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Connacht Eagles

Connacht Eagles


Welsh visitors Ospreys A defeated Connacht Eagles 27-22 when the teams met in a Celtic Cup encounter played in near perfect conditions at Dubarry Park on Friday night. It proved a relatively even affair with the teams level on three occasions but it was not particularly exciting fare on ‘Culture Night’ for the paltry attendance.
The visitors caught the home province dozing after just 8 minutes when Keiran Williams quickly tapped a penalty to slip in for a try which Josh Thomas converted. The Eagles replied just six minutes later, Conor McKeon making good yardage before Hugh Lane got in for an unconverted try in the right corner.

Thomas landed a 31st minute penalty for Ospreys but Shane Delahunt led the home pack over the visitors’ line in the final move of the half. This try was unconverted so the teams were deadlocked 10-10 at the interval.
The men from the Principality restarted strongly and the classy Thomas scored a 45th minute try which he also converted. However, the two mainly youthful sides were level again six minutes later. Lane profited from a pinpoint diagonal kick by Darragh Leader and Conor Fitzgerald finally got his radar working at the third time of asking to add the conversion.
Impressive No.8 Guido Volpi stormed through for a 54th minute Ospreys unconverted try. On the hour mark Conor Lane stretched over the visitors’ line after further good work by McKeon to tie the scores for a third time at 22-22. Fitzgerald’s poor return from place-kicks continued and he also had no success with a couple of drop goal attempts.

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Eagles paid for this profligacy when, deep in added time, Ospreys bravely ran the ball back from behind their own line and went smoothly through the phases from one end to the other where Joe Grabham rewarded their cavalier spirit with a final move try.

This not only secured a bonus point but also confirmed victory for Ospreys. Meanwhile Eagles, who were strangely hesitant in using their bench, despite a pair of bonus points slumped to their third successive defeat in this new competition.

Referee: Jonny Erskine (Ireland)