London Welsh engineer stunning comeback
May 18, 2014
London Welsh celebrate their win after a remarkable comeback © Getty Images
London Welsh staged a dramatic late comeback in the sunshine to beat Leeds 29-20 and in so doing booked their place in the Championship final against Bristol, sneaking through by two points on aggregate.
With ten minutes remaining Leeds led 20-14 - 13 points ahead on aggregate - and the Exiles seemed down and out. But two tries in as many minutes from Seb Stegmann and Ollie Stedman left Leeds clinging on by a point, and the comeback was completed when Gordon Ross slotted a penalty in front of the posts with a minute remaining.
The heat and the pressure got to both sides and the quality of play was poor even if the tension was maintained right to the end. It took the home side 20 minutes to overturn Leeds' seven-point advantage from the first leg, Carl Kirwan's try giving them an 8-0 lead, but that lasted only four minutes as Stevie McColl went over for the visitors.
The Exiles led 11-7 at the break and a penalty from Ross on the hour extended that and tied the aggregate scores, a just reward for a period of sustained pressure.
Leeds hit back with two penalties of their own and with London Welsh down to 14 men after Kirwan was sin-binned for a late tackle, Charlie Beech's converted try with 15 minutes to go seemed to have sunk the Welsh, especially with Ross squandering a series of kicks. But Leeds' young side were unable to handle London Welsh's sustained finale.
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