- Jersey Reds make first ever B&I Cup final
- Final to be played on 21 April at Independent Park, Cork (7.30pm)
Three Greene King IPA Championship sides had an opportunity to make their first ever British & Irish Cup final this weekend. Here's what happened in the semis...
Jersey Reds power into final
Jersey Reds are through to the British & Irish Cup final (21 April at Independent Park, Cork 7.30pm) after getting the better of high-flyers London Irish in an all-Greene King IPA Championship face-off at the Madejski Stadium.
Irish had boasted a 17-15 lead in the closing stages, but a penalty followed by Nick Selway’s late score ensured a 25-17 triumph for the visitors.
Jersey were on top in the opening stages resulting in Callum Sheedy’s penalty, but Irish showed why they have lost just one Greene King IPA Championship game this season.
All over, Reds into final of B&I to play Munster weekend of April 21/22/23 - #HISTORYBOYS— Jersey Reds (@jerseyrfc) April 2, 2017
Tom Parton marauded his way down the left wing to score, though a powerful run from Jordan Davies, saw him sweep through the Irish defence, putting Jersey 10-7 up by the interval.
That lead was swiftly extended my Nick Haining’s score, though Ciaran Hearn dotted down at the other end for Irish, moving the deficit to just one point at 15-14.
Theo Brophy-Clews and Sheedy traded penalties to set up a nervous finale, but it was down to the replacement Selway to complete the job and record a second win for Jersey over Irish in two weeks.
The hooker found himself in the perfect spot at the end of a textbook maul, with Sheedy’s conversion from out wide sealing the deal late on.
(Photo credit - Pinnacle for London Irish)
Trailfinders fall short in Cork
The Reds will now face Munster A for a shot at the title, with the Irish side getting the better of a spirited Ealing Trailfinders outfit.
Flanker Conor Oliver was the star in Cork, dotting down twice as the competition’s number one seeds prevailed 25-9 against the Greene King IPA Championship side.
Bill Johnston opened the scoring for the hosts from the tee prior to Oliver making his mark, charging from the base of a lineout to set up centre Sam Arnold who powered over.
But Ealing kept up the pace, as Rory Clegg kicked the first of his three penalties in the contest to bring the game back to within a score.
Oliver struck the crucial blow before half-time though, following up a swift exchange with scrum-half John Poland to have a free run at the line.
The flanker was to get a second just after the break, all after Trailfinders had kept themselves fighting by the interval with two more penalties.
Munster A go on to face Jersey Reds for the title, with that game set to be played on 21 April (7.30pm), at Independent Park, Cork.