London Scottish (22) 34
TRY: Alec Coombes (2), Robbie Fergusson (2), Ally Miller. CON: Harry Sheppard (2), Craig Holland. PEN: Harry Sheppard.
Ulster A (19) 29
TRY: Rob Lyttle, Lorcan Dow, John Andrew (2). CON: Johnny McPhillips (3). PEN: Johnny McPhillips
Despite bagging four tries Ulster A came out on the wrong side of the scoreline, slipping to a 34 – 29 defeat by London Scottish. However their two point haul. a try bonus and a losing bonus, keep them well in contention on Pool 1 after two rounds of the British and Irish Cup.
It was a case of not so much weathering but more like enduring the opening exchanges as Ulster A found themselves twelve points down after eight minutes, thanks to two tries from centre Alec Coombes. However they eventually found a response and a five meter line out saw Rob Lyttle crossing from close range. Johnny McPhillips added the extras and Ulster were back in the game at 12 – 7.
In a game that switched quickly from end to end, both sides had their chances but Ulster were next to get on the scoreboard when Lorcan Dow crossed off the back of a scrum to level the score as the game went into the second quarter.
Ulster’s revival didn’t last long though as three minutes later Robbie Fergusson crossed for the home sides third try, the conversion and a subsequent penalty, by Harry Sheppard, opening up a ten point gap as the teams approached the break,
However, Ulster came back, once again, and with the last play of the half John Andrew blasted over for Ulster’s third try, McPhillips adding the conversion to take the score to 22 – 19 as the teams turned round..
McPhillips added a penalty shortly after the break to level the score, this time at 22 – 22, and Ulster took the lead for the first time when Andrew crossed for his second try at the start of the final quarter, McPhillips again converting.
The scoreboard read 22 – 29 to the visitors with eighteen minutes to go but, rather than try to close the game out, Ulster continued to engage in a running game. Unfortunately the hosts came out on top in these exchanges with Ally Millar and Robbie Fergusson both crossing and with Craig Holland converting the latter the Scots had opened a five point lead with five minutes remaining.
Ulster battered away at the home side defence in the closing minutes but were unable to find the composure to finish off their chances, the game coming to an end when the Scots won a turn-over penalty deep in their own 22.
Final score: London Scottish 34 Ulster A 29
Ulster A: Johnny McPhillips, Rob Lyttle, Jacob Stockdale, Mark Best, Aaron Cairns, Brett Herron, Angus Lloyd, Jonny Simpson, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Dan Tuohy, Kieran Treadwell, Stephen Mulholland, Conor Joyce, Lorcan Dow. Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Tom O’Hagan, Craig Treiner, John Donnan, Nick Timoney, Conor Kelly, Lewis Sampson.
Two points keeps Ulster in the hunt, but with Jersey Reds recording a bonus point win against Cardiff Blues there is not much room for error in the remaining fixtures. As with the seniors, they really need to close out these games with a touch of composure.
Herbst appears to have come through the game unscathed but Dan Tuohy departed mid way through the first half.
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Next up Ulster A play Cardiff Blues PS on Friday 9th December. Kick-off is 7.00pm at Ballymena RFC.