Tries from Stephen Ferris, Andy Maxwell and Bryn Cunningham helped Ulster down a plucky Borders side at Netherdale on Friday, to keep themselves in the Magners League title race.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, April 13
BORDER REIVERS 9 ULSTER 33, Netherdale (Att: 3,252)
Scorers: Borders: Pens: Steve Jones 3
Ulster: Tries: Stephen Ferris, Andy Maxwell, Bryn Cunningham; Cons: David Humphreys 3; Pens: David Humphreys 4
Borders sent out a message of defiance in defeat at Netherdale on Friday night.
Just over 3,000 supporters – three times the average gate – filled the ground for the doomed side’s latest Magners League match against Ulster. It was an attempt to persuade the Scottish Rugby Union to change their decision to axe the team at the end of the season.
Unfortunately the team could not live up to the occasion, going behind within two minutes to Stephen Ferris’ try and leaking 14 more points in injury-time thanks to tries from Andy Maxwell and Bryn Cunningham.
David Humphreys kicked the rest of the visitors’ points with Borders out-half Steve Jones replying with three penalties.
But Borders could not convert their periods of pressure into tries and the late tries gave the final scoreline a flattering look.
TIME LINE: 2 minutes – Ulster try: Stephen Ferris – 0-5; conversion: David Humphreys – 0-7; 10 mins – Borders penalty: Steve Jones – 3-7; 12 mins – Ulster penalty: David Humphreys – 3-10; 20 mins – Borders penalty: Steve Jones – 6-10; 39 mins – Ulster penalty: David Humphreys – 6-13; Half-time – Borders 6 Ulster 13; 55 mins – Borders penalty: Steve Jones – 9-13; 70 mins – Ulster penalty: David Humphreys – 9-16; 72 mins – Ulster penalty: David Humphreys – 9-19; 79 mins – Ulster try: Andy Maxwell – 9-24; conversion: David Humphreys – 9-26; 80 mins – Ulster try: Bryn Cunningham – 9-31; conversion: David Humphreys – 9-33; Full-time – Borders 9 Ulster 33
Borders: Stuart Moffat; Dougie Flockhart, Ben MacDougall, Nick De Luca, Garry Law; Steve Jones, Chris Cusiter (capt); Gavin Kerr, Ross Ford, Bruce Douglas, Opeta Palepoi, Craig Hamilton, John Dalziel, Andy Miller, Kelly Brown.
Replacements used: Stuart Grimes for Hamilton (63 mins), Steve Scott for Ford (68), Richie Vernon for Palepoi (70), Bruce McNeill for Kerr (72), Bryan Rennie for MacDougall (78). Not used: Rob Chrystie, Gregor Townsend.
Ulster: Bryn Cunningham; Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Maxwell; David Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Bryan Young, Rory Best, Simon Best (capt), Justin Harrison, Ryan Caldwell, Stephen Ferris, Neil Best, Roger Wilson.
Replacements used: Tim Barker for Caldwell (69 mins), Kieran Campbell for Boss, Darren Cave for Wallace, David Pollock for Wilson (all 79). Not used: Paul Shields, Justin Fitzpatrick, Paul McKenzie.
Sin Bin: Caldwell (Ulster)
Referee: Tim Hayes (Wales)