Glasgow Reds......19

GLASGOW Caley coach Keith Robertson could not disguise his disappointment after watching his side being robbed of a famous victory by a controversial late penalty.

The Reds looked destined to hold on for a heroic and deserved success to keep alive their WRU Trophy hopes. But Stephen Jones' 35-metre kick left them stunned after Glenn Metcalfe was unjustifiably punished for a shoulder charge which seemed legal.

The Reds, who had looked ring- rusty in the opening exchanges, battled back with three tries after giving away two quick scores. Before Gordon Bulloch's men had even entered enemy territory, the home side broke the deadlock.

The Caley defence withstood a series of fierce charges, but it seemed inevitable when tight-head prop Martyn Madden powered his way through.

Glenn Metcalfe dashed over half-way - sidestepping three markers in the process, but the threat was snuffed out as the support was too slow to reach him.

Llanelli took advantage of the escape by claiming their

second touchdown through Scott Quinnell. The ex-rugby league giant crashed through two tackles and trundled over under the crossbar. Stand-off Jones added the extra points.

However, Caley earned a glimmer of hope just before the break when Shaun Longstaff paved the way with a searing 30-metre sprint down the left touchline, the ball was quickly recycled after he was floored - and flanker Gordon Simpson ploughed over.

The rattled Welshman hit back instantly, with a penalty from dead in front by Jones - the last kick of the half.

The Reds were forced to soak up another bout of pressure as Llanelli came out again with all guns blazing. After some heroic defensive work, they broke away to lay the platform for Simpson's second try.

Martin Waite set up the scrum with a piercing run into the 22-zone - then played a one-two

with Fraser Stott, who supplied Simpson with the deft inside

feed. Hayes effortlessly stroked the conversion to herald a frantic finale.

Llanelli began to re-assert themselves and increased the

gap to six when Jones chipped over another simple penalty for offside.

Longstaff grabbed the third Reds touchdown a minute later with Hayes converting to give Caley the edge. Then came the heartbreaker from Jones.

Llanelli - D Williams, R Boobyer, S Finau, N Davies (capt), G Evans, S Jones, R Moon, P Booth, J Hyatt, M Madden, V Cooper, M Voyle, D Hodges, S Quinnell, I Boobyer. Replacement - M Jones for R Boobyer 48.

Glasgow Caley - G Metcalfe, S Longstaff, I Jardine, J Leslie, A Bulloch, T Hayes, F Stott, G McIlwham, G Bulloch (capt), W Anderson, S Campbell, S Grimes, G Simpson, M Waite, J Shaw. Replacements - G Flockhart for Simpson 62, R Wainwright for Shaw 63.

Referee - H Lewis (WRU).

Scorers: Llanelli - Tries - Madden, Quinnell. Conversions - Jones. Pens - Jones 3. Glasgow - Tries - Simpson 2, Longstaff. Conversions - Hayes 2.