Blues complete the grand slam
Leinster U18s take their third successive title in style with eight tries against Connacht
Coach Ray McIlreavy was a satisfied man after his Leinster Schools side clinched their third inter-provincial schools title in a row by completing a grand slam at the Sportsground yesterday.
Leinster ran in eight tries in the 53-0 defeat of Connacht. The Blues cruised to victory with a superb display, which included a hat-trick of tries from centre Rory O'Loughlin.
Leinster led by 17-0 at half-time thanks to tries from Ian Fitzpatrick, O'Loughlin and Dan Leavy.
Further tries from Peadar Timmins, Billy Dardis (2), plus the accuracy of Stephen O'Neill's goal-kicking, sealed the win.
Leinster had begun their campaign two weeks ago with a hard-fought 11-3 win over Munster, when it took a close-in finish from hooker Dylan Donnellan and two penalties by fly-half Conor McKeon to settle the issue, against a solitary Munster penalty from out-half Gearoid Lyons.
Last week, Leinster defeated Ulster 22-15 at Ravenhill with four tries and one conversion, while the home side was unable to get over the try line, with all their points coming from the boot.
Tries from Fitzpatrick and Leavy gave the visitors a 10-6 lead at half-time in that game.
The hosts kicked a penalty before Leinster scored another try through O'Loughlin. Another penalty by Ulster reduced the deficit before a try by Cameron Higgs, which was converted by O'Neill, looked to have made the game safe.
But another penalty for Ulster made for an anxious last few minutes before the final whistle sounded.
CONNACHT U18: C Gaffney; R Pepper-Hobbs, D Corcoran, M Mellotte (R Browne 25), C Egan (C Langan 61); B Carty, R Doolan (P Power 20); J Walsh (D McCardle 60), P O'Donnell (S Flanagan 66), S Meunargia, S Boyle, E Connell, J O'Hehir (C Laheen 62), P Hackett ( S McCormack 50), S O'Brien.
LEINSTER U18: B Dardis; M Madigan (C Brennan 50), R McLoughlin, S O'Neill, I Fitzpatrick; B Holland (R Bailey-Kearney 64), R O'Farrell (N McCarthy 55); S Delahunt, D Donnellan (J Carroll 60), E McKeever (S Borza 50), R Molony, P Timmins, D Doyle (G Reynolds 64), D Leavy (R Moloney), H Brewer.
REFEREE: S Douglas (IRFU).