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1stXV 6 from 6


November 29, 2011 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Match Reports


This match billed as a top of the table clash, lived up to its expectations with a high quality, entertaining game of rugby served up by both teams despite the atrociousness weather conditions at Uprichard park. The game started with the lively student team taking the match to the home team with the University back row of Mike Dunlevey, Ollie Millar and Henley prominent with some big carries and recycled well into the Bangor 22, the home team having to work hard to clear their line, however a clever series of kicks first from scrumhalf Jamie Ball whose game management was excellent all day, and then fullback Lee Murphy kept them pinned deep in there goal line quarter of the field.
The weather very much dictated that patterns of play should be tight and probably any expansive play would be error strewn however the opening score of the game came from the university out-half Whitcroft making the brave decision to put the ball clinically through the hands of his backs and outside center Winder made a great ghosting run cutting out and then back in, totally standing the home defence up before he looped a pass to Sam Hall on the wing who ran in for a trade mark quality finish. The difficult conversion was kicked by Whitcroft, crucial within the context of the match, but reward for the 10 who had spent an hour before the game working out how to use the elements from the kicking tee, (proving the old saying right you prepare to fail if you fail to prepare) 7-0 to the visitors with a quarter of the game gone.
As you would expect from a team of Bangor’s tradition the home team came back strongly from the restart and only from some outstanding tackling on the home team midfield by fresher Henry who improves with every game coupled with the uni work horses in the second row of Danny Morgan and Darren Leonard stepping up to the mark by stopping Bangor’s ball carriers on the gain line on every occasion. The students continued to ride out the well organised onslaught and ball kicked into the swirling wind was well dealt with by the Uni wingers Rowden and Hall, despite there effort however the home team never really threatened the young visitors line. The game moving to about the half hour mark, one of the trade marks of this student team is how all 15 players contribute intelligent rugby and a superb inter passing phase from the front row of Wilkinson, Eecock and O’Neill to which any back line would have been proud of released the hard running University skipper Mike Dunlevey who beat one defender then choose to go for a kick and chase option, however the ball carried to far and went dead. Unfortunately Prop Wilkinson damaged a metatarsal and from that point on limped from set play to set play for the remainder of the game.
Bangor score to level things up, which came from the one period of the game when the students dropped there high standards and made several unforced errors, from which the home team duly punished, a kick which would have entered touch, was unnecessarily flicked back into play, the Bangor winger was quickest too react and won the loose ball as he then popped it up onto his support runner a missed tackle let him make good yards and he stood up the fullback Murphy and fed his fullback who should have been brought down, but was not and he scored and the conversion followed. 7 -7
The Students regrouped and went after the next score, the pack dominated scrum and line out starving Bangor of possession, the visitors attacked the blind side regularly keeping the dangerous Bangor midfield starved of possession, their reward for hard work came just before the break when Man of the Match Dunlevey stole a lineout which eecock drove into the Bangor’s 10 channel, a quick clear out gave the uni 9 room to operate and his precision pass releasing winger Rowden whose clever pass to Dunlevey set the big 8 running at the Bangor back three having stood them up he kicked through and promptly won the foot race to put the score at half time 12 – 7 to the Uni.
The second half saw much the same pattern for 20min both teams trying hard but rarely getting into each others 22. The telling score came on the half hour mark when the students tightened up there attack with quick pick and drives deep into the red zone , Whitcroft controlled the pack well to create the right angle to allow a drop goal attempt which bisected the posts to give the students the crucial 8 point lead. Bangor attempted to chase the game but the student’s defence not only stopped them but also turned over ball on key occasions. The home team also did not help there cause by missing a penalty attempt which would have given them a loosing bonus point. The university then showed the safest way to defend by camping on the Bangor goal line and Marty O’Neill and then Ryan Eecock crossing the score line but held up with wee Marty perhaps unlucky as some thought he had grounded. Final score Bangor 7 – UUC 15

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