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Leinster's season comes crashing to a dramatic end

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Brian O'Driscoll shows his disappointment after yesterday's defeat

Brian O'Driscoll shows his disappointment after yesterday's defeat

Leinster supporters Will and Ben D'Arcy before their hopes were dashed

Leinster supporters Will and Ben D'Arcy before their hopes were dashed

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Brian O'Driscoll shows his disappointment after yesterday's defeat

BRIAN O'Driscoll and his Leinster team-mates could be forgiven last night for wondering where it all went wrong as they suffered defeat in their final match of the season.

Following the euphoria of winning the Heineken Cup last week, Leinster supporters were supposed to be topping things off with a second trophy in two weeks.

But it seems nobody told Welsh team the Ospreys -- who beat the European champions by a single point to win the RaboDirect Pro12 final in Dublin's RDS.

Mr O'Driscoll and many of his Leinster colleagues will be travelling with the Ireland rugby team later this week on a three-test tour against world champions New Zealand.

And everything had been set up perfectly yesterday. Brilliant sunshine graced south Dublin, the sky was blue, the Leinster supporters wore blue, even the advertising hoardings of the competition sponsors were the right colour. A streak of blue also featured on the opposition's jerseys, but alas, that was to be the extent of their co-operation as they beat Leinster 31- 30.

"A very disappointing day," fan Deirdre Horan admitted, as she tried to console her son Sean (9).

Mrs Horan had travelled from Drogheda with her husband Brian and their other son Cormac (12), who was bearing up a bit better. He waited for the players to emerge from their dressing room in a grimy, never- washed Leinster jersey featuring the signatures of his heroes.

"He wants to meet Brian O'Driscoll and Rob Kearney, those are the only two signatures he hasn't got," Mrs Horan explained.

Another fan, Darragh Burns (28), from Ballsbridge in Dublin, said after the game: "It's hard to come here, thinking you're going to win and not win, but I'm sure a few drinks will make us forget that."

His friend Paul Cunningham reflected on a second RaboDirect Pro12 final defeat in as many years: "To lose to Munster last year was bad and now this is just awful."

Full report: Sport

Irish Independent