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Keatley Stars For Connacht

Keatley Stars For Connacht

Ian Keatley made a promising start to his Connacht career with a fourteen point haul, including two drop goals, against Harlequins in the pre-season friendly at the Sportsground

The 21 year old, formerly with Clontarf, has been steadily making a name for himself with impressive performances at Ireland U20, Ireland A and Ireland 7s.

Connacht produced a top class second-half performance to come from behind and defeat Harlequins in an entertaining friendly at the Sportsground on Saturday evening.

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Keatley gave Connacht a sixth minute lead with a penalty but trailed 8-3 at the break after Harlequins crossed for a try from full-back Tom Williams and a penalty from out-half Nick Evans.

Debutant Keatley added to his first half penalty to reduce the deficit to two points shortly after the restart before Keith Matthews restored Connacht’s lead on 56 minutes with a try under the posts after a superb break from scrumhalf Frank Murphy.

Keatley slotted over the extras but his two drop goals on the hour mark and 71 minutes are what will stand out from this performance to put the home side firmly in front with just under ten minutes remaining.

With three minutes to go, captain John Muldoon sealed the victory with a try in the corner, having gone over from a maul.

Try: Matthews, Muldoon
Pens: Keatley (2)
Con: Keatley
Drop Goal: Keatley (2)
Try: T Williams
Pen: Evans
Connacht: G Duffy; L Bibo, M Deane, K Matthews, J Hearty; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, S Cronin, R Morris; M Swift, A Farley; J Muldoon, J O’Connor, C Rigney.
Replacements: M McCarthy for Swift, 63 mins; A Browne for Rigney, 70mins; A Dunne for Keatley, 75 mins; T Nathan for Matthews, 75 mins; A Wynne for Deane, 75 mins.
Harlequins: T Williams; C Amesbury, D W Barry, J Turner-Hall, S Stegman; N Evans, D Care; C Jones, T Fuga, J Brooks; J Percival, J Evans; P Davies, N McMillan, C York.
Replacements: O Kohn for Percival, half time; S O’Connor for Evans, half time; A Croall for Brooks, half time; M Lambert for Jones, half time; G Williams for Turner-Hall, 57 mins; G Lowe for Care, 57 mins; S Smith for Evans, 70 mins; T Sargeant for McMillan, 78 mins.
Referee: John Lacey