British & Irish Cup: Jersey 21-22 Leinster A
Leinster A secured their British & Irish Cup quarter-finals place thanks to a narrow win at Jersey.
A penalty try put the hosts ahead but backs Cian Kelleher and Nick McCarthy scored tries to give the Irish side a 15-7 half-time lead.
Cathal Marsh went over to extend the advantage but Jersey hit back with scores from Ignacio Lancuba and Alex Rae to set up an exciting conclusion.
The islanders drop to third in Pool Five, while Leinster clinch top spot.
|British & Irish Cup Pool Five|
|1 Leinster A||5||19|
|2 Carmarthen Quins||5||12|
|4 Plymouth Albion||5||8|
The afternoon had started well for Jersey when referee Simon Rees awarded a penalty try as a driving maul crashed to ground near the line with Martin Garcia-Veiga poised to ground the ball.
The visitors hit straight back though when in-form full-back Kelleher found space down the Leinster right and sped in for the score.
Scrum-half Nick McCarthy put his side ahead when Jersey lost the ball on the halfway line and then the impressive Kelleher's second, this time in left corner, gave his team an eight-point advantage at the break.
Fly-half Marsh ran in the fourth, bonus-point-clinching try as Leinster threatened to run away with the game but back came Jersey with a spirited last quarter.
Argentine prop Lancuba powered over to reduce the deficit and then skipper Rae was at the bottom of a pile of bodies from a driving maul to score the hosts' third with five minutes to play.
Lewis Robling's conversion narrowed the gap to a single point but Leinster retained the ball well in the closing stages to deny Jersey a win which would have changed the dynamics of Pool Five heading into the final weekend of the group stage.
Jersey: Jones-Davies; Pointer, Locke, Robling, McCrea; Penberthy, Glynn; Lancuba, Garcia-Veiga, Selway; Campbell, Rae (capt); Haining, Hodson, Kaho.
Replacements: Harris, Herriott, Markham, Noone, Dudley, Foster, Burroughs.
Leinster: Kelleher; Coghlan Murray, O'Loughlin, Daly, Byrne; Marsh, N. McCarthy; Dooley, Tracy, Heffernan; Molony (capt), Thornbury; Marshall, Van Der Flier, Coghlan.
Replacements: S. McCarthy, Loughman, Beirne, Timmins, McGrath, Crosbie, Dardis.