The University of Ulster, Coleraine welcomed their fellow Students from Jordanstown to Cromore road on Wednesday in the annual colleges league rugby match. It was the Coleraine side that took the bragging rights for this year with a deserved 19-17 win.
It was UUC who hit the ground running and were on the score sheets minutes into the opening half when a well worked maul from the UUC forwards pushed UUJ back onto their line and allowed Andrew Winder to force his way through the Jordanstown defence to score under the posts. Lee Murphy converted to make the score 7-0.
Jordanstown looked dangerous and slowly made their way into the UUC half and were awarded for the efforts with a penalty, to reduce the score to 7-3. UUC, not content with the score being so tight, went on the offensive once again and it Was Lee Murphy who found a gap on the narrow side to run his teams second try of the match. Calum Rowden missed the difficult conversion to leave the score 12-3.
UUC were building momentum, and in a stroke of genius, UUC full back Scott Martin chipped through the Jordanstown defence to allow Calum Rowden to out pace his opposite number to touch down in the corner. Martin then stepped up to slot the difficult conversion through and take the score to 19-3.
After the half time break UUJ started to play with a bit more fluidity and cracks in the UUC defence started to appear. Jordanstown seen this as their chance to add to their score and did when they broke through the UUC defence and scored under the posts. The conversion was scored and the score reduced to 19-10.
Jordanstown, looking to avoid defeat to their rivals continued to bombard the UUC defence and slowly made their way into the UUC half but the home side defended well and with only minutes left on the clock the visitors struck again when they caught the home side on the back foot to score again under the posts. The conversion was successful reducing the score to 19-17.
The final minutes of the game were tense with Jordanstown being awarded a penalty on the UUC 10 metre line but the attempt was missed and UUC managed to hold on to record their first win over their Belfast rivals in three years with a 19-17 victory.
UUC Hope to build on this success in the Colleges Cup next Wednesday, when they welcome Athlone Institute of Technology to Cromore Road.