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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 19:46 GMT
Humphreys the hero for Ulster
Ulster flyhalf David Humphreys
Humphreys takes his Celtic League points total to 113

Celtic League quarter-final

Ulster 38-29 Neath

Once again Ulster had the brilliant right boot of David Humphreys to thank for their latest Ravenhill win.

The Ireland flyhalf kicked 28 points and also set up the match-clinching score by kicking into the corner for skipper Andy Ward to touch down.

It was a close encounter during which Neath took the lead two times.

But Alan Solomons' Ulster side dug deep to book their place in the semi-finals.

Humphreys had a super night with the boot, landing eight penalties out of eight and also converting Ulster's two tries.

Effective drive

Three long-range penalties by Humphreys, assisted by the breeze, sent Ulster into an early 9-0 lead.

But then Neath's veteran scrumhalf Andy Moore finished off an effective drive to score the first try of the game on 21 minutes.

Lee Jarvis, who had earlier missed a kickable penalty, sent over the conversion to cut Ulster's lead to two points.

Humphreys then landed his fourth penalty to become the first player to reach 100 points in the Celtic competition.

Ulster and Ireland A lock Mark Blair
Ulster try-scorer Mark Blair on a charge

Jarvis kicked another penalty to make it 12-10 before Neath scored another try to go into the lead for the first time.

Tongan international Dave Tiueti carved open the Ulster defence for a wonderful individual try, with Jarvis adding the simple conversion.

Ulster clinched a 22-17 half-time lead thanks to a sustained spell of pressure in first half stoppage time through Mark Blair, Humphreys adding the two points from close-range.

Humphreys was on target with two more penalties in the second half but Jarvis replied with two penalties and a drop goal to give the Welsh club a 26-25 lead with 63 minutes played.

The crucial Ulster score came in the 71st minute when Humphreys chipped the ball into the corner where Ward outjumped Gareth Morris and touched down.

Humphreys, the form number 10 in Ireland, landed the conversion from the touchline and added his eighth penalty late on.


Ulster: Tries: Blair, Ward; Pens: Humphreys (8); Cons: Humphreys (2).

Leinster: Tries: Tiueti, Moore; Pens: Jarvis (4); Cons: Jarvis (2); DG: Jarvis.

Att: 12,000.


Ulster: Wallace, Coulter , Larkin, Bell, Howe, Humphreys, Doak, Fitzpatrick, Shields, Best, Longwell, Blair, McWhirter, Ward, Nelson.
Replacements: Constable for Coulter (52); McMillan for McWhirter (60); Davidson for Blair (60).

Neath: Morris, James, Storey, Tiueti, Shane Williams, Jarvis, Moore, Jones, Barry Williams, Millward, Martin, Llewellyn, Mocelutu, Sinkinson, Bonner Evans.
Replacements: Connor for S Williams (40); Howell for Millward (40); Tandy for Sinkerson (74).

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Ulster's Jeremy Davidson
"We will go into the semi-finals with a lot of confidence"
Neath coach Lyn Jones
"It was a huge effort by us"
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