Wednesday 13 December 2017

Defeat puts Ulster 'A' on road in quarter-finals

Heaters had to be used to soften parts of the pitch as the overnight temperature was minus seven degrees and as a consequence, the game started 30 minutes late. Stock photo: Getty
Heaters had to be used to soften parts of the pitch as the overnight temperature was minus seven degrees and as a consequence, the game started 30 minutes late. Stock photo: Getty

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Ulster 'A' squeezed through as runners-up despite this defeat on an eventful trip to the Channel Islands.

Jersey 26 Ulster 'A' 21

Heaters had to be used to soften parts of the pitch as the overnight temperature was minus seven degrees and as a consequence, the game started 30 minutes late.

Ulster had led the group by one point going into this final qualifying round - Jersey leapfrogged them with this victory - and will now be handed an away tie when the quarter-final draw is made next week.

They started the better and fully deserved their 14-10 interval advantage. Lock Uili Kolo'ofa'i put the hosts ahead after five minutes but the visitors retorted with a Mark Best try converted by Johnny McPhillips.

James Doyle crashed over in the corner to regain the advantage but Ulster came back again with the try of the game as Jacob Stockdale gathered inside his own half and sprinted in for McPhillips to again convert.

Three minutes into the second period the visitors went 11 points in front with a converted Conor Joyce try but Jersey's forward power led to tries by Ross Adair and a second from Doyle which gave them the bonus point.

Still a point behind, the home team took control for a time and pressure led to penalties for Sam Katz to kick two in the final 11 minutes.

Jersey Reds - J Cuthbert; G Watkins, J Davies, K Ma'afu, R Adair, C Sheedy, K Hardy, S McCarthy, J Macfarlane, S Kerrod, U Kolo'ofa'i, P Phillips (c), J Freeman, J Doyle, N Haining. Reps: J Buckle, J Woolmore, J Armstrong, D McKern, M Argyle, J Dudley, S Katz.

Ulster A - J Owens; D Busby, R Butler, M Best, J Stockdale, J McPhillips, J Stewart, E O'Sullivan, Z McCall, P Cooper, A O'Connor (c), J Donnan, S Mulholland, C Joyce, L Dow. Reps: J Murphy, C Cundell, M Rea, N Timoney, J Creighton, A Magrath, C Patterson.

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