Friday 23 February 2018

Eddie rocks Connacht with last-gasp Glasgow leveller

Connacht 19 Glasgow 19 Magners League

Connacht were denied victory with the last play of the game as Glasgow got in for an equalising try at the Sportsground last night.

Colin Gregor missed the touchline conversion, but it was poor consolation for a Connacht side who had staged a superb second-half comeback and seemed poised to nail a badly needed win.

Connacht trailed 14-3 eight minutes into the second half, but responded superbly and led 19-14 going into the closing stages.

And just when it seemed that they had weathered a Glasgow fightback in the final stages, flanker James Eddie managed to break down the left and cross for Glasgow's second try.

It was a heartbreaking finish for Connacht who did enough in the second half to win a tight contest, having trailed 6-3 at the break.


There were few try-scoring chances in the opening period, but Glasgow edged the half thanks to a brace of penalties from out-half Ruaridh Jackson.

He landed his first after 11 minutes from 30 metres before Ian Keatley levelled the match 12 minutes later with a similar kick.

Jackson restored the lead three minutes later for a Glasgow side bidding for their fifth successive away victory.

Jackson extended Glasgow's lead shortly after the restart and there was a double blow for Connacht when lock Mike McCarthy was sin-binned for not rolling away.

Inevitably, the extra man made a difference and Glasgow got in for the opening try after 48 minutes when DTH Van der Merwe finished in the left corner after Connacht were turned over on halfway.

Jackson was off target with the conversion and there was a danger of the game slipping away from Connacht, but they managed a good response. A series of attacks finally yielded a score when Keatley landed a penalty from 30 metres after 51 minutes to make it 14-6.

They continued to go forward and Keatley reduced the margin to a try after 63 minutes when Glasgow again offended and the Connacht out-half made no mistake from 30 metres.

Glasgow were on the back foot and the game seemed to turn in Connacht's favour when a series of forays were repelled before full-back Gavin Duffy timed his run to perfection, racing through an opening from 22 metres to touch down under the posts and level the match. Keatley made no mistake with the conversion to put Connacht into the lead for the first time but they will be kicking themselves for not closing out the game.

Instead, they allowed Glasgow to come at them in the closing stages and while several attacks were dealt with without the gainline being breeched, they got caught in the final play.

Glasgow, in fairness, kept spraying the ball wide and James Eddie provided the overlap to get in at the left corner, with the TMO confirming the score.

That left Gregor with a chance to win it for Glasgow, but his kick was never on target and they had to settle for a share of the spoils at the end of a game which Connacht know they should have won.

Connacht -- G Duffy; T Nathan, K Matthews, A Wynne, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, S Cronin, J Hagan (R Morris h-t); M Swift (B Uption 57), M McCarthy; J Muldoon, J O'Connor (M McComish 60), G Naoupu.

Glasgow Warriors -- B Stortoni; C Shaw (C Kinloch 71), P Murchie, P Horne, DTH van der Merwe (H O'Hare 64); R Jackson (C Gregor 64), M McMillan; J Welsh, D Hall, E Kalman (K Tkachuk 53); T Barker (R Gray 53), D Turner; J Eddie, C Forrester, R Vernon.

ref -- J Jones (WRU).

Irish Independent

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