Sunday 24 September 2017

Sparkes: We won't take foot off pedal

CROSS KEYS 14 LEINSTER 'A' 30

Girvan Dempsey's side have all but secured their quarter-final spot
Girvan Dempsey's side have all but secured their quarter-final spot

Girvan Dempsey's Leinster 'A' side all but secured their ticket into the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup as they completed a comprehensive double over Cross Keys.

A week after their 31-0 home triumph over the Welsh Premiership outfit, they ran in four tries to guarantee a bonus-point victory that moved them nine points clear at the top of Pool 1.

"We will have to sit down and work out the permutations, but even if we cannot be caught, we do not intend dropping points to either Moseley or Ealing," said Leinster team manager Will Sparkes.

"The team travel well and we put on a fine show, tackling strongly and holding some good efforts by Cross Keys."

Leinster raced into a 12-0 lead, livewire scrum-half Luke McGrath crossed for the first try after seven minutes and then skipper Dominic Ryan went over for the second 20 minutes later.

This time Cathal Marsh was on target with the conversion, but Dorian Jones got the home side going with two successive penalties.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, wing Lewis Hudd crossed for a try which made it 12-11 to the visitors at the break.

A try by Adam Byrne three minutes after the break extended Leinster's advantage and then Marsh added two well-struck penalties to make it 23-11 to set up a seventh straight win in the cup.

Keys brought on Italian international outside-half Kris Burton in the second half and he kicked a penalty on 52 minutes. But a try from Leo Auva'a, converted by Marsh, secured the bonus point for Leinster.

Cross Keys -- J Cordy-Redden; A Hewitt, L Andrews (capt), A James, L Hudd (E Jones 65); Dorian Jones (K Burton 44), Luc Jones (K Baller 57); A Coundley (N Williams 44), G Price (E Dee 44), C Gould (A Lott 44); S Andrews (T Lampard 44), Adam Jones; J Groves, S Matthews, I Jones.

Leinster 'A' -- D Hudson; A Boyle (A Byrne 38), C O'Shea, J Coghlan (D Fanning 20), S Coghlan-Murray; C Marsh, L McGrath (A Griggs 73); J O'Connell, J Tracy, T Furlong (B McGovern 76); Q Roux (R Malony 71), B Marshall; J Conlan (B Byrne 30-38), D Ryan (capt), L Auva'a.

REF -- S Harding (RFU).

Irish Independent

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