B&I CUP: Ulster suffer shock home defeat by Scarlets to dent knockout hopes

Ulster's Pete Brown in action against Scarlets.
Ulster's Pete Brown in action against Scarlets.

Ulster ‘A’ 7 Scarlets Premiership Select 23

Ulster ‘A’ British and Irish Cup hopes are hanging by a thread after a shock defeat by the Scarlets Premier Select at Eaton Park, Ballymena on Saturday.

It was the Welsh Side’s first ever win in the competition after losing their three previous games and conceding the try bonus point in them all.

Ulster took the lead after five minutes when from a scrum they got a huge drive going and the Welsh side were forced to collapse it in the shadow of their own posts and the referee awarded a penalty try with Sam Windsor converting.

The home side then spurred a chance on 28 minutes when after a midfield break by Mark Best, John Andrew and Jonny Simpson rumbled close to the line, Simpson was illegally stopped which earned Scarlets flanker Shaun Evans 10 minutes in the bin but the home side failed to take advantage from the resulting penalty when they opted for a scrum but couldn’t break through.

Scarlets winger Gavin Thomas has a try disallowed with the final play of the first half, from a quick tap penalty by scrum half Kieran Hardy full back Dion Jones turned the home defence with a grubber kick, Thomas won the race to touch down but it was ruled to be in touch and despite having the wind at their back’s the home side went in 7-0 up at the interval.

The sides were level after 48 minutes when Thomas went the length of the pitch to score under the posts after Ulster looked set to score but winger Adam Liddell couldn’t hold Windsor’s pass allowing the Scarlets winger to pick up and out sprint Rob Lyttle with out half Dan Jones converting.

The Welsh side took the lead five minute later when Dan Jones slotted over a simple penalty front in front of the posts.

The home side had full back Rob Lyttle yellow carded on 59 minutes for tripping Thomas and Dan Jones landed the resulting penalty.

The visitors out half was on target with another penalty five minutes later after Ulster failed to roll away from the ruck in their own 22.

The Scarlets got their second try on 68 minutes when the forwards punched a hole in the Ulster defence and Jordan Williams through a long cut out pass to Dion Jones to go over for a converted try.

ULSTER ‘A’: R Lyttle A Liddell, C Patterson, M Best, C Young , S Windsor, P Rowley; C Black, J Andrew, J Simpson, J Donnan, P Browne, C Joyce, W Faloon (captain), S Mulholland;

Replacements: J Murphy, R Murphy, R Kane for Simpson 41 mins, N Timoney, L Dow, J Pentland, A Magrath.

Scarlets Premiership Select: D Jones, G Thomas, S Hughes, J Lewis, M Tagickibau. D Jones, K Hardy; D Evans, R Ellas, B Leung, B Thompson, J Jones, S Worrell, S Evans, T Lloyd

Replacements: K Myhill, M Taylor, L Taylor, O Morgan, C Lloyd, J Cowley, J Williams

Ref C Ridley RFU