Ireland U18 21 England U18 38
The Ireland Under-18s required victory over England to be guaranteed at least a share of the Four Nations Tournament at Pontypridd but it was not to be.
The English repeatedly opened up the Irish defence in the first-half to carve out an unbreachable 23-9 lead at the interval.
Out-half Marcus Jackson kicked immaculately to ease them in front and blindside Jamie Miller and Jordan Turner-Hall topped this up with tries. Ireland could only manage in reply three penalties from hooker Ger Slattery.
It didn’t get any better for the Irish as Jackson pinned them back and wing Ollie Dodge and replacement Mike Odejobi tacked on further tries.
There was a large improvement in the last quarter. Ireland closed down space quicker and the forwards got to grips, literally, with the bigger English boys.
Belvedere College’s Colin Murphy and Balbriggan’s Jamie Hagan put the finishing touches to two movements but in the end they would be no more than a consolation.
Ireland U18: C Murphy, J Hagan try each; G Slattery 3 pens; I Keatley con. England U18: J Miller, J Turner-Hall, M Odejobi, O Dodge try each; M Jackson 4 pens; 3 cons.
IRELAND UNDER-18: D Lavery (Irish Exiles); S Monaghan (Boyne RFC), A Wynne (Athlone RFC), I Whitten (Wallace HS), C Murphy (Belvedere College); I Keatley (Belvedere College), S Cranley (Pres Bray); D Millard (Irish Exiles), G Slattery (St Munchins College), R Sweeney (St Marys College), J Graham (Royal Armagh), J McCullough (RBAI), K Sheehan (St Michaels College), D Fenlon (Irish Exiles), S O’Brien (Tullow RFC - capt).
Replacements: N Keogh (St Munchins College) for McCullough, Douglas for SLATTERY both 45mins, D Mahony (St Michaels College) for Millard, J Hagan (Balbriggan RFC) for Sweeney, T O’Donnell (Clanwilliam) for O’Brien; D Drake (RBAI) for Cranley all 55 mins.
ENGLAND UNDER-18s: A Tait; O Dodge, G Hughes (capt), J Turner-Hall, N Canty; M Jackson, R Springall; M Mullan, A Bray, J Forster, C Gardiner, S Pitfield, S McDonald, J Miller, A Shaw.
Replacements: H Ellis for Miller 25 mins; R Gill for McDonald 46 mins; M Odejobi for Canty 52 mins; S Eborall for Gardiner 58 mins; A Lewis for Forster, J Page for Bray 66 mins.