Leinster ‘A’ much too strong for outclassed Cross Keys

Two tries from Darragh Fanning help Girvan Dempsey’s side secure a bonus point

Leinster’s Jordan Coghlan runs in for a try against Cross Keys during the British and Irish Cup game at Donnybrook.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster’s Jordan Coghlan runs in for a try against Cross Keys during the British and Irish Cup game at Donnybrook. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 01:00

Leinster ‘A’ 31 Cross Keys 0

On the same day that Leinster made it three wins from three in their Heineken Cup Pool, the province’s ‘A’ side replicated their achievement.

Tries in each half by left-wing Darragh Fanning helped Girvan Dempsey’s charges to a facile victory over outclassed Cross Keys at Donnybrook Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts had narrowly avoided falling behind after ten minutes when a long-distance penalty for the Welsh Premier League outfit from outhalf Steffan Jones (who also lines out for Newport Gwent Dragons, who use Keys as a feeder club) rebounded off the underside of the crossbar. But that only served to ignite the challenge of the reigning holders.

Finally broken
The deadlock was finally broken six minutes later when a fine move inside the Keys ‘22’ was finished off in the right-corner by hooker Bryan Byrne.

Cathal Marsh was off-target from a tricky conversion but just three minutes later his St Mary’s College club-mate Fanning crossed over impressively on the left-wing.

Marsh was desperately unlucky to see his bonus kick drifting past the far post, but a brace of successful penalties by the flame-haired No 10 gave Leinster a commanding 16-0 interval cushion.

Another Marsh penalty nine minutes after the restart further increased the home side’s advantage, but despite losing flanker Jevon Groves to the sin-bin in the 53rd minute, Cross Key were sticking effectively to their defensive duties.

A further yellowcard issued to replacement Tom Lampard 14 minutes from the end reduced Keys’ hand once again, however, and with both Fanning and powerful centre Jordan Coghlan crossing the whitewash late on in the contest, Leinster comfortably secured their bonus-point triumph.
LEINSTER A: D Hudson; S Coghlan-Murray, C O’Shea, J Coghlan, D Fanning; C Marsh, L McGrath; J O’Connell, B Byrne, T Furlong; B Marshall, Q Roux; D Ryan, D Leavy, L Auva’a. Replacements: J Conan for Leavy (47), J Tracy for Byrne (71), A Boyle for Coghlan (74), R Byrne for Coghlan-Murray, P Dooley for O’Connell, R Molony for Roux & A Byrne for Marsh (all 79).