England U20s fall to spirited Irish fightback at home of Newcastle Falcons
Ireland U20s took their first win of the 2016 U20s RBS 6 Nations Championship on Friday evening, as Kingston Park Stadium played host to an entertaining fixture between England and Ireland.
Fighting back from 20-6 down on 50mins, the Irish secured a well deserved 20-26 triumph thanks in no small part to the efforts of Falcons academy player Brett Connon.
The 19 year old not only added five points to his team’s tally, but also set up a try through a searing break that hauled his side back into striking distance and to where they were able to launch a successful comeback.
The evening started very differently as England, captained by Connon’s fellow academy member Callum Chick made the early running.
Tries from Sam Smith and George Perkins along with two conversions and a penalty from fly half Mathew Protheroe allowed England to progressively build a healthy lead by the end of the first half, with Ireland’s scoring limited to two Johnny McPhillips penalties.
After a well taken drop goal took England to 20-6 five minutes into the second half, the sin binning of Sam Smith allowed the Irish to get within two points of England.
Chick had looked to have regained the initative for his side 15 minutes from time as he crossed in the South West corner, only for the try to be ruled out after the skipper failed to release the ball once tackled.
Ireland took the lead 12 minutes from time as successive waves of quick attacks created a gap for prop Andrew Porter to dive over from close range, before Connon sealed the game with a successful penalty.
The opportunity came from a tip tackle directly in front of the posts, that saw England’s Stan South shown a straight red card, allowing the young Falcon to round out a successful evening on his home pitch.
3180 fans filed into Kingston Park for the early evening kick off, giving the young players plenty of support and showing interest in watching the future talents in the sport learn their trade remains in the North East.