Ulster U20’s completed the grand slam in the Inter Provincial Championship on Friday evening with a 18 – 9 victory against Munster at Musgrave Park.
We prediced a big showing from the U20’s this season and it’s been instant success for the new “Elite Young Player Development” team of Allen Clarke and Brian McLaughlin with the Ulster youngsters capturing the title for the first time since 2004.
Munster took an early lead through a penalty from Brian Haugh on the 4th minute. 3 – 0
Ulster worked their way back into the game and took a deserved lead ten minutes later, mauling over from a 5m lineout. 3 – 5
The home side regained the advantage almost immediately with Haugh slotting over his second penalty to take the score to 6 – 5.
The impressive Stuart Olding restored Ulster’s lead with his first penalty of the game with 10 minutes to go to the break and despite losing Chris Farrell on the 33 minute Ulster held out until half time with the score reading Munster 6 Ulster 8 after 40 minutes.
Ulster dominated the second half with Olding and Rory Scholes running Munster ragged. Olding slipped over his second penalty of the night on the 50th minute before a Haugh howitzer brought the score back to 9 – 11.
The visitors secured the game wit hthirteen minutes to go when replacement Mark Best crashed over to score after a series of drives from the forwards. Olding converted and Ulster closed out the game for a comfortable win.
Final Score: Munster 9 Ulster 18.
Ulster: Rory Scholes (Belfast Harlequins); Ross Adair (Sullivan US), Ryan Martin (Northumbria University), Chris Farrell (Dungannon), David Busby (Portadown College); Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins), John Creighton Capt. (Malone); Jake Caulfield (Irish Exiles), John Andrew (Ballymena), Chris Taylor (Malone); John Donnan (Ballynahinch), Matthew Rea (Ballymena Academy); Conor Joyce (Malone), Stuart Hooks (RS Armagh), Ben Alexander (Royal Belfast Academical Institution). Replacements: Mark Best (Campbell College) for Farrell 33, Grant Bartley (Ballyclare HS) for Hooks HT, Sam McNabney (Ballymena Academy) for Taylor 74, Norman Sinclair (Queens University Belfast) for Andrews, Jonny Craig (Ballyclare HS) for Caulfield, Matthew Keane (Royal Belfast Academical Institution) for Creighton, Niall Martin (Ballymena) for R Martin all 79.