Ireland U-21s 21
England U-21s 20
QUEEN'S full back Tommy Bowe was Ireland's hero tonight, scoring the
match-winning try two minutes into injury time to give the young greens a
win over England.
After an encouraging start, Ireland took a seventh minute lead through
out-half Michael Rainey, the Ulster and Glasgow Hawks player slotting over
a penalty after England had strayed offside.
Ireland then saw two scrums turned over with infringements in the front row
and from a line out England's James Scaysbrook broke from a long throw. He
was caught by Rainey but the boys in green went over at the ruck and full
back Ed Thrower converted the easy penalty in the 14th minute.
Three minutes later Rainey saw a long range penalty go wide, while at the
other end Thrower gave England a 6-3 lead with his second penalty.
Ireland enjoyed a purple patch with lock Shane O'Connor securing excellent
ball while Bowe raced into the line on several occasions.
After 25 minutes England turned over an Irish ruck and Scaysbrook fed
out-half Warren Spragg who released winger James Bailey and he raced in at the corner for the try. Thrower
superbly landed the touchline conversion.
England were reduced to 14 men when prop Peter Cook was sin-binned for a misdemeanour at a scrum.
Ireland then held the advantage territorially for the final 10 minutes of the half but Rainey missed a penalty to leave them trailing 13-3.
In a thrilling second half, Ireland trailed 20-6 after an hour but rallied in the last quarter, scoring two tries.
Rainey reduced the arrears to 13-6 after the re-start but, on the hour mark, England's talented centre Spencer Davey carved the Irish defence in half with a searing run to touch down, Thrower converting.
Ireland eventually got their act together on 68 minutes when winger John Hearty went over. Rainey converted and then added the penalty five minutes later to make it 16-20.
Then came the clinching try. Ireland centres Barry Murphy and Keith Matthews combining to put Bowe away and he raced in from 25 yards to score the winning points.
IRELAND: T Bowe; R Lane, B Murphy, K Matthews, J Hearty; M Rainey, F O'Loughlin; J Lyne, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, D Gannon, S O'Connor, C Potts (St Mary's), N Ronan (Lansdowne), S Keogh (capt)
Replacements: K Corrigan, E McGovern, N McComb, J Muldoon, C O'Loughlin, D McAllister, P O'Brien.
ENGLAND: E Thrower; J Bailey, H Barrett, S Davey, C Mayor; W Spragg, P Hodgson; P Cooke, A Kyriacou, M Holford, G Parling, C Day, B Woods, J Scaysbrook, M Lund. Replacements. M Thompson, M Stephens, J Pendlebury, G Parling, B Russell, C Suart-Smith, T Taylor, T Williams.
Referee: Stefano Mancini (Italy).