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Reading RFC spoil London Irish’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations – Reading Today Online

Vermont Images Ltd

Reading spoiled the St Patrick’s Day celebrations at London Irish holding the Wild Geese to a draw in a match which caught fire in the second half.

Reading looked likely winners when they led by 10 points with eight minutes to go but Irish then conjured up two tries to draw the match and missed a twice taken conversion with the last kick of the game which would have given them a win.

It was all Irish for the first five minutes with the Sunbury based team looking very slick in the back line and powerful up front and it was no surprise when they scored a converted try after five minutes from a five metre scrum.

Reading then camped in the Irish 22 and a second Irish yellow card for a high tackle soon followed. From the resulting penalty the ball was moved to Clarkson who scored in the corner to reduce the Irish lead to two points.

Eventually Borthwick was yellow carded in a desperate attempt to keep the Irish out and the Irish took advantage of the extra man to score a pushover try which was not converted.

Reading, despite their numerical disadvantage, promptly came back and scored a try of their own. They won a penalty from the kick off, kicked to the corner and after several phases in which Cunningham was prominent moved the ball to the corner where Proctor-Searle crossed for an unconverted try.

Reading were now on a roll and Proctor-Searle quickly added a second try burrowing over after a series of phases near the Irish line. Sharp converted to make the score 12-17 to Reading.

The Irish quickly got back on level terms when they won a penalty straight from the kick off.

Borthwick in the clear beat the covering defence to score under the posts. Sharp converted to put Reading 17-27 in the lead.

Irish then came back to score an unconverted try after a series of moves to leave themselves five points behind. Then in what turned out to be the final move of the match, after failing to break through up the middle, the Irish kicked the ball wide. Reading at first dealt with the kick but the ball went loose and was pounced on by the Irish number eight who charged over to score.

All now hinged on the conversion, the first attempt at which missed but the Reading charge was deemed too early so the kick was retaken This attempt hit the upright to leave the result 27-27.

Reading’s next match is on Saturday 23 March away at Winchester.

Tries: Clarkson, Proctor-Searle (2), Borthwick

Conversions Sharp (2)

Penalties: Sharp

Reading RFC: Charlie Attard; Jason Carr, Jos Clarke, Alex Murray-Smith, Tom David; Tom Sharp(capt), Hayden Wheeler; Joe Clarkson, Steve King, Alfie Fryer; Harvey Rice, Rob Cunningham; Will Proctor-Searle, Stu Borthwick, Alex Rowe.

Replacements: Ollie McGlennon, Ollie Humphreys, Ben Mitchell.

By Peter Chidgey

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