Saturday 29 April 2017

Fitzpatrick the hero for Ireland Club

IRELAND CLUB 21 SCOTLAND CLUB 18 Ruaidhri O'Connor

Darragh Fitzpatrick was the hero for the Ireland Club side as he nailed an 85th-minute drop-goal to clinch victory at Donnybrook last night.

Frank Cogan got Ireland off to a perfect start as he found his way through for a fourth-minute try.

Daragh O'Shea missed the conversion but Ireland soon had a second score as their forwards mauled the ball up the field and Shannon's Mike Essex touched down. O'Shea added the extras.

Scott Wight then got the visitors off the mark with a 19th-minute penalty. Substitute Fitzpatrick restored the Irish lead, but the Scots rallied late in the half and were deservedly level at the interval.

Mark Cairns put No 8 Ross Weston through the gap for a charge into the Irish 22, the big man showing deft hands to find hooker Finlay Gillies who was stopped by Killian Lett's challenge. Scotland moved the ball wide and full-back Fraser Harkness handed off Matt Healy to score.

Wight missed the conversion, but he had another chance when Malcolm Clapperton took Cairns' pass and touched down under the posts for Wight to level at 15-15.

It stayed that way for most of the second half but after Fitzpatrick and Wight had exchanged penalties and with 10 minutes left on the clock Ireland were handed a slice of luck. Harkness, who was about to collect his own kick and crash over, was tackled early by Cathal Sheridan. However, ref Luke Pearce missed the infringement and Ireland escaped at the death.

IRELAND CLUB -- D O'Shea; M Healy (S Scanlon 73), E Moloney (D Fitzpatrick 27), K Lett, S Kelly; B Keeshan, S Cronin (C Sheridan 73); J Ryan, M Essex (G Slattery 71), S Shawe (C Condon 67); P Huntly (S Crawford 57), F Walsh; H Hogan, Z Farivarz (R Copeland 62), F Cogan.

SCOTLAND CLUB -- F Harkness; J Fleming (C Ferguson 69), M Clapperton, J King, F Thomson (C Ferguson 73); S Wight, R Sneddon; G Reid (A Dymock h-t), F Gillies (G Wood 77), A Hamilton (G Reid 59); R McKay (S Sutherland 65), D Kelly; J Dalziel, M Cairns, R Weston.

REF -- L Pearce (RFU).

Irish Independent

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