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Rare British & Irish Cup Defeat For Leinster ‘A’

Rare British & Irish Cup Defeat For Leinster ‘A’

Leinster ‘A’ lost their grip on an 18-point lead as they suffered their first British & Irish Cup defeat since October 2012, going down 26-24 to Cartmarthen Quins in a cliffhanger finish at the Park.

A last-minute try from replacement Ben Leung ended the Leinster 'A' team's 18-game unbeaten run in the competition – their last B&I Cup defeat came at Pontypridd in October 2012.

A mature display from young out-half Cathal Marsh was not enough for Girvan Dempsey's charges who only scored three points in the second half.

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Leinster 'A' struck first with a 30-metre penalty from Marsh. New signing Ben Te'o started brightly, making a number of huge hits inside the first ten minutes.

Carmarthen, largely a Scarlets development side, responded well to the early Leinster 'A' pressure. Some strong scrummaging secured them a penalty which was slotted by winger Frazier Climo to bring the sides level after ten minutes.

The visitors' first half dominance in the contact area and at the lineout secured Marsh a platform which he took great advantage of.

After a scrum, the St. Mary's College clubman beat two men before running 40 metres to release Cian Kelleher and was up-ended in the process. He dusted himself off to put his side back into the lead with an angled penalty.

Marsh's perfectly-placed grubber kick was gathered by Lee Williams whose clearance kick was charged down. This allowed Steve Crosbie to cross only for referee Dave Proctor to disallow the try for offside.

The Leinster 'A' breakthrough came shortly afterwards with winger Sam Coghlan Murray (pictured above) slicing through the middle of some weak tackling to score.

Marsh added the conversion to make it 14-3, and he kept the scoreboard ticking over with a 40-metre penalty just after the half hour mark.

Flanker Josh van der Flier then chased a Marsh clearance 50 metres before forcing Steff Evans to knock on with a strong tackle. The openside quickly dived on the loose ball to score the province's second try of the afternoon. Marsh was unable to convert, leaving it 21-3 at half-time.

Carmarthen started the second half brightly with the wind now behind them, pegging back Leinster 'A' with a Climo penalty.

Josh Lewis fumbled on the try-line soon after, but the Quins then scored through full-back Steff Evans who found space out wide. Climo converted from the touchline.

In spite of a yellow card for home flanker Will Boyde, the Welsh side's resurgence continued as Climo added two penalties to cut the gap to 21-19.

Leinster 'A' seemed to have the final say with a close range penalty from Marsh, but the Quins had other ideas. After numerous phases on the visitors' five-metre line, Ben Leung touched down to level matters. Climo stepped up to nail the difficult conversion kick and give his side a famous win.

Referee: Dave Procter (England)