Three and easy for Desport as YM book second round spot

Shaun Desport
Shaun Desport
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A HAT-TRICK of tries from flying winger Shaun Desport helped the YM book their place in the second round of the National Shield.

But the Redskins had to do it the hard way after playing much of the second half with just 14 men following a straight red card to Garry Douglas.

The visitors kicked off and for the first ten minutes were in total control, with Irvine hardly getting a sniff of possession. First to get on the scoresheet was Lee Armstrong with his 11th try of the season, taking him over the 200 points barrier for the Skins in this campaign. The conversion drifted wide of the posts.

Irvine came into the game a bit more, but not for the first time this year the YM defence held firm.

The Redskins were producing some excellent rugby with Dean McCracken and Scott McLeod wreaking havoc in the Irvine defence. It wasn’t long before the constant pressure paid off and Desport shot over in the corner for his first try of the game. And a few minutes before half-time he crossed again for his second, both unconverted.

In between these scores Irvine slotted a penalty.

The second half started in the worst possible way for the YM as straight from the kick-off Irvine hit back with a score to bring them right back into the match, and to make matters worse Douglas was given his marching orders for retaliation.

The YM had to re-jig the front row and Irvine were taking full advantage of this by pushing their pack all over the park. But a leg injury to Ross Taylor left the visitors with no front row cover and the final quarter was played out with uncontested scrums much to the disdain of the Irvine support.

The game was on a knife edge until Armstrong slotted a penalty and with two minutes to go Desport crossed for his third try in his back row position. And Armstrong converted to seal the victory.