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McKinney Denies Ulster Ravens At The Death

McKinney Denies Ulster Ravens At The Death

James McKinney came back to haunt Ulster as he landed the last kick of the game to give Rotherham Titans a 31-29 victory over the Ravens in a nine-try thriller at Deramore Park tonight.

It was the Ulster Ravens' third consecutive defeat in the British & Irish Cup and although they picked up two bonus points for scoring four tries and being within seven points of the visitors, they are all but out of the competition.

It was the proverbial game of two halves as the sides scored a converted try each in the first 40 minutes before the floodgates opened in the second period.

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The Titans took the lead after 12 minutes when centre Jordan Davies cut through the home defence before putting hooker Tom Cruse through and James McKinney, the former Ulster out-half, converted.

The Ravens got back in the game with a try from full-back Peter Nelson and Josh Bingham converted.

Bingham, the Ireland Under-19 international, was off target with a long range penalty and the Titans wasted a great chance to take the half-time lead when they kicked a penalty to the corner but the throw-in from the lineout was not straight.

The Ravens took the lead four minutes after the restart when winger and man-of-the-match Jacob Stockdale went over from his own 10-metre line for a terrific solo try.The scores were level again on 54 minutes, though, when Cruse completed his brace from a driving maul.

Kieran Campbell's young charges regained the lead when replaced prop Kyle McCall barged over from close range and Nelson converted, before Jack Roberts replied with the visitors' third try which McKinney converted.

Nelson nudged the Ravens in front again with a penalty but the advantage was short-lived as the Titans claimed their bonus point try when winger James Broadley went over in the corner.

With two minutes remaining, the home side secured their own bonus point score. From an Ulster scrum on the 22, centre Jack Owens showed impressive power and pace to go under the posts and Nelson's conversion made it 29-24.

However, the gritty Titans won it in the dying seconds. They kicked a penalty to the corner and from the catch and drive they rumbled 15 metres and lock Perry Parker touched down, with McKinney kicking the decisive conversion.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)