Ulster Juniors closing in on an inter-provincial title
Ulster Juniors now only need a draw with Leinster on Saturday to clinch the Inter-Provincial title after beating Connacht Juniors 36-5. Having already defeated Munster 20-3 they were much too strong for Connacht at Ballina where they achieved the try bonus point by half-time.
Ulster now have nine points, with Munster who overcame Leinster 30-15 on five, Leinster on four and Connacht with one. So any of the top three can still win the championship but Ulster are favourites although they are away for the second successive week at Longford.
A great start by the visitors resulted in a 12-point lead in as many minutes. Coleraine No 6 Brian Hughes scored twice for Micky Poskitt to convert one and the dominance continued with two more tries before the interval.
Pressure led to home mistakes and Ulster managed to scoop up the loose ball and run in tries. Andrew McKeen crossed for the third followed by Bokkie Carsten's first for Poskitt to goal both.
After the restart Connacht came more into the encounter but their opponents increased their advantage with a Poskitt penalty and the conversion to another Carsten's score.
With five minutes remaining, Connacht managed to breech the visiting defence and Alan Tierney crossed for an unconverted try.