Tuesday 23 January 2018

Eagles denied at the death by Baker

McKeon: On the mark for Eagles. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
McKeon: On the mark for Eagles. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Mossy Lawler's Connacht Eagles were defeated in the last play of the game as a hat-trick from Ospreys winger Jay Baker denied Eagles a first B&I Cup win of the season at the Sportsground.

Connacht Eagles 17 Ospreys Select 20

Eagles looked to be in command after Jordan Conroy's two tries and a brilliant Conor McKeon conversion had given them a deserved 17-7 lead, but two late efforts from Baker left Eagles coach Lawler to contemplate his side's third defeat in the competition.

Conor McKeon in action for Connacht Eagles. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Conor McKeon in action for Connacht Eagles. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

"In the last play of the game, we lacked a bit of experience to lose the ball. But ultimately we just had far too many turnovers. We weren't good enough all day, our catch, pass and tackle was just not up to standard," said Lawler.

Eagles had earned a narrow 10-7 lead at half-time after Conroy and Baker exchanged tries early on.

Conroy then scored following a chip and touch down unopposed in the 17th minute. McKeon's conversion gave them a 7-0 lead but Ospreys soon restored parity on the scoreboard.

That was as a result of Baker's well-taken score in the right corner after 19 minutes and Matthew Aubrey's dutifully added the conversion.

But McKeon's penalty restored Connacht's lead at half-time and when Conroy showed a wonderful turn of pace to score five minutes after the break Eagles looked set to claim victory, only for Baker's late intervention to condemn the hosts to their fate.

Connacht Eagles: C Gaffney; M Byrne, C Brennan, E O'Keefe, J Conroy (Murphy 61); L Carty, C McKeon (S Kerins 77); S Meunargia (C Kyne 51), S Delahunt (P O'Toole 51), J Robertson-McCoy (S Meuargia 63); J Cannon (C Romaine 51), D Qualter; S Moloney, J Pimm (M Kelly 61), J Connolly.

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