Glasgow keep European hopes alive with win

Glasgow Warriors 17 Llanelli Scarlets 10

Glasgow Warriors 17 Llanelli Scarlets 10

Sean Lineen’s born-again Glasgow Warriors kept their European dream alive tonight as they stunned Llanelli Scarlets at Firhill to claim their first Celtic League win since he took the coaching reins.

Lineen’s success-starved side began this match needing to come out on top in their last two games to pip the Borders to snatch Scotland’s second Heineken Cup slot.

With the Reivers toppled in Belfast, Glasgow now go to Galway to face basement boys Connacht in confident mood.

Scarlets looked the more energetic early on – but the home defence looked solid.

Having weathered the early storm, Glasgow mounted their first raid through a break by centre Hefin O’Hare.

But the support players were too slow to catch up.

Llanelli earned the first clear-cut scoring opportunity when lock Dan Turner dived over the top in a ruck – and rookie stand-off Craig Evans was bang on target from 40 metres.

Warriors responded positively with a mazy dash from Rory Lamont, but again the support failed to stay on his shoulder.

Then hooker Fergus Thomson was unlucky to be penalised for holding on too long in contact after a powerful surge in midfield.

Thomson was then pole-axed by a high challenge from Alix Popham.

The Welshman was sent to the sin-bin, and Dan Parks was left to slot the equaliser.

Parks edged the hosts in front with another penalty after a ruck offence. But he was off target with two subsequent attempts, while the Scarlets wasted a glaring chance when they were guilty of obstruction just a few yards from the Glasgow line.

Scarlets seized the initiative with a try eight minutes after the restart.

They wore down the Glasgow resistance by patiently putting together a series of well-controlled phases in the danger zone.

Popham was halted just short of the line – but hooker Aled Gravelle was perfectly positioned to plough over from close range.

Evans added the simple conversion.

Parks hit back with a penalty for illegal footwork by Phil John to narrow the gap to a single point – and he repeated the dose three minutes later to set up a tense finale.

Even better was to come for the Warriors as Jonny Petrie, newly sacked as captain, cruised in at the corner after latching on to a Parks pass.

A brilliant tackle by Kevin Tkachuk thwarted Lions star Dwayne Peel at the other end, and seconds later Popham was red-carded for dissent.

Despite the handicap, Llanelli piled on the pressure in stoppage time. But the home defence held firm.

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