Agonisingly Narrow Defeat For Glasgow

Leinster Lions 31, Glasgow 30Frustrating! Agonising!! Glasgow lost to Leinster by just one point at Donnybrook tonight.A bonus for the narrowness of the defeat was small consolation as it was a game that could have been won. It was one that definitely slipped from Glasgow's grasp.Twice Glasgow were ahead, first by 14-6 after 26 minutes. Though Leinster edged to a 18-14 lead at the interval, Glasgow again went in front, 12 minutes into the second half by 24-18.Again, Leinster regained the lead. Even then, Glasgow had a late chance to snatch victory, but Dan Parks struck a penalty from more than 40 metres just wide of the posts.Parks, though, had already done his bit for Glasgow with a contribution of 20 points - a try, the conversions of all three tries, and a like number of penalty goals. Glenn Metcalfe and Gordon Bulloch scored Glasgow's other tries.Afterwards, the reflections on the Glasgow game were mixed. On one hand, they played to a much higher, more committed level than they had attained in the Hughenden defeat by Munster a week earlier. Yet, as a counter-balance, they were annoyed that they had not attained the victory that their efforts had merited.Early portents were not good. Aidan Kearney stole the first Glasgow throw-in, and Brian O"Meara opened the contest's scoring with an offside penalty goal.Glasgow, however, soon pulled their game together and picked up their first-half lead through their sharpness to accept what was offered. First, after 19 minutes, Andy Hall drove off a lineout on the right, Andy Henderson punctured the midfield, and when Parks chipped through on the left the ball deflected kindly off an opponent for Metcalfe to snaffle it and run through to the posts. Seven minutes later Sean Lamont grabbed loose ball before sending Bulloch in to score with a neat swerve to beat the last defender.Between those two tries, however, Donnie Macfadyen was sin-binned for killing ball, and O"Meara kicked his second penalty goal. It was Macfadyen's third yellow card of the Celtic season, and because of that he will be suspended for Glasgow's next match, the Hughenden game against Celtic Warriors in a fortnight's time.Glasgow soon responded with Bulloch's try. Their relief at extending their lead, though down to 14 men, was short-lived. Ben Gissing scored in the left corner from a tapped penalty, and after Macfadyen's return Gordon D"Arcy's long, flat pass was the key to allowing James Norton to sprint through for Leinster's second try. O"Meara converted that latter try for a four-point interval lead.Rain welcomed the players back to the field after the interval, but Glasgow had the better of the first quarter of an hour of the second half. Parks kicked a penalty goal from more than 42 metres, missed one from shorter range, and then scored a try and conversion that restored Glasgow's lead at 24-18.For that score Graeme Morrison made the initial dent on the right before the ball was swung wide to the left, where Roland Reid, reminding us he was once an international wing, sliced through almost to the Leinster line. Though he was denied, Parks was up to finish off.Back came Leinster, and David Blaney's strong run opened the way for a James Downey try. O"Meara kicked the conversion that took Leinster ahead again - 25-24.Thereafter the only scores were penalty goals, O"Meara and Parks trading two each. The infringement before one of O"Meara's was senseless - David Millard penalised for interfering with a quickly taken tapped penalty.Yet as the Leinster lead fluctuated between one and four points it was Glasgow who were the stronger, keeping the game mainly in the home half throughout the final quarter. Jon Petrie was denied close to the goal-line after the build-up had been prompted by Parks and Nathan Ross, and Metcalfe's enterprise led to the position for one of the Parks penalty goals. The full back not only kept the ball in play from a long Leinster kick, but he sprinted up the left touchline. Lamont carried on, igniting a furious phase of Glasgow pressure, with prominent offerings by Reid, Petrie, and Bulloch before a Parks penalty goal for 27-28.O"Meara's final penalty goal was in a rare Leinster venture into Glasgow territory. But it was immediately answered by a third by Parks. If only he could have kicked one more ""!After the match the atmosphere in the Glasgow changing was enlivened by a visit from a group of Marr youngsters. Signing autographs and talking to the boys from Troon helped to hid the disappointment.Leinster Lions - Girvan Dempsey; Gary Brown, Gordon D'Arcy, Felipe Contepomi, James Norton; Matt Leek, Brian O'Meara; John Lyne, David Blaney, Peter Coyle, Aidan Kearney, Ben Gissing, Aidan McCullen, Des Dillon (captain), Niall Ronan. Substitutes - James Downey for Leek (11 minutes), Brian Blaney for David Blaney (76), Simon Crawford for Ronan (81).Tries, Gissing, Norton, Downey; conversions, O"Meara (2); penalty goals, O"Meara (4).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; David Millard, Graeme Morrison, Andrew Henderson, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Andrew Kelly, Gordon Bulloch, Euan Murray, Andrew Hall, Nathan Ross, Roland Reid, Jon Petrie (captain), Donnie Macfadyen. Substitute - Rory McKay for Hall (59). Replacements not used - Scott Lawson, Matt Proudfoot, Joe Beardshaw, Mark McMillan, Calvin Howarth, Gareth Maclure.Tries, Metcalfe, Bulloch, Parks; conversions, Parks (3); penalty goals (3).Referee - Nigel Williams (Wales).Leinster Lions 31, Glasgow 30Frustrating! Agonising!! Glasgow lost to Leinster by just one point at Donnybrook tonight.A bonus for the narrowness of the defeat was small consolation as it was a game that could have been won. It was one that definitely slipped from Glasgow's grasp.Twice Glasgow were ahead, first by 14-6 after 26 minutes. Though Leinster edged to a 18-14 lead at the interval, Glasgow again went in front, 12 minutes into the second half by 24-18.Again, Leinster regained the lead. Even then, Glasgow had a late chance to snatch victory, but Dan Parks struck a penalty from more than 40 metres just wide of the posts.Parks, though, had already done his bit for Glasgow with a contribution of 20 points - a try, the conversions of all three tries, and a like number of penalty goals. Glenn Metcalfe and Gordon Bulloch scored Glasgow's other tries.Afterwards, the reflections on the Glasgow game were mixed. On one hand, they played to a much higher, more committed level than they had attained in the Hughenden defeat by Munster a week earlier. Yet, as a counter-balance, they were annoyed that they had not attained the victory that their efforts had merited.Early portents were not good. Aidan Kearney stole the first Glasgow throw-in, and Brian O"Meara opened the contest's scoring with an offside penalty goal.Glasgow, however, soon pulled their game together and picked up their first-half lead through their sharpness to accept what was offered. First, after 19 minutes, Andy Hall drove off a lineout on the right, Andy Henderson punctured the midfield, and when Parks chipped through on the left the ball deflected kindly off an opponent for Metcalfe to snaffle it and run through to the posts. Seven minutes later Sean Lamont grabbed loose ball before sending Bulloch in to score with a neat swerve to beat the last defender.Between those two tries, however, Donnie Macfadyen was sin-binned for killing ball, and O"Meara kicked his second penalty goal. It was Macfadyen's third yellow card of the Celtic season, and because of that he will be suspended for Glasgow's next match, the Hughenden game against Celtic Warriors in a fortnight's time.Glasgow soon responded with Bulloch's try. Their relief at extending their lead, though down to 14 men, was short-lived. Ben Gissing scored in the left corner from a tapped penalty, and after Macfadyen's return Gordon D"Arcy's long, flat pass was the key to allowing James Norton to sprint through for Leinster's second try. O"Meara converted that latter try for a four-point interval lead.Rain welcomed the players back to the field after the interval, but Glasgow had the better of the first quarter of an hour of the second half. Parks kicked a penalty goal from more than 42 metres, missed one from shorter range, and then scored a try and conversion that restored Glasgow's lead at 24-18.For that score Graeme Morrison made the initial dent on the right before the ball was swung wide to the left, where Roland Reid, reminding us he was once an international wing, sliced through almost to the Leinster line. Though he was denied, Parks was up to finish off.Back came Leinster, and David Blaney's strong run opened the way for a James Downey try. O"Meara kicked the conversion that took Leinster ahead again - 25-24.Thereafter the only scores were penalty goals, O"Meara and Parks trading two each. The infringement before one of O"Meara's was senseless - David Millard penalised for interfering with a quickly taken tapped penalty.Yet as the Leinster lead fluctuated between one and four points it was Glasgow who were the stronger, keeping the game mainly in the home half throughout the final quarter. Jon Petrie was denied close to the goal-line after the build-up had been prompted by Parks and Nathan Ross, and Metcalfe's enterprise led to the position for one of the Parks penalty goals. The full back not only kept the ball in play from a long Leinster kick, but he sprinted up the left touchline. Lamont carried on, igniting a furious phase of Glasgow pressure, with prominent offerings by Reid, Petrie, and Bulloch before a Parks penalty goal for 27-28.O"Meara's final penalty goal was in a rare Leinster venture into Glasgow territory. But it was immediately answered by a third by Parks. If only he could have kicked one more ""!After the match the atmosphere in the Glasgow changing was enlivened by a visit from a group of Marr youngsters. Signing autographs and talking to the boys from Troon helped to hid the disappointment.Leinster Lions - Girvan Dempsey; Gary Brown, Gordon D'Arcy, Felipe Contepomi, James Norton; Matt Leek, Brian O'Meara; John Lyne, David Blaney, Peter Coyle, Aidan Kearney, Ben Gissing, Aidan McCullen, Des Dillon (captain), Niall Ronan. Substitutes - James Downey for Leek (11 minutes), Brian Blaney for David Blaney (76), Simon Crawford for Ronan (81).Tries, Gissing, Norton, Downey; conversions, O"Meara (2); penalty goals, O"Meara (4).Glasgow - Glenn Metcalfe; David Millard, Graeme Morrison, Andrew Henderson, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Andrew Kelly, Gordon Bulloch, Euan Murray, Andrew Hall, Nathan Ross, Roland Reid, Jon Petrie (captain), Donnie Macfadyen. Substitute - Rory McKay for Hall (59). Replacements not used - Scott Lawson, Matt Proudfoot, Joe Beardshaw, Mark McMillan, Calvin Howarth, Gareth Maclure.Tries, Metcalfe, Bulloch, Parks; conversions, Parks (3); penalty goals (3).Referee - Nigel Williams (Wales).