On Thursday, at noon, Ulster U19 played Irish Qualified U19, in a pre season friendly at Newforge Country Club. Both sides had enlarged 28 man squads, so the game was played over 3 x 25 minute periods, to ensure all squad members had game time.
Both defences were tested from kick off, with a series of forward drive. After 9 minutes Ulster broke through, when Ben Gibson carved a gap in the IQ defence to score towards the left corner. Tristan Ferguson converted to give Ulster a 7-0 lead.
Ulster continued to exert pressure, but IQ began to gain territory and possession. From a series of forward drives, close to the Ulster line, Nick Murphy drove over, close to the posts, after 20 minutes. Daniel Green converted to leave the score 7-7, at the end of the 1st period.
A number of changes were made to the playing personnel, at the break and it was essentially 2 different sides who took the field in the 2nd period.
Ulster made possession pay in the 2nd minute, when Michael Burnett got over in the right corner for an unconverted try.
9 minutes later Bryn Ward powered over for a try on the right, converted by Charlie Beattie to put Ulster 19-7 up.
A rampant Ulster starved IQ of possession and Rory Ellerby’s dash to the line from distance, for an unconverted try, crowned a dominant 2nd period, 24-7.
In the 3rd period, both sides made a further raft of changes, and continuity was lost. Though both teams had chances, the 3rd period was scoreless.
Ulster were well worth their victory and look forward to the visit of Munster U19 on 5th August.