Uni were simply superb as Ophir were the visitors and had no answers for the hosts’ an intensity that lasted from the first minute to the last proved to be too much for Ophir.
The weather conditions were perfect for playing, as the ball was kicked off and received by Ophir the student team set their stall out early as Joe ‘Zeus’ McKinney landed a thumping tackle on the Ophir receiver. This set the tone for the game as they struggled to get out of their own half and the first try came from second rower Sam Hetherington took two defenders with him as he crashed over from the 5 meter line. The UUC continued their pressure and Ophir were sustaining it well if it wasn’t for the continued indiscipline shown by their open side who continually interrupted the game by being off side and the ref had no option but give penalties, and after a few missed attempts it was a kick to the corner and a catch and drive, and with with some added weight from winger Nigel Irwin, the maul drove towards the line and Sam again peeled off the back and over the line. 10-0
The best move of the game came from a scrum 10meter in the UUC half were number 8 Phil McLean showed blistering pace of the back of the scrum and a lovely line cut in from full back Captain David McMenemy, David then pulled in the winger and full back and a lovely outside ball saw Phil crash over from 30 metres out and into the corner. From the restart the ball was taken in securely by David ‘Coaches’ McCullough and it set up a fantastic driving maul, from which up and coming Out Half Chris Elliot saw space down the left hand side of the pitch as the Ophir full back came up to join the line quick thinking saw play switched to the blind side drawing two defenders as he put Nigel Irwin in for a score in the corner. A penalty just before half time left the score 23-0
Second half saw play break up a bit and Ophir fought back hard in the first 20mins but it was again the indiscipline of the same number 7 that stopped them making any useful gains and as Ophir started to tire out the fitness of the students came through as they were trys again for Phil, Nigel and winger Alan Linton with conversions from Stuart Whitcroft, and the great defensive efforts in mid field from Pullen and Whitcroft ensured Ophir didn’t cross the white wash. To end the game 42-0
Man of the match could have went to a brace of players as 1-15 were excellent on the day, but Phil McLean takes the honours.
The UUC Power NI 2’s sit top of their league with Portadown 4’s whom which they travel too this Saturday March 16th for a top of the table clash, a must win for both teams.