Ulster A beaten by Leinster in Celtic Cup opener

Ulster's Johnny McPhillips
Ulster's Johnny McPhillips

Ulster A began their Celtic Cup campaign with a disappointing 28-43 defeat at Gibson Park against their Leinster counterparts.

The home side trailed by 21 points at the break but staged a mini revival in the second half to score three tries and get a losing bonus point.

From a scrum in the Leinster 22 centre James Hume celebrating his birthday came on to a crash ball and powered over from close range with Johnny McPhillips converting.

Leinster responded on 25 minutes as Harry Byrne darted over and he converted his own try from a tight angle.

The visitors took the lead on 32 minutes, scrum half Paddy Patterson made a sniping break from the base of a ruck, prop Ed Byrne and lock Jack Dunne carried close to the line before openside flanker Scott Penny barged over from close range with Harry Byrne converting.

Leinster’s third try when flanker Scott Penney barged ove. Leinster had their bonus point wrapped by the break as hooker Ronan Kelleher went over. Byrne’s conversion gave the visitors a 28-7 half time lead. Winger Michael Silvester increased Leinster’s lead with a fifth try 11 minutes after the restart.

Matty Rea got Ulster’s second try with McPhillips converting. Aaron Sexton got Ulster’s third try on 59 minutes. Hume ran and intercept in from his own half on 67 minutes to give the home side a bonus point which McPhillips converted.

Ulster A: P Nelson, A Sexton, J Owens, J Hume, I Hughes, J McPhillips, J Stewart P Cooper, P Cromie, R Ah You, P Browne, Jack Reegan, C Montgomery, C Henry (c), G Jones

Replacements: P McGookin for P Cromie 72 mins, C Classon, M Cromie for Ah You 41 mins, Matty Rea for Browne 15 mins, Marcus Rea for Montgomery 41 mins, G Curtis, B Houston, M Stronge for Owens 38 mins

Leinster A: H Keenan, M Silvester, C O’Brien, T Daly (c) J Kelly, H Byrne, P Patterson E Byrne, R Kelleher, V Abdaladze, R Molony, J Dunne, O Dowing, S Penny, C Doris

Replacements: D Sheehan for Kelleher 72 mins, G Coyne, J Aungier for Abdaladze 60 mins, R Foley, R Watters, H O’Sullivan for Patterson 45 mins, D Hawkshaw, L Turner for Daly 41 mins

Ref Joy Neville