Leinster ‘A’ enjoyed a two point victory over Moseley on Saturday evening at Billesley common. The Leinster squad was bolstered by seven UCD players and was captained by Collidge’s Conor Gilsenan.
The Leinster side continued their unbeaten run in the British and Irish cup. Girvan Dempsey’s side struggled to get to grips with their British opponents and trailed for the majority of the game. Despite playing into a strong wind for the opening half, see Leinster remained in touch trailing 12-7 at the break.
Leinster almost opened the scoring early in the first half when Daly was bundled into touch. Excellent work from Marsh and Gilsenan saw the ball reach Daly but the Under 20’s Ireland international was forced over the touch line.
Moseley, health spurred on by the missed chance, malady capitalised at the other end when Ollie Thomas kicked a seventh minute penalty. The home side doubled their advantage when Thomas converted a penalty for a high tackle on the 22.
Shortly afterwards, Gilsenan was sin-binned for a late hit on Thomas. The UCD man was exiled to the bench and forced to watch as Thomas took the 50m penalty with ease, striking it directly between the posts. Thomas was again called to duty as the Birmingham’s pack forced a needless penalty when out-scrummaging the Leinster front row. Thomas had no difficulty in converting and Moseley led 12-0.
Gilsenan returned to the pitch and Leinster were handed a gilt edged opportunity. Clumsy play from maul following a line out resulted in a Leinster scrum. Leo Auva, the wainuiomata native and Old Belvedere back row took a quick tap and exploded through a weak home defence to cross the end line in the 28th minute. Marsh converted and the void between the sides narrowed to five at the break.
Ollie Thomas, the home side’s talisman widened the gap once again following the break to land the Birmingham sides only try. A quick reversal by Hooley saw Thomas cross the line un-phased and the former Cornish Pirates man made no mistake in converting which made it 19-7.
Leinster who appeared to have a mountain to climb slowly began to creep back into contention. The visiting side opted to use brute force and mauled a kickable penalty. The maul was held but a quick 15m pass from Marsh to Collidge’s Coughlan-Murray saw the UCD man cross the end line. Marsh made no mistake and converted.
Thomas, now the thorn in Leinster’s side and having an excellent game converted another penalty to draw the home side eight points clear.
In the 69th minute the visitors came to life. An excellent break from Cooney and brilliant control from Fanning allowed the Leinster side in for another try. Marsh’s conversion sailed over the post.
Fanning was once again involved in the final try. The home side had a five point advantage before the opportunistic St Mary’s man crossed to draw the side’s level. Marsh made no mistake and converted to continue their unbeaten start to the season. Marsh had a 100% conversion rate and this strike was the first time the Irish outfit lead in the B&I cup match. Leinster face Cross Keys RFC in Donnybrook in their next B&I cup game in December.