Planet Rugby

Connacht snatch late win in Glasgow

17th September 2010 21:28

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Ian Keatley Connacht

Winning penalty kicker: Ian Keatley

A 74th-minute Ian Keatley penalty handed Connacht an upset 19-17 Magners League victory over Glasgow at Firhill on Friday.

Keatley kicked put over four penalties and also converted a scorching try by wing Fionn Carr.

In a close match the home side were in the lead until Keatley's fourth penalty gave Connacht the win five minutes from time.

Glasgow came out determined to make amends for a poor performance at Rodney Parade last week and a thundering drive with Jon Welsh gave them the chance to open the score after two minutes, with Ruaridh Jackson landing the penalty.

The home side kept up the pressure and a Max Evans break down the left had Connacht back pedalling and when the ball was switched right, Graeme Morrison had room to stretch over for the opening try.

Carr showed his class a couple of minutes later but the final pass was knocked on, yet it showed what was to come.

When Glasgow foundered on some rock solid Connacht defence after five minutes of futile passing, the visitors sensed that they could turn things round.

Two Keatley penalties after 25 and 30 minutes put the visitors on the front foot.

Carr then took a hand when he cut in off his wing and left five tacklers in his wake as he rocketed across the pitch.

He then straightened up his run to go over, giving Keatley a simple conversion to take Connacht in leading at half-time.

The second half was only a minute old when Keatley stretched that lead further with his third penalty.

With Connacht's big men Michael Swift and Bernie Upton cranking up the pressure, Glasgow looked to be in trouble but two penalties in quick succession for Jackson pulled them back into the game.

The final quarter was a toe-to-toe battle with both sides having chances.

Jackson pulled Glasgow ahead with his third penalty and it looked as though the home side had pulled off a victory.

But Keatley held his nerve and banged over his fourth successful penalty with five minutes to go.

Glasgow threw everything into the last few minutes and their final chance came when Duncan Weir set up for a drop at goal but his kick drifted wide.

Connacht to made it two wins from three starts and defeat left Glasgow again looking back on a game when they failed to dominate the contact area and were outmuscled in the set piece.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Try: Morrison
Pens: Jackson 4

For Connacht:
Try: Carr
Cons: Keatley
Pens: Keatley 4

Glasgow: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Max Evans, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Hefin O'Hare, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Colin Gregor, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 John Barclay (capt), 6 Robert Harley, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Fergus Thomson, 1 Jon Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Moray Low, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Calum Forrester, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Peter Murchie.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Troy Nathan, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Keith Matthews, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy (capt), 8 Mike McComish, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 Michael McCarthy, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rob Sweeney, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Shane Conneely, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

Venue: Firhill
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

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