Glasgow Warriors 16-16 Newport Gwent Dragons, Magners League, February 25
Glasgow fight back to deny Dragons
February 25, 2011
Glasgow's Ally Muldowney celebrates a last minute try at the Firhill Arena
© PA Photos
Glasgow snatched a dramatic 16-16 draw against Newport Gwent Dragons at Firhill on Friday night to regain some pride after last weekend's demoralising defeat by Connacht.
Alastair Muldowney's last-minute try, converted by Duncan Weir, denied the Welsh side a Magners League victory. A try from second row Andrew Coombs, converted by Jason Tovey - who also added a penalty - and two penalties from Mathew Jones proved to be insufficient as the visitors failed to hang on to their advantage.
Dragons took an early lead after the game's first period of any meaningful pressure. Despite the fact that the majority of attacking movement was lateral, the visitors' persistence paid off as the home defence coughed up a penalty 15 metres from the line and fly-half Mathew Jones stroked over the kick.
Weir had an early opportunity to cancel the deficit, but his penalty effort from the halfway line was pushed wide. Minutes later, Glasgow were made to pay for the young fly-half's profligacy when Jones converted a penalty effort from the 40-metre mark to stretch his side's advantage.
The Dragons almost added to their lead soon after, when slick handling in midfield allowed fullback William Harries to dart towards the corner. However, a last-ditch covering tackle from home winger Hefin O'Hare averted the danger.
James Eddie, along with fellow back-row forwards Ryan Wilson and Callum Forrester, were proving a handful around the fringes. It was their interplay which resulted in Weir having another penalty opportunity - but again he pushed his effort wide of the uprights.
A further opportunity went was squandered 10 minutes before half-time, Weir skewing his penalty attempt horribly wide from an admittedly testing position tight to the touchline.
It did not take long for him to make amends after the restart, however, punishing the Dragons for an infringement at the scrum with a successful penalty, before adding another three-pointer on the 55-minute mark to level the scores after good forward pressure .
The visitors found another gear. First, winger Adam Hughes engineered a one on one, chipping over the towering Canadian flyer DTH Van der Merve, only to fail to gather the ball as it bobbled across the rough Firhill surface with the try-line at his mercy.
The score was delayed only briefly, and when Henry Pyrgos had a box kick yards from his own line charged down, the Dragons grabbed back the lead, Andrew Coombs flopping over the ball to touch down. Replacement fly-half Tovey added the straightforward extras.
A third successful Weir penalty kept the hosts within touching distance, but Tovey's penalty minutes from the end appeared enough to secure his side victory.
In the dying moments, referee Peter Fitzgibbon reduced the Dragons to 14 men, replacement prop Benjamin Castle sent to the sin-bin for a cynical foul at the breakdown. The resulting play led to Weir bundling over the visitors' try-line, only to be held up. However, from the ensuing scrum, second row Muldowney powered over beneath the posts. And it was left to Weir to add the conversion to hand the hosts a deserved draw.
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