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Friday, 19 January, 2001, 21:24 GMT
Saracens just miss out
Tom Shanklin
Tom Shanklin broke throught Ulster's defence for try
Ulster 13-21 Saracens

Saracens won their final pool match in Belfast on Friday night but it was not enough to secure a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Sarries were bidding to snatch the last of the two best runners-up slots.

They scored three tries at Ravenhill but ended up level with Llanelli with 18 tries each in the competition.

And it was the Welsh club which grabbed a place in the last eight on points difference.

Earlier in the season, Ulster had collapsed in the final quarter at Vicarage Road as Saracens romped to a 55-25 win.

But on their own Belfast patch the Ulster defence was in a more stubborn mood.

Paul Wallace
Paul Wallace was carried off with a broken ankle

The 1999 winners were anxious to give outgoing Ulster coach Harry Williams a triumphant send-off.

But Saracens were on top for the most of the game and scored their first try on 30 minutes when centre Tom Shankin broke through.

He touched down under the posts with Duncan McRae adding the conversion.

Ulster's best spell of the half came just before the interval.

Their pressure produced a penalty from which skipper David Humphreys reduced the deficit to 7-3.

Early in the second half, Saracens lost tight head prop Paul Wallace.

The international was carried of with a broken ankle - a blow to Ireland's Six Nations hopes.

There was just one point in it when Humphreys landed another penalty early in the second half.

Duncan McRae scored Saracens' second try in the 53rd minte, adding the conversion himself.

Richard Hill
Richard Hill scored Saracens' third try

Then Richard Hill got the third try which McRae converted to make the score 21-6.

In injury-time Humphreys nipped in for an intercept try for Ulster and he kicked the conversion to leave the final score 21-13 for Saracens.

Coach Williams after his last gane in charge said: "I am proud of the team's performance but sad we did not win.

"I am also sad it is all over. It has been a wonderful period in my life.

"I have been to Heaven and I have been to hell, but we won the European Cup and that will stick with me forever."

Ulster: McDowell, J. Topping, Constable, J. Bell, Howe, Humphreys, Free, Fitzpatrick, Clarke, Best, Johns, Longwell, Nelson, Ward, McWhirter.

Saracens: Sparg, O'Mahony, Shanklin, Sorrell, Luger, McRae, Bracken, Flatman, Russell, Wallace, Murray, Grewcock, Chesney, Hill, Diprose.

Referee: G Dume (France).

Att: 13,000.

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See also:

19 Jan 01 |  Northern Ireland
Harry's game almost up
18 Jan 01 |  Heineken Cup
Saracens eye Euro berth
19 Jan 01 |  Heineken Cup
Saturday's Heineken Cup previews
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