Ulster Juniors pipped to Interprovincial Title

Ulster Juniors pipped to Interprovincial Title

Leinster retained the McGee Memorial Cup and picked up their sixth Junior Interprovincial title with a 28-20 win at home to Ulster in Dundalk on Saturday afternoon.

The four-try performance was enough to see them over-take Ulster on the league table in the final round with Connacht finishing second after a 29-21 over Ulster at Creggs RFC.

The standings were delicately poised heading into Round 3 with Ulster on seven points ahead of Leinster, Munster and Connacht on six points apiece. Ulster struck first in Dundalk with a penalty from Lee Steenson but the first try went to the home side as the dancing feet of Rugby League international Mikey Russell teed up Matt Stapleton to score.

Ulster retook the lead when Michael Kirk charged for the line and recycled for Matthew Coulter to get over.

Leinster responded through Hugh Gowig’s try but Ulster combined power and pace to breach once more as Johnny Hyndam went in.

Lee Steenson’s conversion attempt went wide meaning Leinster held their lead and the defending champions were ahead 21-13 at half time as Alejandro Laforga sniped home from the base of a ruck.

The lead was pegged back to 21-20 when Joel McBride dived on a loose ball in the in-goal area and Steenson made his first successful conversion. No home team had yet to register a win in the 2019 series, but Leinster had the fire power to kick on and score a fourth try. Jake McDonald’s kicking was also crucial and the Kilkenny out-half maintained a 100% success rate when club mate Padraig Mahon darted over late in the second half.

Leinster: Matt Stapleton (Clondalkin), Corey Carty (Wexford), Mikey Russell (Clondalkin), Adam Brodigan (Boyne), Padraig Mahon (Kilkenny), Jake McDonald (Kilkenny), Alejandro Laforga (DLSP), John Grey (Dundalk), Robin Foot (Portlaoise), Robert Farrell (Dundalk), Ronan Costello (DLSP), Wes Carter (Kilkenny), Conor Hurley (Ashbourne), Kieran O’Gorman (Longford) (capt), Tom Satchwell (North Kildare).

Replacements: Ian O’Rahelly (Newbridge), Cathal Bannon (Monkstown), Daniel Lambe (Cill Dara), Luke Roche (Wexford), JJ McIlwrath (Cill Dara), Gavin Kennedy (Ashbourne), Hugh Gowig (Monkstown), Robbie Waters (North Kildare).

Ulster: Johnny Hyndman (Ballymoney), Michael Kirk (Ballyclare), Joel McBride (Ballyclare), Robbie Reid (Ballyclare), Tom Caesar (Portadown), Paul Armstrong (Clogher Valley), Lee Steenson (Dromore), Gavin Warrington (Enniskillen), Matthew Coulter (Ballyclare), Gareth Beatty (Enniskillen), Ross Bingham (Dromore), Cory Tipping (CIYMS) (capt), Ben Heath (Dromore), Jordan Taylor (Portadown), Connor McKee (Grosvenor).

Replacements: Alan Whitley (Carrickfergus), Paul Greenaway (Carrickfergus), Gary Hume (Randalstown), Ryan Gibson (Carrickfergus), Stuart Simpson (Limavady) Connor Cambridge (Carrickfergus), Andrew Rutledge (Dromore), Owen Kirk (Ballyclare).

Match Scorers:
Leinster: Tries: Matt Stapleton, Hugh Gowig, Alejandro Laforga, Padraig Mahon; Cons: Jake McDonald 4.
Ulster: Tries: Matthew Coulter, Johnny Hyndman, Joel McBride Con: Lee Steenson; Pen: Lee Steenson.

HT: Leinster 21 Ulster 13

Junior Interprovincial Series 2019 Results

Saturday 27 April 2019
CONNACHT 20 ULSTER 34, Castlebar RFC
MUNSTER 13 LEINSTER 19, Skibbereen RFC

Saturday 4 May 2019
LEINSTER 31 CONNACHT 33, Wicklow RFC
ULSTER 31 MUNSTER 33, Ballyclare RFC

Saturday 11 May 2019
CONNACHT 29 MUNSTER 21, Creggs RFC
LEINSTER 28 ULSTER 20, Dundalk RFC

Junior Interprovincial Series 2019 Standings

TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TB LB PTS
Leinster Juniors 3 2 0 1 78 66 12 2 1 11
Connacht Juniors 3 2 0 1 82 86 -4 2 0 10
Ulster Juniors 3 1 0 2 85 81 4 2 1 7
Munster Juniors 3 1 0 2 67 79 -12 1 1 6

Previous Winners:

2006-07: Munster
2007-08: Leinster
2008-09: Leinster
2009-10: Leinster
2010-11: Connacht
2010-12: Connacht
2012-13: Munster
2013-14: Leinster
2014-15: Ulster
2015-16: Munster
2016-17: Ulster
2017-18: Leinster
2018-19: Leinster