Leinster A 31 Cross Keys 0
CROSS Keys’ superb unbeaten run came to an end after they lost their crucial British and Irish Cup clash by going down heavily to the full-time professionals of Leinster A in Dublin who secured an all important bonus point in their victory.
Captained by back row forward Dominic Ryan, a player with extensive high end know-how, including Heineken Cup experience, and coached by former international full-back star Girvan Dempsey, the Irish were simply too good for the semi-pros of the Pandy Park side.
The Gwent Valleys outfit had been in great form going into the clash after winning seven matches on the run, including two bonus point hammerings dished out away in the league at high flying Cardiff and double champions Pontypridd in the space of four days.
But this was a bridge too far on the weekend for their third clash on the road as the Irish province’s development side took control of pool one.
The 2012 finalists will look to bounce back for the return fixture at home this weekend if they are to progress to the last eight and make the quarter-finals for the second time, this time in all likelihood as one of the best group runners-up which is still achievable.
Leinster A dominated the first half at Donnybrook, hooker Bryan Byrne and wing Darragh Fanning’s early tries getting them off to a flying start while fly-half Cathal Marsh’s boot kept things ticking along for the hosts as the first half ended with them 16-0 up.
Keys were soon further behind to another Marsh penalty and their cause wasn’t helped when back row forward Jevon Groves was sin binned.
Fanning soon got his second touchdown and centre Jordan Coughlan piled on the misery with Leinster A’s fourth try.
Leinster A: Darren Hudson; Sam Coghlan Murray, Colm O'Shea, Jordan Coghlan, Darragh Fanning; Cathal Marsh, Luke McGrath; Jack O'Connell, Bryan Byrne, Tadhg Furlong, Ben Marshall, Quinn Roux, Dominic Ryan (captain), Dan Leavy, Leo Auva'a.
Replacements: Jack Conan for Leavy (47 mins), James Tracy for Byrne (71), Andrew Boyle for Coghlan (74), Ross Molony for Roux, Peter Dooley for O'Connell, Ross Byrne for Marsh, Adam Byrne for Coghlan Murray (all 79).
Leinster A scorers: Tries – D Fanning (2), B Byrne, J Coghlan, Conversion – C Marsh, Penalties – C Marsh (3).
Cross Keys: Dorian Jones; Kristian Baller, Leon Andrews (captain), James Cordy-Redden, Elliot Jones; Steffan Jones, Ryan James; Richard Cornock, Gerwyn Price, Anthony Lott, Danny Hodge, Ollie Hodge, Jevon Groves, Scott Matthews, Adam Powell.
Replacements: Darren Hughes, Luke Garrett, Craig Gould, Reuben Tucker, Tom Lampard, Nathan Trowbridge, Rhys Dyer.
Referee: Tom Foley (Ireland)