Sunday 22 September 2019

Cooper keeps Ulster on top

The game was in the balance in the final few minutes, but it was Peter Cooper who came up trumps for Ulster. Picture credit: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
The game was in the balance in the final few minutes, but it was Peter Cooper who came up trumps for Ulster. Picture credit: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Ulster 'A' staked their claim for the British & Irish Cup crown with victory over Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.

Caridff Select 27 Ulster 'A' 30

Willie Anderson's side secured a thrilling win at Sardis Road as they came from behind to stay top of Pool 1.

Their latest success sees them on 14 points, one clear of Jersey, with two games to go and leaves the Blues at the bottom.

Ulster must be considered among the contenders to win the competition, but this was one of the toughest tests they'll face in the tournament this season.

Anderson would have been a worried figure, especially in the first period, as his team went into the break 17-13 behind. But in fly-half Johnny McPhillips, Ulster had the game's stand-out player and his boot kept them in touch throughout the encounter.

Cam Dolan, Gareth Thompson and Ben Jones scored for the Blues but tries from Brett Herron and Lorcan Dow saw the visitors hit back.

Herron collected McPhillips' sublime chip to score in the second period as the game swung back and forth and Ulster's comeback came despite a yellow card for prop Tommy O'Hagan.

The game was in the balance in the final few minutes, but it was Peter Cooper who came up trumps for Ulster. The replacement dived over in the corner late on to seal a dramatic victory and send the visitors home happy with a good day's work.

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Cardiff Select - G Thompson; K Evans (O Lane 72), G Smith, H Millard, T Gee (J Beal 68); B Jones, P Cowley (D Blacker 68); C Domachowski, E Lewis (capt) (L Belcher 3), K Assiratti (D Lewis 50), H Barnes, B Murphy, S Lewis-Hughes (N White 68), J Botham, C Dolan.

Ulster A - J Owens; C Kelly, R Butler, M Best (Brett Herron 52-54), D Busby (B Herron 54); J McPhillips, D Shanahan; T O'Hagan, A John (capt), J Simpson, C Smyth, S Mulholland, N Timoney (P Cooper 60), C Joyce, L Dow.

Ref - H Smales (RFU)

 

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