RUGBY: Ulster fall to Leinster power in ‘A’ challenge game

Stuart McCloskey scores the opening try for Ulster A during the challenge match against Leinster A in Banbridge

Stuart McCloskey scores the opening try for Ulster A during the challenge match against Leinster A in Banbridge

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ULSTER 10 LEINSTER 35

A powerful second half display from Leinster ‘A’ saw them to a comfortable 35-10 over Ulster ‘A’ in a challenge game at Rifle Park, Banbridge, on Frida.

Stuart McCloskey is tackled by Ciaran Frawley during the A inter-pro between Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby

Stuart McCloskey is tackled by Ciaran Frawley during the A inter-pro between Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby

Ulster trailed by a point in what was an entertaining first half, but the visitors turned the screw in the back 40 and claimed a well deserved victory.

The game started in brisk fashion with the strong Leinster pack driving play deep into the Ulster 22 where the backs strayed offside.

Ciaran Frawley the late replacement for Cathal Marsh stepped up to convert for a 3-0 lead in the 5th minute.

Frawley made it 0-6 in the 9th minute after Ulster failed to release the player on the ground.

Mark Best tackles Hugo Keenan during the A inter-pro between Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby at Rifle Park, Banbridge

Mark Best tackles Hugo Keenan during the A inter-pro between Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby at Rifle Park, Banbridge

The home side began to settle into the game taking play through a number of phases then Brett Herron found the corner flag with a well positioned kick.

The Leinster lineout was stolen by Pete Browne who then drove hard for the line and was stopped short.

Shanahan related the ball to Stuart McCloskey at pace and the big centre has enough strength to make the line. Herron added the extras to take the home side into the lead 10-6.

As the first half drew to a close Leinster started to build momentum and after a number of phases deep in the Ulster ‘22’ quick hands from the back put Hugo Keenan clear to dive in at the corner.

Frawley failed to convert to leave the visitors a single point clear 10-11 at the interval.

Sean Cronin made a welcome return to action in the second half and he wasted no time in adding to the visitors tally when he was on the end of a driving maul to score his sides second try. The conversion was missed 10-16.

Within minutes the struck again, this time Barry Daly started the move with a counter-attack from his 22, Louis Ludik doing well to bring his run to a halt, but Daly’s off-load had found his skipper Peadar Timmins who powered his way past a number of disparing tackled to score in the corner.

This time Frawley added the extras taking his side 10-23 clear.

Ulster found it difficult to get back into the game and simply turned over too much possession.

In the 60th minute they lost ball at the back of a lineout and quick ball across the Leinster backing line sent Barry Daly clear to score try number four. Frawley added the extras to make it 10-30.

The final score of the game came in the last minute when Peadar Timmins turned over Ulster ball to start the attack. Quick thinking from the visitors midfield exploited the dogleg in the Ulster defensive line sending Barry Daly clear to score his second try. The conversion was missed to leave the final score 10-35 to Leinster A.

LINE-UPS:

Ulster ‘A’

15. Mark Best

14. Mark Keane

13. Callum Patterson

12. Stuart McCloskey

11. Louis Ludik

10. Brett Herron

9. Dave Shanahan

1. Tommy O’Hagan

2. John Andrew

3. Ricky Lutton

4. John McCusker

5. Pete Browne

6. Joe Dunleavy

7. Conall Boomer

8. Greg Jones

Replacements

16. Adam McBurney

17. Eric O’Sullivan

18. Chris Cundell

19. Matthew Dalton

20. Aaron Hall

21. John Creighton

22. Angus Curtis

23. Andy McGrath

24. Tom Stapley

25. Lewis Sampson

Leinster ‘A’

15. Billy Dardis

14. Hugo Keenan

13. Conor O’Brien

12. Tom Daly

11. Barry Daly

10. Ciaran Frawley

9. Tim Murphy

1. Ed Byrne

2. Paddy Finlay

3. Andrew Porter

4. Mick Kearney

5. Ian Nagle

6. Peadar Timmins

7. Will Connors

8. Max Deegan

Replacements

16. Seán Cronin

17. Peter Dooley

18. Oisín Heffernan

19. Oisín Dowling

20. Richard Dunne

22. Jack Power

23. Jordan Larmour