Connacht capture Interprovincial title


Under 18 Boys’ Interprovincial Tournament

November 11, 2018

ALAN MURPHY’S 10 man brigade came from a goal down to clinch an historic win in dramatic fashion in the AUL Complex this afternoon.

The Connacht side needed a win in their final test which saw them up against 2016 Champions Ulster who had notched up two fine victories in the build up to match day three. Paul Browne’s team were in a commanding position heading into this clash with only a draw required for them to claim a podium finish.

Connacht were looking to upset the odds and that they did, be it under controversial circumstances.

The Westerners were down to ten following the dismissal of Charlie Concannon after just two minutes, followed moments later by an exasperated Murphy who also got his marching orderings.

To further add to their frustrations, Connacht conceded in the 18th minute when Virginia College pupil Aaron McCabe pounced on a terrific through ball from Mikey Friel to convert brilliantly.

A tense exchange ensued for most of the first half but Connacht got their composure back and were leading at the break.

A purple patch three minutes from time saw Colin Kelly beat Kyle Burns between the posts to equalise magnificently with Adam Lynch assisting. A fourth goal in the campaign for the St. Joseph’s jewel. Then four minutes into additional time, playmaker Lynch got himself on the scoresheet with a screamer from distance following some excellent work by Summerhill colleague Gearoid Mulligan. 

There was a number of opportunities for Ulster to equalise but the Connacht defense stood strong under immense periods of pressure in the final quarter to see the game out.

Utter disappointment for Ulster having been on the front foot coming into this encounter and played exceptionally well this afternoon but Connacht performed superbly throughout the high intensity battle and will feel relieved following the heartache of losing a player and their head coach so early on.

Alan Murphy will add to his phenomenal credentials in this competition having previously played in the tournament as a youngster with Ballinrobe Community School in 1999. On foot of his performances at the Interprovincial tournament, he was selected to play for the International squad and picked up the prestigious FAI Schools International Player of the Year Award in 2000. The St. Joseph’s College teacher was very privileged, having progressed on in years, to eventually manage his Province to victory in 2013 with Leinster and Munster dominating the scene for more than a decade.

Connacht were unfortunate not to capture a title before that as steady progress was made through the years under the stewardship of Emmet Peyton (St. Muredach’s College, Ballina) and Tom Byrne (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar). The Westerners came close in 2011 only to be beaten on the final day by Leinster and similarly in 2012 by Munster.  

It took a first-rate effort from the entire squad this afternoon to come through that outing with Ulster and capture the title again for Connacht following a five year absence.

The other game this morning saw Munster overcome Leinster 4-2 to give them their first victory this season resulting in one win, one draw and one defeat, not bad for Derek O’Brien’s squad. 

The Leinster number one Jamie Cleary had to be on top form for this concluding fixture as both Robert Geaney O’Brien and Brian Ahern tested the Drimnagh Castle shot stopper in quick succession but the Dubliner pulled off two outstanding saves to deny the deadly duo.

After weathering the Munster onslaught, Leinster finally managed to infiltrate their defence with 29 minutes on the clock. Brandon Bermingham poked the ball home from just inside the box, his third goal in three games!

However, Munster drew level ten minutes into the restart when Niall O’Keeffe (DLS College, Waterford) dispatched a rocket from the penalty spot after Robert Geaney O’Brien was taken down in the box.

Leinster then took the lead in the 53rd minute through St. Fintan’s scholar Jack Moylan to make it 2-1.

The goals kept coming as the game opened up and Munster’s equaliser was just two minutes later as Cameron Power saw his cross into the six yard box defeated in.

Douglas Community School pupil Chris O’Reilly ensured a Munster revival in the 58th minute while Robert Geaney O’Brien made sure of the win eight minutes from time, finishing 4-2 in a highly entertaining contest.

A disappointing campaign for Ian Ryan’s Leinster lads as they failed to produce the magic which saw them capture the title last season. The squad were hampered with injuries on the final day with some of their key players missing out on the action. Notwithstanding the results, Ryan will be hopefully that some of his squad will progress through the ranks in the next fortnight. 



As well as the Interprovincial title, this tournament is used as the key recruiting process for the underage International squad at schools level. The Schools select compete in the Celtic Cup and Centenary Shield annually. The team have competed since 2003 and the Republic of Ireland have won the competition seven times in 15 years, most recently in 2018.

The International management team of William O’Connor (Balbriggan Community College), John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Conor Foley (Athlone Community College) and Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny) will have a difficult task to whittle down a provisional squad to attend trials in Abbotstown on Saturday, November 24.



A final squad of eighteen players will then be selected for the Centenary Shield campaign. The Republic of Ireland Schools select will kick off with an exciting International friendly when Australia visit Dublin in mid-January. This will be excellent preparation for William O’Connor’s class of 2019. Their Centenary Shield defence will see the squad travel to Scotland in their opening fixture on March 28. Following this, the scholars will be in action for three consecutive weeks as the team are at home to England on April 12, away to Northern Ireland on April 18 and their season concludes with a home game against Wales on April 25 so a busy Easter Break for all involved.




ULSTER | Kyle Burns (Mulroy College, Milford), Jack Parke (Royal & Prior Comprehensive School, Raphoe), Daragh Ellison (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Lee McLaughlin, Jack Doherty, Corey McBride, Mikey Friel (Carndonagh Community School), Stephen Black, Conor Black, Ronan Gallagher, Ronan Boyce (Loreto Community School, Milford), Seán McEvoy, Aaron McCabe (Virginia College, Cavan), Oisin Cannon (PCC Falcarragh), Jamie Doherty, Patrick Ferry (Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair)

Management | Paul Browne (St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny), Martin Cavanagh (Carndonagh Community School)


MUNSTER | Ben Kirwan (St. Declan’s Community College), Chris O’Reilly (Douglas Community School), Sam Dwyer (CBS High School, Clonmel), Jake O’Brien (Pobailscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal), Niall O’Keefe, Cameron Power (De La Salle College, Waterford), Oran Daly (Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh), John Hayes (Scoil Mhuire agus Idé, Newcastle West), Conor Butler (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Robert Geaney O’Brien (Presentation Brothers College, Cork), Brian Ahern (Hazelwood College), Mikey Foley (Coláiste Mhuire, Cobh), Matty O’Reilly (Midleton CBS), Killian O’Brien (Schull Community College), Luke Desmond (Kinsale Community School), Callan Scully (St. Joseph’s CBS, Nenagh)


Management | Derek O’Brien (Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore), Cathal Lordan (St. Francis College, Rochestown), Conor Coad (Coach), Seamus McWalter (Physio)


LEINSTER | Jamie Cleary (Drimnagh Castle CBS, Walkinstown), Harry McEvoy (St. Benildus College, Stillorgan), Kevin O’Reilly, Conor Behan (Moyle Park College, Clondalkin), Keith Carter (Coláiste Choilm, Swords), Jamin Nwanze (Rockbrook Park School, Rathfarnham), Denis Smith (Belvedere College), James Clarke (Boyne Community School, Trim), Brandon Bermingham (St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Drogheda), Jack Moylan (St. Fintan’s High School, Sutton), Byron O’Gorman (Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Alex Aspil (The High School, Rathgar), Ross Tierney (St. Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall), Jake Ellis (Oatlands College, Mount Merrion), Jack Savage (Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght), David Odumosu (O’Fiaich College, Dundalk) 


Management | Ian Ryan (St. Mac Dara’s CC, Templeogue), Fintan Sheridan (St. Kevin’s Community College, Clondalkin), Davey Cullen (Woodbrook College, Bray), Stephen O’Reilly (GK Coach), Jordan Keogh (Video Analyst), Ferdia McKeon (Physio)


CONNACHT | James Robinson (St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar) Iarlaith O’Sullivan, Charlie Concannon & Colin Kelly (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Gearoid Mulligan, Bryan Lynch & Adam Lynch (Summerhill College, Sligo), Mark Melody (Coláiste Bhaile Chlair, Galway), Adam Farrell (Colaiste Mhuire, Ballygar), Jack O’Connor (St. Louis Community School, Kitimagh), Oisin Duffy & Jordan Carr (Garbally College, Galway), Dónal Higgins, Aidan Halloran (Yeats College, Galway), Liam Corcoran (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Patrick Martyn (Presentation College, Athenry) 


Management | Alan Murphy & Alex Lee (St. Joseph’s College, Galway), Kevin Murphy (Coach), Keith McTigue (Coach)



35 mins per half. No extra time. 10 min h/t interval

Friday, November 9

4.00pm Munster 1-3 Ulster

5.30pm Connacht 4-3 Leinster

Saturday, November 10

3.00pm Ulster 2-1 Leinster

4.30pm Connacht 1-1 Munster

Sunday, November 11

10.00am Munster 4-2 Leinster

11.30am Connacht 2-1 Ulster


Roll of Honour: Under 18 Boys’ Interprovincial Tournament Winners  






Ballybofey, Donegal



Ballybofey, Donegal



Ballybofey, Donegal



New Ross, Wexford



Salthill Devon, Galway





















AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin



AUL Complex, Dublin