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Friday, 6 September, 2002, 20:35 GMT 21:35 UK
Edinburgh surprise Ulster
Paddy Wallace was operating at fly-half because of David Humphreys' absence
Wallace's six penalties were not enough for Ulster

Ulster 18-19 Edinburgh

There was heartbreak for Ulster as a last-ditch penalty by full-back Brendan Laney gave Edinburgh a fortunate victory in a Celtic League clash at Ravenhill on Friday evening.

Laney, who had missed a couple of sitters early in the game, stroked over the winner with a minute of normal time remaining.

It was the only time that Edinburgh had led in the game after Ulster's stand-in fly-half Paddy Wallace had slotted over six penalties.

Edinburgh to their credit scored the only try of the game with Laney again on the mark.

However Ulster will look back at wasted chances as they had more than their fair share of possession.

  Match details:
Ulster
Pens: Wallace 6
Edinburgh
Tries: Laney
Dg: Hodge
>Cons: Laney
Pens: Laney 3

Ulster were first on board after three minutes with Wallace knocking over a penalty after he had been high-tackled by Alistair Dickson 15-metres out.

Ulster lost their young flanker Neil McMillan after only 11 minutes with a hip injury allowing Neil Best to come on for his senior debut.

A second penalty by Wallace on 18 minutes from 45 metres doubled Ulster's lead after the touchjudge had spotted some wrongdoing amongst the forwards.

Ulster were short of tall men in the pack with Jeremy Davidson a last-minute withdrawal and Paddy Johns pulled out of retirement to sit on the bench.

However, they nevertheless had their fair share of possession.

Neil McMillen departs the field before half-time
Neil McMillen: Injured in the first half

Their hustling and harrying tactics saw Edinburgh make many mistakes and from one, Wallace rifled over his third penalty in the 27th minute.

Edinburgh were piling on the pressure on the run-up to the break, with skipper Todd Backadder and Nathan Hines leading the charge.

That pressure finally broke Ulster's stubborn defence when Laney danced inside the cover to score and then convert his own try.

But instead of regrouping and building for the second half, Edinburgh fell into their bad old ways and another indiscretion allowed Wallace to bang over another long-range penalty.

However, they pulled three points back four minutes into first-half injury time with a straight-forward Laney penalty.

Despite playing against a stiffening breeze, Ulster extended their two minutes after the restart with Wallace's fifth penalty.

Ulster had by far their most potent attack in the 45th minute with great inter-play between backs and forwards, but it ended with winger Sheldon Coulter held up over the line.

Edinburgh's Simon Taylor was shown the yellow card in the 47th minute after diving in at a ruck.

Laney clincher

However, the Scots scored next with a snap drop goal by Duncan Hodge leaving the score 15-13 in Ulster's favour.

Following the restart the sides were both reduced to 14 men when Ulster replacement Best yellow-carded for a high tackle.

Against the run of play Laney should have given Edinburgh the lead for the first time, but his penalty attempt screwed wide of the posts.

In contrast, Wallace kept his 100 per cent record with his sixth penalty in the 65th minute.

However, Laney finally found his range with another effort two minutes later to make for an exciting finale.

It was Edinburgh who stole it in the end when Laney found his kicking boots to stroke over a wide-angled penalty following a breakaway after some intense Ulster pressure.


Ulster: B Cunningham; S Coulter; J Bell, capt, R Constable, T Howe; P Wallace, N Doak; R Kempson, M Sexton, S Best, T McWhirter, M Blair, W Brosnihan. N McMillan, R Nelson.
Replacements: J Fitzpatrick for Best (50), N Best for McMillan (11).

Edinburgh: B Laney, D Lee, M Di Rollo, A Dickson, C Paterson, D Hodge, M Blair, A Jacobsen, C Di Ciacca, C Smith, N Hines, S Murray, T Blackadder, capt, S Taylor, M Leslie.
Replacements: D Hall for Di Ciaca (63), J Brannigan for Smith (63), G Perrett for Hines (71), S Cross for Leslie (74), R Lawson, T Philip for Dickson (74), C Joiner for Di Rollo (21).

Referee: H Watkins (WRU).

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