Munster Youths kicked off their Interprovincial campaign with a resounding 27-0 victory over Ulster at Dooradoyle on Saturday, getting over the first hurdle in their attempt to win back the title last won in 2003/4.
From the outset, Munster exerted control over the game, putting immediate pressure on the visitors with a try after just 5 minutes from St. Senan s winger Diarmuid McMahon. Out half Daniel Lyons converted to give Munster an early lead. Nine minutes later, captain Conor Whelan touched down, which Lyons again converted to put Munster 14-0 ahead. Despite having a strong pack, Ulster had some difficulty getting the ball to their backs, which Munster capitalised on. Castleisland winger Paul Cullity added to the scoreboard 25 minutes into the half, to stretch the lead to 19-0, where the score remained for the remainder of the half.
Trailing 19-0 coming into the second half, the odds were firmly stacked against Ulster to catch up with a rampant Munster. Ulster rallied and continued to push for the Munster line throughout the half, however, the Munster defence remained solid, and Ulster were unable to make any headway. Diarmuid McMahon got his second try of the day for Munster at 57 minutes, with replacement out half Geoff Ryan adding a penalty at 70 minutes to complete the scoring in the game.
Overall, it was a great team performance from Munster, with centre Gareth Hogan particularly influential- displaying great handling skills and vision throughout the game. His partner in the centre, Corca Dhuibhne s William Divane also impressed.
The squad has been selected from last year s Regional Championship; a competition ran at Under 17 level, where teams representing North, West, South and East Munster competed against each other. Last season, West Munster won the competition for the first time, and a number of those players are now on this Munster Youth team.
Sponsored by Avonmore Supermilk, the present squad has worked very hard with the coaches, including Head coach, Tom Mulcahy, forwards coach Eddie Montgomery, backs coach Pat Collins and Manager Nick O Keeffe, ably assisted by Regional Development Officer Mark Hickey. Pat Coman, Dermot Kelly, Tom Nyhan, Nick O Keeffe and Billy O Rourke make up the selection team.
This year the championship is in two phases, with a round robin phase in October and the semi finals and final to take place on the last two weekends of January.
The Youth Interprovincial Championship has been underway for over 15 years, and have contributed greatly to raising the standard of Youth Rugby in the province. As an indication of some of the calibre of those involved, a number of top class rugby players, including Alan Quinlan and Donncha O Callaghan both played on the Munster Youths team before going onto international success.
15. Paddy O Sullivan (Killarney), 14. Diarmuid McMahon (St. Senans), 13. William Divane (Corca Dhuibhne), 12. Gareth Hogan (Youghal), 11. Paul Cullity (Castleisland), 10. Daniel Lyons (Clonmel), 9. Dale Harris (Waterpark), 1. Pat O Regan (Tralee), 2. Conor Whelan (Nenagh Ormond)- Captain, 3. Mick Moynihan (Sunday s Well), 4. David Foley (Clonmel), 5. Noel Kinane (Thurles), 6. Sean Nixon (Newcastle West), 7. Alan Dinan (Cork Constitution), 8. Keith Quigley (Nenagh Ormond)
Replacements: (all used)
16. Conor Brislane (Nenagh Ormond), 17. Eamon Boland (Youghal), 18. Wayne O Mahony (Thurles), 19. Fiachra Wynn (Ennis), 20. Alan O Connell (Old Christians), 21. Adam Doyle (Sunday s Well), 22. Geoff Ryan (Thomond)
15. Neil Alcorn (Malone), 14. Conall O Callaghan (Donegal), 13. Desi Fuesco (Malone), 12. Will Stewart (Ballyclare), 11. Alan Fletcher (Ballynahinch), 10. Chris Rowan (Malone), 9. Ben Barber (City of Derry), 1. Glen Magee (Omagh), 2. Cathal Creggan (City of Derry), 3. Jamie Wilkinson (Ballynahinch), 4. Leigh Jackson (Cavan), 5. Stephen Ferguson (City of Derry), 6. Breffni O Reilly (captain) (Cavan), 7. David McGregor (Monaghan), 8. Connor Piper (Ards)
16. Michael Crommie (Banbridge), 17. Aaron Irwin (Ballynahinch), 18. Karrol Woodside (Ballynahinch), 19. Michael Johnston Banbridge, 20. Gary Clothworthy (Ballyclare), 21. Chris Russell (Dromore), 22. Gareth Durrans (Portadown)
Coach: Jonathon Llewhellan
Asst. Coach: Peter Gault
Referee: Eoghan Farrell (ARLB)
Saturday October 1st 2005
Munster 27 Ulster 0, Dooradoyle
Saturday 8th October 2005
Leinster v Munster, venue tba, 1pm
Saturday 15th October 2005
Connacht v Munster, venue tba, 1pm