Leinster B&I campaign ends in comprehensive defeat to Ealing
Ealing 22 Leinster ‘A’ 7
Leinster ‘A’ coach Trevor Hogan acknowledged a lack of discipline played a big part in his side’s crushing defeat to Ealing Trailfinders in the British & Irish Cup decider on Saturday.
Facing into a negotiable 7-10 deficit at the interval, the loss of Peter Dooley (55 minutes) and Tommy O’Brien (60 minutes) to the sin-bin left the Blues severely hamstrung.
With Joe Munro and Mark Bright claiming tries for Ben Ward’s men during this juncture in the play, Leinster were ultimately left with too much ground to make up.
“We gave 100pc and I’m really proud of the lads. We put ourselves in a great position in the first-half. A couple of things didn’t go our way in the second period and Ealing showed the quality of their all-round game,” remarked Hogan, who took charge of the team in the absence of Noel McNamara.
“There was a crucial 10 to 12 minute period in the second-half. Our discipline let us down, and from then on it became increasingly difficult.”
In the ninth and final season of the competition, Leinster were hoping to add to the titles they secured in 2013 and 2014.
However, after they were penalised for not rolling away, Ealing drew first blood with a Luke Daniels penalty.
The Blues were on the front foot straight from the restart, though, and a series of driving mauls produced a five-pointer for centre Conor O’Brien.
Ciaran Frawley’s bonus strike edged the visitors four points in front and they remained in the ascendancy as the half-time whistle beckoned.
However, thanks to an excellent converted finish by Luke Carter – playing alongside former Connacht star Shane O’Leary at half-back – Ealing were back in the driving seat on 36 minutes.
This was a major setback for Leinster, but the third-quarter introductions of both Tom Daly and Dooley looked set to boost their prospects.
Caelan Doris was also thrown into the mix, before Dooley was yellow-carded for a technical foul. While the Birr man was sidelined, Ealing pounced for their second try of the contest. Brilliant build-up play by James Cordy Redden released centre Munro for a sublime score just shy of the hour mark.
The temporary dismissal of Tommy O’Brien compounded Leinster’s woes, and Bright subsequently touched down to extend the lead to 15 points.
A youthful Leinster outfit pressed for scores in the closing stages, but Ealing were not to be denied a convincing victory on their home patch.
Ealing Trailfinders – L Daniels; S Stegmann, P O’Conor, J Munro, J Cordy Redden; S O’Leary, L Carter; W Davis (J Gibbons 52), A Walker (R Lawrence 75), L Thiede (M Tampin 27); S Dickinson, H Casson; K Murphy, R Smid (D Temm 70), M Bright.
Leinster ‘A’ – J Kelly (T Daly 49); A Byrne, G Mullin, C O’Brien, T O’Brien; C Frawley, C Rock (H O’Sullivan 70); E Byrne (P Dooley 49), B Byrne (S McNulty 74), V Abdaladze (J Aungier 55); M Kearney, I Nagle; J Murphy (C Doris 49), P Timmins (W Connors 62), M Deegan.
REF – C Evans (WRU).