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Leinster ‘A’ Bag Bonus Point Against Melrose

Leinster ‘A’ Bag Bonus Point Against Melrose

Leinster ‘A’ produced an impressive all-round display to seal their second successive bonus point victory in the British & Irish Cup, overcoming Melrose on a 42-20 scoreline at Donnybrook on Saturday night.

Leinster 'A' opened the scoring in the secnd minute when Aaron Dundon barged over from close range after a wonderful scything run from Andrew Conway breached the Scottish side's defence.

Noel Reid's conversion attempt fell wide of the posts but it was enough to give the hosts a 5-0 lead.

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An accurate penalty from Scott Wight reduced the deficit for the visitors four minutes later, but Colin McEntee's men were back on the front foot with the dangerous Conway again providing the attacking guile.

Second row Neilus Keogh took the drive forward into the Melrose 22 but the attack came to nothing when a pass was spilled.

But on the quarter hour mark, Leinster pushed into a 12-3 lead when out-half Reid added the extras to a Conor Gilsenan try after some good initial work from John Cooney.

A successful Reid penalty in the 25th minute strengthened Leinster's hold on the game but the deficit was reduced by a second Wight penalty.

Reid's third successful strike of a near perfect evening for rugby at Donnybrook gave Leinster 'A' a 12-point margin before second row Mark Flanagan gathered a clever Reid offload to score under the posts at the Bective end. Reid added the extras.

Brendan Macken then secured the bonus point for the hosts when he weaved through the Melrose defence, with Reid again converting, to give Leinster 'A' a 32-6 half-time lead.

Macken picked up where he left off in the first half with his second try of the evening after 47 minutes but credit to Melrose whose fight-back was rewarded with a well-worked try from Allan Dodds on the hour mark, superbly converted by Wight.

But Leinster 'A' quickly regained the initiative through replacement Luke McGrath who darted clear to touch down with 16 minutes remaining to make it 42-13.

Full back Fraser Thomson added some gloss with a run-in late on, with Wight again adding the points, to reduce the Leinster 'A' lead to 23 points, but the home side completed a fine performance just as they started the game – on the attack.

Referee: Greg McDonald (England)