Leinster A take British and Irish Cup in dramatic fashion
Noel Reid’s penalty in last minute of extra-time gives side famous win over Newcastle Falcons
Noel Reid: The centre scored the winning penalty in the last minute of extra time. Photograph: Inpho
Newcastle Falcons 17 Leinster A 18 (after extra-time)
Leinster A emerged a the British and Irish Cup winners after coming from behind in both normal time and extra time in a match that provided drama in spades. In the end it was the flair of the Leinster backs that won them the game but Newcastle who played a more structured game came desperately close to lifting the Cup
With the game barely a minute old, Newcastle claimed their first points from penalty kick by outhalf Joel Hodgson. Falcons piled on the pressure and after a surge to the line by centre Alex Crockett, scrumhalf Rory Lawson was on hand to scramble over for a try converted by Hodgson.
Leinster replied positively and when Fionn Carr found a gap in the Falcons’ defence the ball was spun wide to centre Brendan Macken who picked the cleanest route to the line. Noel Reid adding the extras, leaving the Falcons with a 10-7 interval advantage.
In a cut and thrust second it was Macken who came nearest to scoring only for the centre to be tackled in the corner.
Then into injury time Reid’s long range effort earned Leinster the points that levelled the scores. The centre then tried a difficult kick from ten metres inside his own half which fell short leaving the sides locked at 10-10 at the end of normal time.
Then in the first period of extra time Carr scored an unconverted try before in the second extra half good running by the Falcons’ backs ended with Zach Kilbrige levelling the scores with a fine try, Hodgson’s conversion put them ahead.
But with time almost up, there was time for Reid to kick the winning penalty in the last minute of the game and give Leinster the win.
NEWCASTLE FALCONS : J Sole; A Higgins, A Crockett, J Fitzpatrick, Z Kibrige; J Hodgson, R Lawson; J Hall, R Vickers, S Wilson, S Tomes, J Hudson, O Stedman , R Mayhew, C York. Replacements: M Tait for Higgins (21-31 mins), Tait for Crockett (43 mins), J Hallam for Hall (49 mins), T Tu’ifua for Stedman (60 mins), M Mayhew for Vickers (63 mins), L Luveniyali for Sole (66 mins), S MacLeod for Mayhew (90 mins).
LEINSTER A : F Carr; S Coghlan-Murray, B Macken, N Reid, A Boyle; C Marsh, L McGrath; J O’Connell, A Dundon, M Bent; T Beirne, M Flanagan; D Ryan, C Gilesman, J Murphy . Replacements: A Byrne for Coghlan-Murray (21-30 mins), L Auva’a for Gilesman (64 mins), D Leavy for Ryan (94 mins).
Referee: N Hennessy (WRU).