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Scottish Gain Revenge On Connacht Eagles

Scottish Gain Revenge On Connacht Eagles

London Scottish reversed their Sportsground defeat from last month as they got the better of Connacht Eagles in tonight’s British & Irish Cup round 2 tie in Richmond.

Connacht Eagles crossed the whitewash in the 47th minute through young centre Conor Finn, with Miah Nikora adding the extras, but London Scottish proved too strong over the 80 minutes.

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Yellow cards for forwards Jacob Walshe and Michael Swift hampered the Eagles' hopes of making it back-to-back victories in Pool 1 of the cross-border competition.

Nigel Carolan's charges are on their travels again next Saturday when they visit Welsh club Pontypridd, before they wrap up the pool stages against Bristol at the Sportsground on Saturday, December 13.

There was little between the teams in the early exchanges at the Athletic Grounds. The westerners had the first sight of goal but out-half Nikora was just wide with a penalty attempt from near halfway.

Kilkenny man Peter Lydon, who lined out at full-back for Scottish, managed to open the scoring with a seventh minute penalty.

Nikora was off target with a second penalty effort and handling errors and poor decision-making also spoiled a number of promising attacking situations for the Eagles.

The visitors showed plenty of endeavour and willingness to run the ball, but those mistakes were punished by Scottish when Lydon's inviting grubber kick bounced up kindly for winger Miles Mantella to go over in the left corner. Lydon added a fine touchline conversion for good measure.

Connacht Eagles had opportunities to hit back before half-time, their imposing pack – led by the likes of Swift, captain Eoghan Masterson, Ultan Dillane (pictured above) and hooker Jack Dinneen – taking the game to Scottish up front.

They had nothing to show for their bouts of territorial dominance until early in the second period when Finn found space to run in his seven-pointer and reduce the arrears to 10-7.

However, the sin-binning of lively loosehead Walshe for persistent infringements on the hour mark came at a crucial stage. Just moments later, a driving maul saw replacement number 8 Mark Bright rumble over for Scottish's second converted try.

Frustratingly for Connacht Eagles, the 10-point gap remained in place right up to the finish. Swift and Scottish flanker Chris Walker both saw yellow for an off-the-ball incident.

The Eagles could not force their way over despite a frantic late spell of attacking near the Scottish try-line, as they fell to their third defeat in four pool games.

Referee: Andrew Jackson (England)