Currie remain winless in their British and Irish Cup campaign after succumbing to a 28-13 defeat at the hands of Ulster Ravens at Malleny park, a result that coach Ally Donaldson described as “massively disappointing”.
“It is especially disappointing to lose by that margin, as I really thought we were in with a chance through the whole game,” he said.
It was the hosts who were first to trouble the scoreboard , fly-half Jamie Forbes slotting a penalty effort to give his side the lead.
Ravens looked dangerous in attack however, with James McKinney proving particularly effective. And it was McKinney’s break that produced the game’s first flashpoint, as home scrum half Chris Leck was ordered to the bin for a tug on the jersey of McKinney’s supporting runner. The fly-half stroked over the penalty to draw Ravens level.
With the half drawing to a close, Ravens’ backs finally began to click, with solid support from their breakaway forwards, notably Ali Birch, who produced a number of bustling runs. Their territorial pressure was converted into points thanks to the award of a penalty try after three consecutive collapsed scrums on the hosts’ line, McKinney adding the extras.
Parity was restored however on the stroke of half-time, when Currie winger Dave Smith squeezed in to touch down in the corner after strong running from Dougie Fife in midfield. Forbes successfully landed the penalty to leave the sides level at the break.
The Ulstermen were reduced to 14 men as Conor Joyce was yellow carded for repeated infringement at the breakdown, before McKinney hit a more accurate penalty effort to give Ravens the lead with the game heading into the final quarter.
Further indiscipline saw replacement Ulster back row Neil Faloon sin-binned for killing the ball, Forbes converting the resulting penalty to once again pull Currie level. The hosts’ efforts proved to be of little avail however, as late tries from replacement Ricky Andrew and Chris Cochrane, who had earlier had a score chalked off for a penalty offence earlier in the move, and along with a penalty and a conversion from the boot of McKinney allowed the visitors to grab the win.
Currie: B Mansfield, J Johnstone, D Fife, A McMahon, D Smith (A Whittingham 43), J Forbes, C Leck, J Cox, F Scott (M Vernel 79), C Phillips (N Dymock 31), S Marcell, G Temple, M Cairns, M Entwhistle (M Peacock 75), R Weston.
Ulster Ravens: P Nelson (R Andrew 40), C Gaston, M Allen (C Quinn 49), I Whitten, C Cochrane, J McKinney, B McIlroy, C Black, A Kyriacoum C Carey (R Lutton 57), T Barker (J Simpson 75), N McComb, C Joyce, A Birch, S O’Connell.