A massive Connacht pack paved the way for a narrow 15-13 Inter-Provincial U18 win over a plucky Ulster at Banbridge.
The Connacht side was made up mainly of their Schools' XV so they had the advantage of already playing three games together.
Ulster took the lead with a Joe Bingham penalty after 15 minutes but then they let in a soft try by full-back Tom McHale. Home wing forward Ryan Hughes had to be replaced through injury and the visitors made it 10-3 by the interval with a Paddy Daly try.
Visiting wing Paddy Griffin showed his skills to go in for the third before Bingham kicked a second home penalty. Undaunted Ulster never gave up and were rewarded as centre Jack McCool crossed for an unconverted try.
Manager Liam Eastwood admitted thought Connacht had the edge on the day, saying: "We came into this game with confidence so the result was disappointing. They probably deserved their victory by virtue of the fact that they scored three tries to our one.
"We'll just have to pick ourselves up before the game against Leinster on Saturday"
In that they can expect another difficult test as Leinster recorded a three try 25-6 win over Munster at Donnybrook.