Cross Keys suffered a second successive defeat at the hands of Leinster A
on Saturday in the British & Irish Cup with the Irish side proving
to powerful for The Keys.
The visitors were on top from the start and crossed for the opening points when scrum half Luke McGrath crossed for an unconverted try after 7 minutes, after the Irish side decided not to take a number of seemingly kickable penalty attempts.
Keys were trying their best to get back in to the game as time went on but could not find the killer instinct against Leinster extremely well organised defensive line. The Irish side proved just how deadly they can be when they crossed for a second try after 25 minutes with open side flanker and captain Dominic Ryan crossing for a well worked try which outside half Cathal Marsh converted to give his side a 12-0 lead.
When the visitors were reduced to 14 men with prop Tadhg Furlong in the sin bin Keys got their opening points with two penalties in quick succession by outside half Dorian Jones. As half time approached, and with the visitors still down to 14 men Keys got their only try of the game after good work by a number of the Keys players led to the ball being worked across the line to Lewis Hudd who finished brilliantly in the corner for a try which Dorian Jones failed to convert from the touch line.
The try meant that Keys had certainly taken advantage of having the extra man as they closed the gap to just a point at half time.
Half Time Score Cross Keys 11 Leinster A 12
As conditions worsened going in to second half Leinster's powerful pack began to take control of the game and they crossed for their third try just 3 minutes in to the half when replacement Adam Byrne crossed for a unconverted try following some poor defense from Keys. Cathal Marsh kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Irishmen when he added a penalty after 45 minutes of play.
Keys made a host of changes early in the half but it was still Leinster that created the better opportunities and Cathal Marsh once again kicked a penalty to further extend the lead for his side after 50 minutes.
Keys enjoyed a good period of play from here although it appeared as if the win was beyond them. Italian international Kris Burton kicked a penalty for Keys after 53 minutes as they tried to pull off a remarkable comeback.
Hopes of a comeback then ended when Leinster crossed for their bonus point try with 57 minutes on the clock. Big Kiwi number 8 Leo Auva'a the benefactor after a driving lineout marched it's way toward the Keys try line, Cathal Marsh kicking the tricky conversion from the touchline.
Keys never gave up and can be extremely proud of their efforts against a very good Leinster A side that must be amongst the favourites to retain the British & Irish Cup trophy that won last season.
Cross Keys Scorers:-
Try: Lewis Hudd
Penalties: Dorian Jones (x2) & Kris Burton
Leinster A Scorers:-
Tries: Luke McGrath, Dominic Ryan, Adam Byrne & Leo Auva'a
Conversions: Cathal Marsh (x2)
Penalties: Cathal Marsh (x2)
Keys Man of the Match: Scott Matthews