Leinster recorded a double over Connacht in their Youths Interprovincial matches played at sunny Dubarry Park on Saturday when conditions were again ideal for both the players and the bumper attendance.

The opening fixture at U-18 level was much the better contest and Connacht will certainly rue letting victory slip from their grasp. They were never headed until the final minutes when 14-man Leinster reeled in the hosts with two late tries. Connacht led 17-12 at half-time and were 28-17 to the good with 16 minutes remaining. Leinster had had lock Lincoln de Year harshly red-carded ten minutes earlier but the Greens were unable to manage closing out the contest with restarts being a problem throughout for them.

Winger Jules Fenelon did most of the damage for the winners notching a hat-trick of tries although the scoring passes for his first two touchdowns looked suspiciously forward. Connacht faded in the closing straight and Leinster punished them to win 31-28. Buccaneers trio Niall Tallon, Patrick Egan and Sean Rohan started for Connacht in this exciting encounter.

The outcome of the second match at U-19 level was never in doubt with an extremely well-drilled Leinster outfit being in control from start to finish. They scored 4 tries in each half and were swifter in thought and deed as well as being physically stronger. Of concern to Connacht, for whom scrumhalf Tomas Farthing was a bright spark, would be the malfunctioning of their lineout. The westerners were outgunned on a 56-7 scoreline despite the efforts of Buccs front-rowers Oisin Dolan and Charlie Byrne and substitute Dylan Bolger.

However, there was better news for Connacht Girls U-18’s who defeated Munster 39-17 in their opening interpro fixture in Galway. Congratulations to Abbie Murray (sister of Darragh and Niall) on her selection for this squad and, hopefully, many more appearances will follow for her.