Ulster were crowned Under 18 interprovincial champions in Cork on Sunday after a decisive 4-0 win over Leinster in the final game of the tournament.
Adam Louden’s team needed a win to secure the trophy after losing 3-1 to Leinster on Saturday and they did so in resounding fashion. Ollie Kidd hit two of the goals with the others coming from Harry Scott and Stewart Wylie.
“I am obviously delighted for the boys to get the win. They deserved it based on 3 outstanding performances,” said coach Louden.
“They produced a very clinical and calculated set of performances on the last day to beat Munster and Leinster back to back. Those results followed up on a good 7-1 opening day win and then a 3-1 loss. It’s amazing that they bounced back conceding only four goals in the tournament and scoring 15 across four games. I’m very, very proud of the boys bringing the trophy back to Ulster.”
Cookstown High pupil Wylie finished as Ulster’s top scorer with five goals while Wallace High’s Troy Chambers and Oliver Kidd (Friends’) bagged four each. Wylie got the opener in an earlier 3-0 win over Munster with Kidd and Jonny Lynch also on the mark to set up the title showdown with Leinster. Kidd broke the deadlock and he then made it 2-0 before Wylie scored twice late in the game after Leinster pulled their keeper in an unsuccessful gamble to salvage something from the game.
Ulster’s Under 16s, sponsored by Ulster University, had to settle for second place after a 2-1 loss to champions Leinster following an opening 1-0 win over Munster. In the Munster game, Max Anderson the scorer with a fine deflected effort. Ulster had plenty of other chances to score but the Munster keeper had a fine game.
In the second game of the day, two well taken Leinster goals conceded on the counter against the run of play in the first half left Ulster 2-0 down at half time but they were making all the play. The second half was a one way onslaught with Leinster defending for their lives and the goalkeeper making some fantastic saves. Paddy Rose pulled a goal back early in the second half but wave after wave of pressure was sustained by Leinster, who held on to take the title.
Ulster assistant coach Shirley McCay said: “Obviously, we are really disappointed not to come away with the title after applying so much pressure in our final game but Leinster deserve much credit for defending well and taking their chances.
“Our focus at this age group however is all about their development. They worked incredibly hard, stuck to the game plan and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Munster 2 (M Collins, J Spillane) Leinster 3 (D Wann, B McTiernan, C Hewat)
Munster 1 (K Smyth) Ulster 5 (M Aughey 2, E Rowe 2, C Curry)
Leinster 1 (B Stewart) Ulster 1 (E Rowe) (Ulster won shoot-out 4-1)
Leinster 1 (C Walsh) Munster 0
Ulster 1 (S Anderson) Munster 0
Ulster 1 (P Rose) Leinster 2 (R Dunlop, D Wann)
Munster 0 Leinster 0 (Munster won shoot-out 3-0)
Munster 1 (D Coffey) Ulster 7 (T Chambers 3, S Wylie 2, O Kidd, H Scott)
Leinster 3 (J Greaney, S Walker, E Jennings) Ulster 1 (T Chambers)
Leinster 2 (S Walker, J Greaney) Munster 1 (D Coffey)
Ulster 3 (S Wylie, O Kidd, J Lynch) Munster 0
Ulster 4 (O KIdd 2, H Scott, S Wylie) Leinster 0