Scarlets survive late surge to beat Glasgow

Glasgow 26 Llanelli 29

Glasgow 26 Llanelli 29

Glasgow’s Heineken Cup dream was left in tatters after they were bundled out by Llanelli Scarlets at Hughenden today.

The Warriors earned the vast bulk of possession and territory – but they could not compete when it came to turning pressure into tries.

Llanelli created four first-half chances and took them all to secure a crucial bonus point and kickstart their quest to reach the knock-out stages from Pool Three.

Glasgow had been forced to switch their line-up just 20 minutes before kick-off.

Graeme Beveridge was brought into the side at scrum-half when Sam Pinder failed to shake off a stomach bug.

And Beveridge wasted no time in grabbing the spotlight – along with the first try of the contest.

Warriors had spent the whole of the opening seven minutes in opposition territory but spoiled their promising build-up work by committing a spate of sloppy handling errors.

They earned the crucial break, however, when centre Salesi Finau was robbed in midfield.

The ball taken into the 22 and recycled – with Beveridge shrugging off two challenges to squirm over beside the posts to give Calvin Howarth a simple conversion.

Llanelli were stung into attacking action of their own and they repaired some of the damage with an angled penalty from Gareth Bowen for offside.

It was just the dose of confidence the Scarlets needed and just two minutes later they seized the initiative as flanker Gavin Thomas ploughed over from close range with the home defence marked absent.

Howarth missed with two long-range penalty attempts before landing a third from 35 metres.

But again Glasgow let down their guard and allowed the Welshmen to recapture the momentum.

A sustained spell of pressure ended with centre Matthew Watkins cruising over, Bowen adding the extras.

Even worse was to come six minutes before the break as Watkins again took advantage of slack Warriors marking to complete a quickfire double – with Bowen banging over the conversion from wide on the right.

Howarth clawed back three points – and repeated the dose to narrow the gap to six.

But Glasgow were stunned again in stoppage time when Garan Evans collected a Bowen chip to grab try number four for the Scarlets, the latter adding the goal.

And their plight was not helped as Howarth sent an easy penalty wide of the far post but he made quick amends from the same spot to keep his side in the hunt.

The anticipation of the home fans rose to fever pitch when a 50-metre interception touchdown from Gareth Maclure, converted by Howarth, set up a tense finale.

Glasgow continued to make the pace, but when it mattered most they could not make another telling breakthrough.

Their frustrations were underlined as Maclure failed to latch on to a Dan Parks cross-kick in the corner.

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