The point was enough to dash Ulster’s dream of retaining the crown as a penalty from St. Kevin’s talisman Jake Walker fifteen minutes from time was converted at the second time of asking ensuring a tremendous thirteenth title in seventeen years for the province.
Ryan took over the reins from St. Kilian’s mentor Al Sugg having been his assistant last season. The experienced player who had a successful stint managing UCD 17s was accompanied by Fintan Sheridan who also teaches in St. Kevin’s Community College, Clondalkin along with newcomer Davey Cullen who resides in Bray’s Woodbrook College.
Leinster remained unbeaten in the campaign having secured a comprehensive 4-0 demolition of Munster on Friday evening, followed up by a scoreless draw against Connacht on Saturday afternoon.
In the final series on Sunday, it was the Ulster side chasing a win while Leinster only needed to draw to take the silverware. Both teams were well up for this contest and it showed early on.
Ulster produced some fine football in the opening exchanges resulting in a sophisticated assault on the Leinster goal. A legitimate call for a penalty was waved away inside the first five minutes as Ulster pressed for an early advantage.
However it was Grennan College student Colm Whelan who put his team one up inside the first quarter of an hour with a splendid finish to slot past Carn’s Daniel Houghton.
Whelan was gifted a second moments later but his stylish antics saw him side foot the ball to the side-netting much to the youngster’s frustrations. Ulster equalised six minutes later as the talented Michael Gallagher (St. Eunan’s College) netted. The deadlocked remained at the interval, one apiece.
Gallagher then converted for a second time eleven minutes into the restart to give Paul Browne’s men a fighting chance of victory. However their resurgence was short lived as Leinster were to be awarded their own penalty fifteen minutes from time. Goalkeeper Houghton did extremely well to palm the ball away with the initial strike but the versatile Jake Walker snatched onto the rebound to slot home to level things up.
A frantic final 15 minutes ensued which saw some rash tackles committed from both sides. The dismissal of Corrie Lee Bogan (St. Columba’s College) and goal-scorer Jake Walker (St. Kevin’s CC) marred the final few minutes of an otherwise fruitful game as they both saw red with 70 minutes on the clock. Leinster held out in an extended injury time period for the vital point which was enough to see them overcome a determined Ulster side in a classic match.
The other game that morning saw Connacht overcome Munster 3-1 to give them their first win of 2017 resulting in one win, one draw and one defeat. Munster’s Mike Nzongong had a peach of a shot 16 minutes in but it flew over Mulryan’s crossbar.
The impressive duo of Yeats College undergraduates, Ronan Manning and Dónal Higgins combined magnificently to test keeper Alan Kelleher (St. Francis College) but he was equal to the challenge.
A delightful passage of play just before the break produced a sparkling save from St. Joseph’s College netminder Cian Mulryan as namesake Cian Murphy struck wonderfully following some excellent build up play from Mike Nzongong. However, it remained scoreless at the break.
Ronan Manning had a fantastic chance to convert but his attempt went agonizingly wide of the post five minutes in.
The deadlock was broken on 47 minutes when the impressive Harry Rogers plunged on an earlier Colin Kelly shot which he rifled off from 12 yards out but this was palmed away. Rogers was on hand to force the ball conspicuously over the line as Mulryan efforts for a double save were denied.
Munster equalized on the hour mark courtesy of that man again, Cahir’s Cian Murphy however Manning made it 2-1 three minutes later following some super work from St. Joseph’s starlet Colin Kelly.
Manning then turned provider as he fed through Hakeen Ryan three minutes from time to make it 3-1 to Murphy’s men.
The penultimate series of matches on Saturday afternoon saw a Munster renaissance as they slotted four past the 2016 stars without reply. The Munster men answered their critics as Friday night saw them lose out to Leinster 4-0 but they got things back on track with a fine performance from the Southerners.
Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir scholar Cian Murphy headed home from a well-placed corner with 12 minutes on the clock to open proceedings for Derek O’Brien’s side. Their lead was doubled on 24 minutes when Tramore native Jack Larkin converted beautifully.
Ten minutes later, it was 3-0 as Mike Nzongong of De La Salle saw his effort rebound of an Ulster defender and into the net. Agonizingly Ulster conceded again just before the interval as Larkin scored his second and Munster’s fourth. The Ardscoil na Mara pupil with a long range rocket from a half cleared corner, sailing into the top corner.
Ulster had no response in the second half and the game finished out comfortably for the Munster side.
This result left Munster and Ulster equal on two points following day two but Leinster had a slender lead following their scoreless draw with Connacht that ensured three points on the board for Ryan’s troop.
Manager Alan Murphy would have been left frustrated by the antics on display in his outing with Leinster. The Connacht side were denied two penalties in the game, one in each half. A few talking points to consider but a lively showcase by both sides that warranted more goals in a game that created plenty of action up front. Both goalkeepers having Man of the Match performances for their sides.
Ulster made the perfect start to the defense of their Interprovincial title when they overcame a spirited Connacht side in the AUL Complex on Friday evening with Paul Browne’s men winning out 3-0 in a highly entertaining encounter.
Alan Murphy’s crew got off to a blistering start with just three minutes on the clock as Yeats College pupil Dónal Higgins rifled off a brilliant shot on target only to be denied by the athletic Carn talisman Daniel Houghton between the sticks.
Yeats team-mate Ronan Manning was the target man for much of the first half for Connacht but Ulster’s defensive back four remained vigilant against the impending threat. Ulster didn’t take long to settle in either with only six minutes played, they were on the attack. Liam Murray (Patrician HS, Carrickmacross) was gifted a one on one with the goalkeeper only for the youngster to pull the ball inches wide of the post. The Ballysadare netminder Lorcan Callaghan just doing enough to put his opponent off.
We didn’t have to wait long for the opener as Corrie Lee Bogan of St. Columba’s College netted on nine minutes after some great work down the flank from St.. Eunan’s student Michael Gallagher
St. Eunan’s colleague James Carolan scuffed a chance to double Ulster’s lead on twenty minutes when he beat the off side trap beautifully but his attempt on goal was not so glamorous. Browne’s men headed into the interval with the slenderest of leads.
As expected, Connacht were much better in the second period and their dominance showed when St. Joseph’s scholar Harry Rogers rattled the Ulster woodwork but saw his attempt smash off the crossbar on 45 minutes. The game opened up at this point with Ulster gaining the upper hand. Deele College’s Ethan Coll scored a screamer from distance to make it 2-0 to the Northerners with 53 minutes played.
The contest was wrapped up two minutes from time as Stephen Doherty (Scoil Mhuire) converted to make it 3-0 to the defending Champions. Leinster were also in the driving seat as match day one came to a close when they defeated 2012 Champions Munster, 4-0 in a fantastic showcase.
It was a closely fought battle in the opening exchanges but the game came to live just before the break. Cahir’s Cian Murphy forced an exceptional save from Moyle Park College keeper Kian Clarke who palmed the ball to safety on 33 minutes.
As the clock ticked down, the deadlock was broken two minutes into injury time as Templeogue’s Jack Ryan saw his 18 yarder smash the back of the Munster net to make it 1-0 at half time.
The momentum was with Ian Ryan’s crew as they were awarded a penalty on 49 minutes when Grennan College’s Colm Whelan was taken down in the box. St. Kevin’s CC scholar Jack Walker converted confidently from the spot to double their lead.
The hat-trick of goals was completed for Leinster just before the hour mark when the skillful Chanel College star Ali Regbha slotted the ball past Roco’s Alan Kelleher.
Leinster’s fourth came right at the death when Balbriggan’s Lido Lotefa ensured the ball sailed into the back of the net with some classy footwork to deceive the Munster defence.
Leinster just nudge ahead of Ulster on goals scored but both provinces are relieved to get two points on the board following their comprehensive victories this evening. More importantly, both sides keep a clean sheet which will give some confidence to their defensive pairings.
As well as the Interprovincial title, this tournament is used as the key recruiting process for the underage International squad at schools level. The Schools select compete in the Celtic Cup and Centenary Shield annually. The team have competed since 2003 and the Republic of Ireland have won the competition six times in 14 years, most recently in 2015.
The International management team of William O’Connor (Balbriggan Community College), John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Conor Foley (Athlone Community College) and Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny) will have a difficult task to whittle down a provisional squad to attend trials in Abbotstown on Saturday, November 25.
Head Coach O’Connor is also conscious of the fact that a number of key players were unavailable at the weekend due to injury, club commitments and trials abroad.
Mitch Byrne (Moyle Park College, Clondalkin) and Seán Bohan (Gaelcholáiste Reachrann, Donaghmede) were named in the original squad for Leinster but picked up knocks in the lead up to the weekend and missed out.
Ulster starlet Darragh Ellison was in Stoke City this week on trial so the St. Eunan’s student may be in contention for a call up following his engagement with the trialling process in the run up to competition.
Connacht youngster Cillian Doyle who currently features for Yeats College suffered concussion in Galway United U17s semi-final so he may also be assessed. Doyle is a nephew of Colin Hawkins who was a previous International Schools Player of the Year. He picked up the accolade in the 1994/95 season representing St. Joseph’s College, Galway.
A final squad of eighteen players will be selected for the Centenary Shield campaign which commences on Thursday, February 15 away to Wales. England will be next up as they play host to the Irish in Luton Town on Friday, March 16. The penultimate outing will see William O’Connor at home to neighbours Northern Ireland on Wednesday, March 29 while Scotland will be the final contenders in Dublin on Thursday, April 12.
Leinster: Kian Clarke (Moyle Park College, Clondalkin), Cian Lee (Boyne Community School), Peter Adigun (Riversdale Community College), Padraig Finnerty (St. Patrick’s Classical School, Navan), Dylan Thornton (Cabinteely Community School), Sonny Conway & Jake Walker (St. Kevin’s CC, Clondalkin), Alex Kelly (Maynooth PPS), Jack Ryan (Templeogue College), Lido Lotafa (Balbriggan Community College), Kallum Broaders & Noel Heffernan (CBS Wexford), Michael O’Keane (Blackrock College), Colm Whelan (Grennan College, Thomastown), Ali Regbha (Chanel College, Coolock), Luke Ring (St. Joseph’s SS, Rush).
Management: Ian Ryan & Fintan Sheridan (St. Kevin’s CC, Clondalkin), Davey Cullen (Woodbrook College, Bray), Stephen O’Reilly (GK Coach), Ferdia McKeown (Physio)
Munster: Robert Osborne (St. Brendan’s College, Killarney), Mike Nzongong & Adam Conway (De La Salle College, Waterford), Cian Bargary (Cashel CS), Jack Larkin (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Cian Murphy (Coláiste Dún Iascaigh, Cahir) Darryl Walsh (St. Declan’s CC), Jack Forde (Glanmire CC), Shane O’Riordan (Midleton CBS), Beineoin O’Brien(St. Colman’s College, Fermoy), Douwe VanSindron & Brian Lynch (Presentation Brothers College, Cork), Dean Beresford (St. Augustine’s College, Dungarvan), Alan Kelliher, Colin O’Mahony & Rory Doyle (St. Francis College, Rochestown).
Management: Derek O’Brien (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Daniel Murphy (Coláiste Choilm, Ballincollig), Cathal Lordan (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Conor Coad (Coach), Darryl McGrath (Physio)
Ulster: Daniel Houghton & Fionn McClure (Carndonagh Community School), Corrie-Lee Bogan (St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar), Scott Prendergast, Seosamh Sheerin & Josh Hannon (Virginia College), Ethan Harkin (Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair), James Carolan, Michael Gallagher & Connor O’Reilly (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), AdamO’Connor (St. Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff), Liam Murray (Patrician High School, Carrickmacross), Ethan Coll (Deele College, Raphoe), Stephen Doherty (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), Mark McAteer (Mulroy College, Milford), Aaron Mulligan (Ballybay Community College).
Management: Paul Browne & David O’Herlihy (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny)
Connacht: Lorcan Callaghan (St. Mary’s College, Ballysadare), Ryan Smith & Gearoid Mulligan (Summerhill College, Sligo), Liam Whyte (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar), Hakeen Ryan, Harry Rogers, Colin Kelly & Cian Mulryan (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Callum McElvery (Holy Rosary College, Mountbellow), Ronan Manning, Dónal Higgins & Adam Rooney (Yeats College, Galway), Aaron Perry & Liam Kerrigan (St. Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry), Niall Morohan (Carrick on Shannon Community School), Calym Crowe (Coláiste na Coiribe, Knocknacarra).
Management: Alan Murphy & Alex Lee (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Kevin Murphy (Coach)
U18 BOYS’ INTERPROVINCIAL TOURNAMENT: AUL COMPLEX, CLONSHAUGH RESULTS
Friday, November 10
Ulster 3-0 Connacht
Leinster 4-0 Munster
Saturday, November 11
Munster 4-0 Ulster
Leinster 0-0 Connacht
Sunday, November 12
Connacht 3-1 Munster
Ulster 2-2 Leinster