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Match Tracker: Connacht 22 Edinburgh 22

Match Tracker: Connacht 22 Edinburgh 22

Mark McHugh came to Connacht’s rescue again at the Sportsground as he landed an injury-time penalty kick to salvage a dramatic draw with Edinburgh.

…Mark McHugh…

Mark McHugh came to Connacht’s rescue again at the Sportsground as he landed an injury-time penalty kick to salvage a dramatic draw with Edinburgh.

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MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, September 22

CONNACHT 22 EDINBURGH 22, The Sportsground (Att: 1,065)

Scorers: Connacht: Try: Matt Mostyn; Con: Mark McHugh; Pens: McHugh 5

Edinburgh: Try: Chris Paterson; Con: Paterson; Pens: Paterson 4, Hodge

Full-Time: Connacht 22 Edinburgh 22 – So Connacht come from behind on two occasions to grab a deserved share of the spoils. The Gunners looked the more potent in attack but the hosts’ defence was on top for long periods. Michael Bradley’s men sit seventh in the table ahead of next Friday’s visit of Leinster to the Sportsground

80+7 mins: Connacht rescue a draw as after Edinburgh were pinged for failing to release in the tackle, McHugh fires over a beautiful penalty – his sixth successful kick out of seven – from 47 metres out – Connacht 22 Edinburgh 22

80 mins: As the game ticks towards injury-time, a fifth player is sin-binned amid farcical scenes. It really is a lottery now as Connacht are down to 14 players with flanker Matt Lacey now off the field

74 mins: Incredibly the Gunners are down to 12 men! Scotland lock Scott Murray has been carded and McHugh is on target with his fourth penalty, again from a fair distance out – Connacht 19 Edinburgh 22

70 mins: Edinburgh have had a second player yellow carded – flanker Rossie Rennie has walked this time as referee Jones is continuing to stamp his authority on the game. No malice at all in it though. From the resultant penalty, McHugh misses his first kick of the night

65 mins: McHugh pots over a penalty to reduce the margin to three points again – Connacht 16 Edinburgh 19

62 mins: Referee Jones sends Edinburgh’s replacement lock Steven Turnbull to the bin for a lineout infringement

59 mins: More woe for the Connacht faithful as lock David Gannon is sent to the sin bin for coming in at the side of a ruck. Samoan signing Ray Ofisa comes on to make his debut for the province, replacing Rigney

54 mins: Rigney looks to have been taken out of it, but referee James Jones fails to spot the offence much to the Connacht crowd’s dismay. Rigney is penalised for backchat and Connacht centre Keith Matthews also fails foul of the Welsh official. It’s a penalty to Edinburgh and Paterson makes no mistake with the kick from just inside the 22 – Connacht 13 Edinburgh 19

49 mins: Connacht are on the back foot after a fumble by O’Riordan. Edinburgh rumble forward and up close to the Connacht line, but solid defence from Colm Rigney and Chris Keane retrieves the situation for the home side

Second Half: Connacht close the gap to three points as McHugh arrows over his second penalty, four minutes in – Connacht 13 Edinburgh 16

…The Sportsground…

Half-Time: Connacht 10 Edinburgh 16 – Connacht do well to prevent the Gunners from scoring a second try in first half injury-time as flanker Matt Lacey shows some excellent defensive positioning to stop Rob Dewey just five mtres out from the hosts’ line. A late scrum is wheeled by the Connacht pack and McHugh clears.

But worryingly, the Connacht number 10’s line kicking has been poor so far and the Scots have been able to make the most of their territorial advantage with a sound set piece. Scotland scrum half Mike Blair has also been in fine form

40+1 mins: McHugh whacks over his first penalty after a high tackle on John Hearty – Connacht 10 Edinburgh 16

37 mins: Paterson continues his one-man show as he comes in from the left and goes in under the posts for a try for the Gunners. The try-scorer converts – Connacht 7 Edinburgh 16

34 mins: Paterson lands his third penalty from three attempts. Connacht have been forced to make a change in the front row, with Brett Sturgess off injured and Roscommon man Michael Diffley coming on – Connacht 7 Edinburgh 9

20 mins: Halfway through the first half and Connacht continue to lead 7-6 at an increasingly windy Sportsground. Young homegrown talent Daniel Riordan has seen a good deal of ball, coming into the line with venom

12 mins: Paterson lands his second penalty to whittle the Connacht lead down to a single point – Connacht 7 Edinburgh 6

8 mins: Connacht bounce back with a lovely try. From ruck position out wide on the right, the ball is spread through the back line and with the Scots expecting big Gavin Williams to come on the burst, a neat pass from Mark McHugh sends former Ireland winger Matt Mostyn over for a try at the College Road end. McHugh, whose pass was well taken by Mostyn who fumbled the ball but gathered it at the second attempt, converts to make it a seven-pointer – Connacht 7 Edinburgh 3

First Half: 4 mins: Edinburgh get off to a solid start as Scottish international Chris Paterson lands a penalty from 30 metres out – Connacht 0 Edinburgh 3

Team News: Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made three changes to the side that lost to Llanelli for this week’s clash with Edinburgh.

Galway speedster Daniel Riordan, who only turns 22 on Monday, and new team captain and hooker John Fogarty have both been brought in for their first starts of the competitive season.

Riordan comes in as part of a back line reshuffle with the injured Paul Warwick being replaced at outside centre by John Hearty, while former Ireland international Matt Mostyn vacates his usual full-back position, taking over from Conor McPhillips on the right wing with Riordan to fill the number 15 jersey.

In the forwards, Adrian Flavin makes way for the fit-again Fogarty, who has been part of the extended Ireland squad for this week’s mini training camp. Samoan flanker Ray Ofisa looks poised to make his debut for Connacht off the bench.

Simon Webster has recovered from injury to be named in the Gunners’ side for the clash with Connacht. The Scotland winger’s inclusion means that Ben Cairns moves to outside centre and Marcus Di Rollo starts on the bench in place of Mike Pyke.

Edinburgh will field the same forwards as last week’s 20-15 win over Ulster, the only change being on the replacements bench where apprentice Steven Turnbull has been listed instead of Fergus Pringle. The Scotland Under-19 lock has the chance to make his first appearance for Edinburgh. Apprentice prop Alan Dymock will also travel with the squad.

Connacht: Daniel Riordan; Matt Mostyn, John Hearty, Gavin Williams, Keith Matthews; Mark McHugh, Chris Keane; Brett Wilkinson, John Fogarty (capt), Brett Sturgess, David Gannon, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Michael Diffley, Michael Swift, Ray Ofisa, Tom Tierney, David Slemen, Darren Yapp.

Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson (capt), Ben Cairns, Rob Dewey, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Alasdair Dickinson, Matt Mustchin, Scott Murray, Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie, Allister Hogg.

Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Dave Hewett, Steven Turnbull, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Hodge, Marcus Di Rollo.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Touch Judges: Olan Trevor, Seamus Flannery (both Ireland)