (Clontarf), 11: Andrew Boyle (UCD) / Michael McGrath 78, 10: Cathal Marsh (Dublin University), 9: Patrick O’Driscoll (Lansdowne) / Peter Du Toit (UCD) 55; 1: Peter Reilly (Lansdowne) / Tadhg Furlong (Lansdowne) 47, 2: David Doyle (UCD), 3: Martin Moore (Lansdowne) CAPTAIN, 4: Michael Kearney (Clontarf), 5: Robert Hynes (UCD), 6: Eoin Joyce (UCD), 7: Patrick Dix (UCD) / Mark McGroarty (UCD) 55, 8: Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne)

REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Patrick Carroll (Blackrock College), Emmet McMahon (UCD), Gearoid McDonald (Old Belvedere)