Cave at the double as 'A' team stay on course for quarters
Ulster 'A' 38 London Scottish 21
Ulster 'A' did all they needed to do to stay on course to top Pool One and qualify for the British and Irish Cup quarter-finals with a resounding six-try 38-21 win over London Scottish at a chilly Kingspan Stadium last night, writes Michael Sadlier.
Kieran Campbell's squad went six points clear of nearest challengers Jersey Reds, who play today, with skipper Darren Cave scoring twice as Ulster 'A' crossed four times in the second half after trailing 14-12 at the break.
The 'A' side's other tries came from Johnny McPhillips, Lorcan Dow, Jonny Murphy and David Busby with McPhillips kicking a conversion and Mark Best slotting three.
In the end, Ulster - with Cave, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack and Ricky Lutton bolstering their ranks - had too much in the tank for the Scots who now exit the competition.
The visitors got off the mark early and Danny Kenny got the score after Scottish mauled over.
Even more impressively, full-back Peter Lydon converted from the touchline.
McPhillips struck back for Ulster but only after a lucky ricochet resulted in a scoring pass.
The out-half badly miscued the conversion and the Scots still led. He did make his next easier shot though after Dow grabbed Ulster's second which came from a lineout close to the line and Campbell's side led 12-7 just before the 20-minute mark.
Their lead lasted only six minutes though as the Scots again brought play into Ulster's '22' and prop Dan Koroi scored off the subsequent maul.
Lydon also pulled off another great conversion, this time off the upright, to put them ahead at 14-12.
Ulster then turned down two kickable penalties to go for the corner without return and McPhillips was then wide with an optimistic drop goal from long range before the half ended with him missing a penalty from just inside Scottish's half.
On the resumption, the hosts came out all guns blazing and mauled over the line after six minutes with Murphy scoring, though McPhillips missed the extras.
Five minutes before the hour and Ulster had the bonus point when Gilroy hit the line to supply Cave with the run-in. Best also nailed the conversion and Ulster were 10 points in front at 24-14.
Cave then got over again after another great run and pass from Gilroy, with Best's conversion taking it to 31-14.
Scottish then narrowed it to 31-21 after Joe Atkinson drove over and Lydon converted, but Busby then got Ulster's sixth try which Best converted.
Ulster A: R Lyttle, D Busby, D Cave (capt), M Best, C Gilroy, J McPhillips, J Stewart; T O'Hagan, J Murphy, R Lutton, R Diack, J Donnan, S Mulholland, C Joyce, L Dow
Subs: Z McCall, C Trenier, A Thompson, C Smyth, J Creighton, R Butler, J Owens
London Scottish: P Lydon, C Holland, R Fergusson, P Kelly, J Harries, G Cullen, E Hoadley; G Shiells, G Turner, D Koroi, R Bartle (capt), C Hunter Hill, D Kenny, J Atkinson, D Sisi
Subs: D Cherry, J Harris, P Cringle, N Patrick, I Boladau, A Coombes, T Galbraith
Referee: J Neville