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Weekend Sport Recap - Leinster Bounce Back To Finish Season On A High

By James Fenton

May 27, 2019 at 1:05pm


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1. Leinster seal crown at home of Celtic

It takes something special to bounce back from a disappointment, particularly one as recent as a fortnight ago.

Leo Cullen's Leinster had to do just that in clinching the club's sixth Pro 14 title just two weeks after the low of losing the Champions Cup Final to Saracens in Newcastle.

To do so at Celtic Park, in the home city of their opponents Glasgow Warriors was all the more impressive, with the Scottish side boasting massive support inside the stadium.

Tries from Garry Ringrose and Cian Healy along with some Johnny Sexton kicking secured the 18-15 win and while the Champions Cup defeat brought a tinge of sadness to the end of the season, Cullen will be pleased with the character his men showed to secure their third major trophy in two years.

Roll on next season.



2 Mayo crash out of Connacht with Roscommon defeat

The 33 years Roscommon have had to wait for a championship win in Mayo seems like small change when compared to their rivals' 68 barren years without an All-Ireland title.

Then again, the Rossies have gone 75 years without lifting Sam Maguire so there won't be much sympathy coming from their end. Two early goals on Saturday set Rosscommon up for a win that will see them face Galway in the Connacht decider for the fourth successive year.

As for Mayo, they'll have to rely on another trip through the back door if they're to have another crack at winning that elusive All-Ireland and improvement will certainly be needed if that's going to happen.

3. Elation and heartbreak at Wembley

Imagine slogging your way through a 46-game season only for your main objective to be taken away from you at the very end in the cruelest of fashions.

That's what Sunderland and Newport County supporters are having to deal with after both clubs fell at the final hurdle of the English Football League play-offs over the weekend.

Pádraig Amond of Carlow and his Newport team mates were stunned as Tranmere Rovers sealed a 1-0 win just a minute before the end of extra-time.

A day later, it was the turn of Sunderland who looked set to take Charlton Athletic to an additional 30 minutes before The Addicks scored with six seconds left of play.

As devastating as the play-offs are for fans of the clubs involved, it's hard to beat the drama they produce year after year.

4. Stalemate in Salthill

It took a while to spring into life but Galway and Wexford provided a grandstand finish in Salthill on Sunday.

Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford went in at half-time six points down but seven points between the 53rd and 64th minute gave them a one-point advantage heading into the last few minutes. There was still time for Galway to regain the lead but Liam Óg McGovern leveled things up at 0-16 apiece which was how remained.

Two stalemates on the trot for Wexford, making them the draw specialists of this year's championship. Galway now sit second in the table to an in-form Kilkenny side and have yet to find the spring in their step that saw them reach the last two All-Ireland finals.

5. Toronto rejoices

There were jubilant scenes in Canada over the weekend as the Toronto Raptors completed their turnaround against the Milwaukee Bucks, winning the Eastern Conference Final Series 4-2.

The Bucks won the first two games of the series and look well-placed to reach their first finals since 1971.

With the first team in the series to reach four victories advancing, Toronto needed a big effort remain in the competition. They produced just that over the past few days, sealing a fourth successive win on Saturday night and giving themselves the opportunity to become NBA champs for the first time in their history in June.

It will be no easy task however, as standing in their way will be the Golden State Warriors, who have won the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy in each of the past two years.

(header image: Leinster Rugby)


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