Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ U18’s v Leinster Schools’ U18’s Wednesday 5th September 2012: Report

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The Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ team travelled to Donnybrook in Dublin to take on the Leinster Schools’ team in the first of this season’s Schools’ U18’s Inter Provincial games. The Ulster Team had benefited in their preparation over the summer period from two good wins against the Lancashire Schools’ U18 team as well the touring Lanquedoc U18 team.
However, things did not go as planned against a very talented Leinster Schools’ team. The hosts were able to call upon the services of a number of last season’s very successful Ireland Schools’ team and their class and ability was apparent from kick off. With only eight minutes on the clock the Leinster team ran in their first try of the afternoon when centre, Fergal Cleary, outwitted the Ulster defence to touch down for an unconverted try and give his team a 5-0 lead.
The Ulster lads responded positively from the restart when Thomas Donnan and Lewis Benson combined from an intercept to send Rory Campbell away into space. Rory did not need any invitation and outpaced a surprised home defence to run in for a try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Ulster team was back in the game with the scoreline reading 5-5.
Unfortunately for the visitors they were unable to much in terms of possession for the remainder of the half. The Leinster pack provided a lot of quality possession of which their backs made the best possible use. The impressive Billy Dardis ran in for a try after thirteen minutes which Ross Byrne converted to give his team a 12-5 lead. Five minutes later Fergal Cleary ran in his second try of the game. Again, Ross Byrne was successful with the conversion to extend the Leinster lead to 19-5. Six minutes later Billy Dardis ran in his second try of the game. This try was converted by Ross Byrne to extend the Leinster lead to 26-5. On the stroke of half time the Leinster No 8, Nick Timoney, scored a try. Again, Ross Byrne was successful with the conversion to leave his Leinster team with a very healthy 33-5 interval lead.
The Ulster Team lacked nothing in terms of commitment and effort but any forages they made into Leinster territory were quickly repelled.
The Leinster scored seven minutes into the second half when Josh Murphy touched down. Ross Byrne converted the try to increase the Leinster lead to 40-5.
Conor Shields made a great break for the Ulster team and the visitor’s took play deep into home team territory. However, following a good passage of play the final pass went astray and the Ulster team got no reward for their enterprising approach.
Leinster responded immediately when their replacement scrum half, Tim Schmidt, son of the Leinster Senior coach, Joe Schmidt, got his hands on the ball for the first time and outpaced the Ulster defence to run in for a try from thirty metres. Ross Byrne converted to put his team into a 47-5 lead in the forty ninth minute of the game. Six minutes later, Irish Schools’ 2nd Row forward, Rory Maloney, touched down for a try. Again, Ross Byrne was successful with the conversion and Leinster Schools’ now had a 54-5 lead.
Again, the Ulster team refused to lie down and a great break from Andrew Shaw ended with the hard working Ulster captain, Daryl Morton, being dragged down just inches short of the Leinster line.
The Leinster team scored two more tries in the final few minutes through James Mc Cormack and Nick Timoney. Ross Byrne was successful with both conversions to leave the Leinster Schools’ team as deserved 68-5 winners.
The Ulster team has a week to work on regrouping before they head to Galway to play Connacht Schools’ at the Sportsground on Wednesday 12th September.
Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ team.
Jack Owens Campbell College
Rudolph Benade Methodist College
John McClure RBAI
Rory Bell RBAI
Rory Campbell RBAI
Conor Shields Coleraine AI
Josh Fullerton Campbell College
Michael Lagan Methodist College
Max Montgomery Bangor GS
Aaron Gilkinson Wallace HS
Lewis Benson Belfast HS
Thomas Donnan Down HS
Daniel Dass Belfast Royal Academy
Andrew McClure RBAI
Darryl Morton (Captain) Royal School, Armagh
Andrew Shaw Bangor GS
Rory Squires Limavady GS
Conor McIlmurray Campbell College
Alexander Thompson Methodist College
Calvin Kernoghan Ballymena Academy
James Gallagher Methodist College
Peter Kidd Coleraine AI
Jack Milligan Royal School, Dungannon
Connor McKee Methodist College

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