The University of Ulster, Coleraine welcomed CIYMS RFC to Cromore Road on Saturday looking to end the unbeaten run that CIYMS were currently on but it wasn’t to be with the visitors being made to work hard for their 37-17 bonus point win.
An early attack from the visitors led to them registering the first points of the game for an offside call at the ruck with a penalty to take a 3-0 lead. After sustained pressure on the UUC defence CIYMS further stretched their lead with a well aimed drop kick into the prevailing wind to make it 6-0. Once the students had settled into the game they started playing some tantalising rugby spreading the ball wide at every opportunity and pinning CIYMS into the corners with the help of the wind at their backs.
It was a well executed backline move off a lineout which led to CIYMS scoring the first try of the game in the corner but couldn’t be converted to leave the score at 11-0. The students reacted positively and went in search of their own points and were awarded a penalty for indiscipline at the ruck and Lee Murphy coolly stepped up and sunk the penalty to reduce the score to 11-3.
With momentum swinging in favour of the students they looked to disrupt every CIYMS attack and after a great steal from Michael Dunleavy he fed Murphy who in turn released Sam Hall who ran half the pitch out sprinting the CI defence to score. Murphy made no mistake with the conversion and was successful leaving the half time score 11-10 to the visitors.
The second half was set to be a scorcher with the score being as close as it was but it was CIYMS who again started the quicker of the two teams and were awarded a scrum 5 metres from the student line and after several resets were awarded a penalty try for disruption and the conversion was successful to make it 18-11.
The students responded well and worked their way into the CI half and but couldn’t find a way through the tight defence and were eventually turned over and CIYMS countered with a very dubious try being given right in the corner with UUC claiming the player had crossed the touchline before grounding the ball but the try stood and CI stretched their lead to 23-10.
With UUC looking to get something out of the game they got a penalty for indiscipline and kicked for the corner. Great lineout play by the student pack led to John Lutton crashing over in the corner for UUC’s second try of the game. Gareth Millar stepped up and slotted the touchline conversion over to make the score 23-17 to the visitors.
After the injury of John Dillon left UUC down to 14 men they worked even harder and great tackling by Hall and Hill on their respective wings prevented CI attacking out wide. Great first up hits in the centre by Winder and Orr for the students left CIYMS no way to break the defensive line. CI kept building phases and hitting their big forwards up the middle and eventually broke the UUC defence on the wings running two more tries in and converting both to leave the final score 37-17 and heading back to Belfast with a bonus point.
UUC travel to Ballyclare this Saturday looking to break their 2011 duck and win a game and start putting distance between themselves and the foot of the table.