British and Irish Cup: Ravens blow it as Neath storm back
Ulster Ravens 20 Neath 25: The Ulster Ravens slumped to a second consecutive defeat in the British and Irish Cup as they surrendered a 17-3 half time lead against Neath at Shaw's Bridge.
Gary Longwell's side were looking to bounce back from a defeat in their last outing at Bedford but conceded three second half tries and have now won one of three games in the competition.
Outhalf Paddy Jackson put the Ravens in front on eight minutes with a penalty and then Craig Gilroy thought he had increased the Ravens lead as he burst clear but the referee called the move back for a forward pass.
Full back Jamie Smith got the opening try on 23 minutes, Jonny Shiels cut through the Neath defence and he offloaded to Jackson who gave Smith the scoring pass.
Jackson converted before Neath registered their first points with a 32nd minute penalty from David Langdon.
The Ravens added a second try three minutes before the break. Centre Luke Marshall made a probing run down the wing before releasing his Ballymena club colleague Tommy Seymour, the winger going under the posts.
Jackson's conversion gave the home side a 14-point advantage at the interval but Langdon added his second penalty on 50 minutes and converted Gareth Gravell's try three minutes later.
Ulster were caught napping with a quick tap penalty by scrum half Tom James, he was stopped short but Neath recycled the ball quickly and Gravell went over from close range.
Jackson landed his second penalty on 55 minutes.
Prop Ross Davies went over for Neath's second try on 65 minutes and the Welsh side sealed victory with seven minutes to go with a try from winger Kevin James.
Ulster Ravens: J Smith; T Seymour, J Shiels, L Marshall, C Gilroy; P Jackson, I Porter, C Carey, A Kyriacou, J Cronin, N McComb, R Caldwell, A Birch, D McGuigan, TJ Anderson (Captain)
Replacements: N Annett, K McCall, I Henderson, P Pritchard, M Heaney, N O’Connor, M McCrea
Neath: G.King; K.James, S.Thomas, A.Bramwell, C.Morgans; D.Langdon, T.James; N.Downs, G.Price, R.Davies; E.Evans, M.Collins; G.Gravell (captain), L.Evans, E.Uzoigwe
Replacements: A.V.Lott, A.Littlehales, A.Powell, A.Whitney, A.Jenkins, L.Ford, J.Thomas.