The Ospreys Premiership Select picked up their first win of this year's British & Irish Cup at the Sportsground in Galway on Saturday afternoon.
- A composed performance from the young Ospreys side earned them the win despite trailing by 10 points in the second half
- A hat trick including a last minute try from Jay Baker sealed the victory for the side
- Next up is the return leg of the Connacht Eagles double header, as they welcome the Irish side to the Talbot Athletic Ground next week
After two defeats in the opening rounds of the competition, the Ospreys Premiership Select were all fired up as they travelled to the Sportsground to take on Connacht Eagles.
It was a dominant start by the Ospreys PS, who exerted a lot of early pressure on Connacht, but they were unable to turn their pressure into points as series of penalties went against them in the opening stages.
Connacht were quick to take advantage of an Ospreys mistake, wing Jordan Conroy kicking down field and gathering his own ball to go over for their first try. Conor McKeon added the conversion to put the Eagles 7-0 ahead with 20 minutes played.
The Ospreys PS were quick to reply, superb footwork from Jay Baker seeing the winger go over in the corner for the visitors first points of the game. Luke Price converted to levelled the scores.
Just before half time Connacht again capitalised on an Ospreys mistake, McKeon opting for the posts and sending the ball through to edge the hosts ahead at the half way point.
HALF TIME – Connacht Eagles 10 – 7 Ospreys Premiership Select XV
Back out for the second half, the Ospreys PS were quick off the mark with good attacking play carrying them close to Connacht’s try line.
However, a 70 metre break away try from Conroy secured their second of the afternoon. Another conversion by McKeon extended the hosts lead to 17-7 right at the start of the second period
Despite being ten points down Ospreys PS weren’t about to throw in the towel just yet as they looked to converting their dominance into points on the board.
Quick thinking from Baker saw him going over from close range to put the Ospreys back into touching distance at 17-12 and then, with momentum going their way, Matthew Aubrey slotted over a penalty to narrow the deficit with an hour played.
The Ospreys kept plugging away in search of the winning score, and it looked like they were going to have to settle for a losing bonus point as they were unable to find a way through.
With the clock red, and the visitors pressing a quick break by Baker, showing impressive pace, saw the winger going over for his hat-trick, clinching a deserved and hard earned win for the young side.
Speaking after the game coach Tom Smith praised his side’s effort and character:
“It’s great to get a result out here in Galway. In many ways it was a frustrating performance where our errors stopped us gaining any momentum. There’s plenty to work on in training next week in preparation for the return leg, where we have to back up this result with a better performance. At the end of the day though it’s really pleasing to get the win and it’ll hopefully give the team confidence ahead of next week.”
The Ospreys PS now welcome Connacht Eagles to the Talbot Athletic Ground on Sunday 18th December K.O 2pm. Tickets can be bought on the gate and are priced at £10 stand or field, £8 concession and U16 go free.