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Scots see B&I Cup dreams ended after defeat to Ulster ‘A’

Scots see B&I Cup dreams ended after defeat to Ulster ‘A’

London Scottish had their hopes of qualification in the British and Irish Cup dashed after a 38-21 defeat to Ulster 'A' at the Kingspan Stadium.

London Scottish had their hopes of qualification in the British and Irish Cup dashed after a 38-21 defeat to Ulster ‘A’ at the Kingspan Stadium.

The Scots held a deserved 14-12 lead at half time but it was hosts who showed their quality, boasting three Ireland Internationals in their starting line-up which ultimately proved too much to handle in the second half.

MPU

Scottish started the match in expansive style and were playing some hugely positive rugby in what were freezing conditions in Belfast. The Scots were rewarded with an early try from Danny Kenny which gave them the lead. 

A penalty allowed them to kick deep in to the Ulster 22, and a rolling maul which powered towards the line saw Kenny break away and dive over the line. Peter Lydon’s touchline conversion gave his side the dream start, with a 7-0 lead.

Ulster responded quickly and Johnny McPhillips got them on the scoreboard after 13 minutes. A  period of sustained pressure saw them inch closer to the line, and despite somer heroic defence from the Scots they couldn’t prevent Johnny McPhillips dotting the ball down in the corner. 

The hosts would then take the lead five minutes later. A rolling maul from the strong Ulster pack went over the line and Lorcan Dow was the man to put the ball down. McPhillips converted, giving his side a 12-7 advantage. 

Scottish then went back in front after 25 minutes after gaining some much-needed possession and territory. A penalty was kicked to the corner and again the rolling maul functioned impressively which saw Dan Koroi dive over and score. Lydon again converted from the touchline to give the Scots a narrow 14-12 lead. 

Peter Richards’ side then grew in confidence and were attempting to counter attack which saw them create a number of opportunities, but they were unable to extend their lead. 

They were forced to defend in the lead up to half-time as Ulster pounded away at the try-line, but the Scots held firm and went in at the break with a deserved 14-12 advantage after a hugely physical first 40 minutes. 

Ulster came flying out of the blocks in the second half and would cross the line on four occasions as they took the game away from the Exiles. 

They took the lead after 46 minutes following another rolling maul which couldn’t be halted saw Jonny Murphy drive over, and although the conversion went wide they would not surrender their advantage. 

The Irish side took control of the match after 55 minutes with an impressive try created by Ireland international Craig Gilroy. The winger would slice his way through the middle of the defence and then offload to Darren Cave who ran in unattended. 

An almost identical try five minutes later secured the bonus point for Ulster, as Gilroy again thundered through the defence and then passed to Cave who dotted down. Mark Best’s conversion took their lead to 31-14. 

To their credit the Scots refused to lie down and came back in to the match just after the hour. After a penalty gave them another chance of some territory, they went through the phases in the 22. Joe Atkinson gathered at the side of a ruck and bounced off his defender to race away and score under the posts. Lydon would again convert, and cut the deficit to 10 points. 

Unfortunately Ulster responded immediately and put the result beyond doubt. A cross-kick bounced kindly for Gilroy who was first to pounce on the loose ball and score. The conversion put them 38-21 ahead. 

Scottish continued to play and deserved to end the match with another score, but Ulster would shut them out and end with a bonus-point win which ends the hopes of Scottish in this season’s British and Irish Cup.

The Scots round off the 2016/17 B&I Cup group stages at home to Cardiff Blues Premiership Select next Saturday at 14:00. Tickets and hospitality are still available, and can be purchased by clicking here.

Ulster A:
15 Rob Lyttle 14 David Busby 13 Darren Cave (C) 12 Mark Best  11 Craig Gilroy 10 Johnny McPhillips 9 Jonny Stewart 1 Tommy O’Hagan 2 Jonny Murphy 3 Ricky Lutton 4 Robbie Diack 5 John Donnan 6 Stephen Mulholland 7 Conor Joyce 8 Lorcan Dow

Replacements:
16 Zack McCall 17 Craig Trenier 18 Alex Thompson 19 Connor Smyth 20 Johnny Creighton 21 Rory Butler 22 Jack Owens

Scorers:
Tries: Johnny McPhillips (13 minutes) Lorcan Dow (19 minutes) Jonny Murphy (45 minutes) Darren Cave (54, 60 minutes) Craig Gilroy (69 minutes)
Conversions: Johnny McPhillips (19 minutes) Mark Best (54, 60, 69 minutes)

London Scottish:
15 Peter Lydon 14 Craig Holland (replaced by Alec Coombes)13 Robbie Fergusson 12 Patrick Kelly 11 Jason Harries 10 George Cullen 9 Ed Hoadley 1 Grant Shiells (replaced by Jonny Harris) 2 George Turner (replaced by David Cherry) 3 Dan Koroi (replaced by Phil Cringle) 4 Rory Bartle (c) 5 Callum Hunter Hill (replaced by Neale Patrick) 6 Danny Kenny 7 Joe Atkinson 8 Dave Sisi (replaced by Ifereimi Boladau)

Replacements:
16 David Cherry 17 Jonny Harris 18 Phil Cringle 19 Neale Patrick 20 Ifereimi Boladau 21 Alec Coombes 22 Tom Galbraith

Scorers:
Tries: Danny Kenny (5 minutes) Dan Koroi (26 minutes) Joe Atkinson (67 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (5, 26, 67 minutes)

Officials: 
Referee: Joy Neville
Assistant Referees: Chris Busby & Peter Martin
Fourth Official: Grain Crabtree

Man of the match: Craig Gilroy

Half Time Score: Ulster ‘A’ 12  – 14  London Scottish

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