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Ulster in inter-pro title chase after a nailbiting win


By Ronnie Ingram

Ulster needed a win over Leinster to stay in the Schools' Inter-Provincial title chase and they got it at Campbell College. At the halfway stage in the competition, Leinster have six points, Ulster five and Munster four.

"We knew we could do it' said Manager Richard Clingan.

"Everything came together in the first half when we led 18-3 but Leinster came back and we had a nervy finish.

"At one stage they were pressing but we won a vital turnover which allowed us to relieve the pressure. I feel that gave us a boost and we managed to keep them out."

A strong run by centre Ben Power set up full-back Ben Murphy for the first try and that was followed by a Nathan Doak penalty.

He then traded penalties with Mick O'Gara before a David McCann interception two minutes from the interval lead to Aaron Sexton dashing in from 40 metres for a converted score.

Leinster were the better side in the second half and were rewarded with Kieran Prendergast and Ben Murphy tries both of which O'Gara goaled. This win will give Ulster increased confidence before they face Munster at Osborne Park in a fortnight and then travel to Leinster on the following Saturday.

Meanwhile, Connacht's under-19s defeated their Ulster counterparts 27-19 yesterday.

A dominant first half gave Ulster a deserved 21-13 interval advantage in the U19 Inter-Pro against Connacht but the second period was a much different scenario at The Sportsground yesterday afternoon.

The home pack took control and Ulster had little or no possession so two converted forward tries followed from Connacht which gave them victory.

Left winger Johnny Hunter (Wallace High) put Ulster in front for Bruce Houston (Ballymena Acad) to convert before the home team retorted with a converted try and two penalties.

A score by centre David Lyttle (RBAI) was also goaled which resulted in the visitors regaining the advantage.

Azur Allison (Ballymena Acad) charged over for the third for Houston to again be on target but that was the end of Ulster's scoring as the home team never allowed them back into the game.

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