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Celtic League: Glas’ Half Full For Leinster

Celtic League: Glas’ Half Full For Leinster

Leinster hung on for a 30-23 verdict over Glasgow on Saturday, ending their league campaign with a third straight win and three of their recently appointed Lions on show at Hughenden.

Leinster hung on for a 30-23 verdict over Glasgow on Saturday, ending their league campaign with a third straight win and three of their recently appointed Lions on show at Hughenden.

CELTIC LEAGUE: Saturday, April 16
Glasgow 23 Leinster 30, Hughenden
Scorers: Glasgow: Tries: Rory Lamont, Dan Parks; Cons: Parks 2; Pens: Parks 3
Leinster: Tries: Girvan Dempsey, Kieran Lewis, Ben Gissing; Cons: David Holwell 3; Pens: Holwell 3

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Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll, centre Gordon D’Arcy and hooker Shane Byrne all saw action as the province made a solid start to the post-Declan Kidney era.

The Scots drew level at 23-apiece when Dan Parks’ third penalty sailed over 12 minutes from full-time, but Leinster – put through their paces this week by the coaching trio of Bobby Byrne, Roly Meates and Gerry Murphy – growled past the hosts thanks to Ben Gissing’s snappy score in the closing stages.

Soon-to-be-departed Kiwi David Holwell was once more the steadying hand for the men in blue. He knocked over 15 points with the right boot to complete a 13-game league tally of 158.

Leinster now ironically face Glasgow again, at Lansdowne Road in the Celtic Cup quarter-finals at the end of the month.

Glasgow boss Hugh Campbell – whose side claimed a crucial bonus point to earn Heineken Cup qualification as Scotland’s top seed for 2005/06 – admitted: “The quarter-final holds no fear for us. We were on a par with Leinster for most of the match but just a few defensive errors cost us.”

Holwell and Parks swapped opening penalties before Leinster blitzed into a 13-3 lead edging up to half-time.

Young winger Gary Brown was involved twice as he linked with a hungry-looking D’Arcy to send full-back Girvan Dempsey over for the game’s opening try.

Holwell converted, and tagged on two penalties to press home the visitors’ advantage.

Glasgow were stung into action. Scotland winger Rory Lamont drove over to reduce the arrears – then Parks scorched over on a 60-metre intercept run to touch down and convert for a surprise 14-13 lead.

Victor Costello – playing his final league game – combined with O’Driscoll and D’Arcy to put Kieran Lewis through for Leinster to edge clear again.

Holwell proved to be the match-winner not just for his kicking prowess but his setting up of lock Ben Gissing’s clincher.

After Parks had squared it up again with his right boot, New Zealand-born Gissing crashed over following an elusive 15-metre dart from countryman Holwell.

Glasgow: Calvin Howarth; Rory Lamont, Andy Craig, Andrew Henderson, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Sam Pinder; Kevin Tkachuk, Gordon Bulloch, Euan Murray, Joe Beardshaw, Dan Turner, Steve Swindall, Joe Petrie (Capt), Paul Dearlove.

Replacements used: Graeme Beveridge for Pinder, Kenny Logan for Howarth (both 51 mins), Scott Barrow for Henderson (58), Scott Lawson for Bulloch (67), Andrew Hall for Beardshaw, John Beattie for Dearlove (both 74). Not used: Ben Prescott.


(15) Girvan Dempsey
(14) Gary Brown
(13) Brian O’Driscoll
(12) Gordon D’Arcy
(11) Kieran Lewis
(10) David Holwell
(9) Guy Easterby
(1) Reggie Corrigan (Capt)
(2) Shane Byrne
(3) Ricky Nebbett
(4) Ben Gissing
(5) Leo Cullen
(6) Des Dillon
(7) Keith Gleeson
(8) Victor Costello

Replacements used: Brian O’Meara for Easterby, Emmett Byrne for Nebbett (both 51 mins), Shane Jennings for Gleeson (65), David Blaney for Byrne (75). Not used: Simon Crawford, Felipe Contepomi, David Quinlan.

HT: Glasgow 3 Leinster 13; Attendance: 4,364
Referee: Phil Fear (Wales)