Start of season win for 2’s

UUC Power NI 2XV match report 14-09-13

The first fixture of the new season saw the uni second XV play their first round match of the Junior 5 League in good conditions against Dungannon 4’s
The game started very even with both sides getting share of position. The first infringement came from the Dungannon side and was in range for Tommy McGlaughlin. Penalty converted, 3-0. Dungannon replied from the kick off with some very forceful defence pinning the students into their 22 were Dungannon turned the ball over but a little knock allowed for a uni scrum, who coped tremendously well with the bigger Dungannon pack, allowed Tommy to kick the ball safely to touch on the uni 10m line. From a messy lineout allowed Angus ‘The Goose’ Jinks to borrow through from no where to gather the ball, and the uni pack did exceptionally well to recycle the ball from a very physical pack, with several phases of play later allowed Tommy a sneaky pot shot at goal with a drop kick, score now stood 6-0.
However this did not deter the advancing Dungannon lads as they upped the tempo of the game for the next 20mins of play and with some thundering runs from their centres and forwards Dungannon fought back with vengeance and succeeded with two converted try in quick succession, the half ended with a long range penalty from Tommy yet again to make the scores 9-14 to Dungannon.
Half time 9-14
The second half saw the students start off strong, and with the gathering of the ball by Richard Brunt, who was a thorn in the Dungannon lineout all day long stealing one against the throw, which led to multiple phases of play and saw winger Adam Crawford draw the full back and feed back inside to the ever tracking Captain Phil McLean to go over in the corner, conversion missed 14-14.
Unfortunately for the game, it saw the lose of 2 Dungannon players through injury from this high tempo and physical game, and with a suspect binning of their prop reduced the Dungannon lads to 12 men, and with an over extended period in the sin bin by the ref allowed Tommy to yet again slot over a penalty and yet another drop goal, 20-14, but the lack of numbers allowed the student side to physically wear the Dungannon boys out by spreading the ball from one side to the other and with an ever more powerful student defence, as the Dungannon lads strived for another try and turn over by prop Darryl McCorriston saw yet another section of multiple phases and off loads allowing winger Adam Crawford on his debut to run 45metres and score between the posts Adam dropped the conversion to make the score 27-14 for the final score.
Great start to the second’s season who have aspirations of following on from last years league win by targeting Junior 5, they also wish to pass on their best wishes to the injured Dungannon lads and hope for a speedy recovery

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UUC RFC Power NI 2’s continue Away Form

UUC RFC Power NI 2nd XV Continue Away Form after their win over Ballymena 5’s last week.
Conditions were perfect, cool but dry with a difficult low sun facing the UUC Power Ni 2’s in the first half at the Maynard Sinclair grounds in the surroundings of Stormont.
The first 10 minutes we were painfully slow to get started, a high ball was dropped under a difficult sun with their number 10 scoring from the consquenting lineout unopposed under the posts. 7-0 to the home team.
UUC Power Ni 2’s regrouped with Jamie ball slotting over 3 points from a penalty for offside at the breakdown, though missed tackles were the main problem facing the student side. This led to Civil Service’s second score in the corner scored by their number 14. Then as phases were being put together by the students an as play after play and gradually crept their position into Civil service territory, the Lineouts and scrums were becoming dominant you could see momentum was shifting. A charge for the line by a moving pack in the lineout with Jamie Ball sneaking out the back door to put ball over the line, conversion from the try scorer was successful. Service came straight back and scored a try through the forwards with some tight play. Conversion missed.
Final play of the first half saw UUC camped in the Service 22 a charge down from Outhalf Chris Elliott and in his motion of picking up the loose ball was taken out but Ball was gathered by the ever present Phil Mclean with an easy pick up and dive over the line for a try. Ref deemed the tackle without the ball to be a try scoring opportunity and sent the left wing to the bin for 10 minutes.
Half time score of 17-17
Second half saw a rejuvenated UUC side. Try saving tackles were being made and the lifting moral was gaining speed and confidence, an overlap in the home sides 22 saw debutant Jonny Harding placing the ball on the line under difficult pressure. Jamie Ball converted. Pressure was placed on the opposition backs and mistakes were made, the resulting pressure led to turn over ball and Nigel Irwin popped up on the wing to place the ball down.
10 minutes later a scrum on the 10 meter line inside the home teams half, Jamie Ball intercepted from the oppositions 10 leaving a 2 on 1 with the fullback. Nigel was there again to run in close to the post leaving the score 34-17. Play was scrappy towards the end with UUC’s defence the difference. The ref blew the whistle with the away side glad to be leaving with 2 points after a poor performance leaving them in 2nd place in Junior 6.
Man of the match was hard to pick but Nigel Irwin a veteran of the student side deserves this title.
Report By
Chris Elliott

UUC 1stXV Take First Points On The Road

UUC RFC 1stXV defeat CIYMS 17-15 at Belmont

UUC got their first win and points of the season as they defeated CIYMS at Belmont. The students got off to a poor start as CI scored an early try in the first half. Try was unconverted. At the restart the students switched on and challenged the kickoff. Unfortunately the ball was knocked on by UUC leading to a CI scrum. Ross Hackney picked at the tail and was put back by UUC’s John Dillon and Jonathan “Taff” Brown.
The students managed to string a number of phases together and looked extremely dangerous playing with the wind at their backs. It wasn’t long until UUC got on the scoreboard. Glenn Baillie broke the CI line and he managed to get over the try line for a touch down. Calum Rowden stepped up and slotted the conversion. UUC lead 7-5 at half time.
The students had to play into the wind during the second half. It wasn’t long before CI conceded a penalty for ill discipline in the 22. Calum Rowden stepped up and slotted his kick making the score 10-5 to the students. The two teams battled hard against each other until CI scored a try against the students. Try unconverted and score 10-10. The students hit back from the restart and soon regained the ball. A number of phases through the forwards battered CI back towards their line and the pressure eventually told as Gareth Millar spotted a gap and squeezed over the line for the students second try. Calum Rowden calmly slotted the conversion. Score 17-10 to the students. The students regained the ball from the restart. An unfortunate error allowed CI to score their third try of the day. Again CI’s out half missed his third conversion.
The game finished 17-15 to the students. Big congratulations to the students for their outstanding performance and great win away from home. Man of the match was a very tough decision as everyone in the team played extremely well. Glenn Baillie who had a fantastic game managed to clinch man of the match.

Report By
Gareth Bell

Winning on the road

UUC Win Qualifying 2

UUC 1st XV travelled to Omagh knowing a win on the road would secure the league title and promotion to Qualifying 1.

Omagh had four penalties in the first 20 minutes converting only two of them. 10 mins before half-time UUC’s first score was from Jamie Ball intercepting an Omagh pass and running three quarters of the pitch to score in the corner. The score was 6-5 to Omagh at half time.

In the second half UUC had the wind at their backs. Soon into the half Ollie Miller received a yellow card and was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. Omagh took the penalty making the score 9-5.  As soon as Ollie returned from the bin UUC worked through a number of phases and Sam Hall ran half the pitch breaking three tackles to run in under the sticks. Lee Murphy missed the conversion. Score 10-9 to UUC. A few minutes later UUC scored again through the speedy former Blackrock winger Calum Rowden who was passed the ball from an Omagh player to run in and touch down from half way. The score was then 15-9.

The next phase of play saw great work from Andrew Winder and Jamie Ball rip the ball from the Omagh winger deep into the Omagh half. Winder popped the ball to Jonathan Henry who had very little room on the blind side to crash through the gap and run in and score. Score was now 22-9 to UUC.

Again the uni defence stood firm and UUC earned a penalty from Ollie Millar from which UUC kicked for the corner. UUC caught and drove forward to the line. They worked through a number of phases and Ryan Ecock another former Blackrock player crashed over the line. Murphy converted making the score 29-9 to UUC. With 10 minutes to go Omagh hit back with a consolation try and converted it. This made the score 29-16 to UUC.

With 5 mins left to play on the clock UUC won a penalty from the half way line. Gareth Millar stood up to the mark and slotted it over the posts to make the final score 32-16.

UUC won the game with a bonus point and are now Qualifying 2 Champions. This day will go down in club history as promotion to Qualifying 1 will be the highest level the club has achieved. Both Coaches Nathan Moore and Brett Campbell acknowledged the fantastic achievement but noted that if it hadn’t been for the depth of players within the 1st and 2nd XV teams this year it wouldn’t have been possible.

Brett loves it when a plan comes together!


The club would also like to thank The Anchor Bar Complex Porstewart, The Senior Common Room and Spar Coleraine Campus for their loyal support in helping UUC take on this fantastic journey.

Next week the students will defend their 100% home record against the leagues in form team Grosvenor RFC on Saturday 21-04-12. Everyone is welcome to come down to the pavilion and watch what should be an exciting game.

Report: Gareth Bell
Pics: David McCullough

Tough Encounter with Ballyclare

Ballyclare 10 UUC 11

Game of the day in section 2 was Ballyclares home game against league leaders U.U.C. was a must win for both teams. Despite leading early on against the students in the game sponsored by Reid, Black and Company, the Clare side went down by a single point 11-10 as U.U.C. dominated the second half. It looks as if the title will go to either U.U.C. or Omagh. Both have edged clear of the Ballyclare in the current league table.

On Saturday Ballyclare had the wind advantage in the first half but a well organised and very fit U.U.C. team made hard ground to put the home side under pressure. Good work by back row trio of Smith, Dillon and Millar forcing Clotworthy who was at out half to clear. A tackle by S.Morrow halted another attack by centre Johnny Henry and Byers managed to clear. But the pressure from the visitors pack front row of Wilkinson, Stevenson and O’Neill led to a penalty to U.U.C. but Murphy missed.

Clotworthy kicked to the 22 and after the visitors were penalised, the home team made ground through Clotworthy and Weatherup to put prop Boyd over for a try which was converted by Collie Morrow. The students rose to the challenge and weak tackles by the home team allowed the Uni to make ground through centre Winder and it took a superb covering tackle by Clotworthy to stop winger Rowden scoring a try. Then Collie Morrow kicked ahead and Byers followed up to be held up near the opposite line by fullback Millar. A break by Morrow and Weatherup was promising but the ball was kicked away. Another run from Baird looked promising but Reid failed to hold the pass. Following a clearance by the Students Reid was stopped near the line and U.U.C. temporarily lost capt Murphy to injury, and also wing forward Dillon who pulled a hamstring. But the Clare failed to make use of the situation and U.U.C. broke away, great handling from the backline put Hall away, stopped on the 22,quickly recycled ball by second row Darren Leonard led to the home defence going off side to concede a penalty for only for Millar to miss from a good position so it was still 7-0 to Ballyclare at half time.

In the second half the league leaders had wind advantage and used it intelligently with Winder and Millar pushing ballyclaire deep into their own half, though the first chance fell to Morrow who missed a penalty from a good position. The next U.U.C. attack following well won lineout ball from Millar led to pressure forced by imperious no8 Smith led to a penalty and this time jamie Ball slotted over the kick to make it 7-3. The Clare came back immediately and a fine penalty from Morrow gave his side a 10-3 lead. An error by Baird almost let the visitors in and Big second row Hendley should have scored but Ballyclaire’s Logan recovered possession. However the home team failed to clear the danger and U.U.C. played multiple phases and moved the ball out wide to winger Hall and he beat the Clare defence to score on the left side with the conversion wide . This made it 10-8 and the students started to exert more pressure. Yet a long range penalty by Morow was well off target after the Clare pack had made ground. Again the students forced an error in the home defence enabled the visitors to make ground into the home 22 by Smith attacking the blind side but Clotworthy did well to clear. The deciding score of the game came when the Clare pack was penalised after failing to cope with pressured work from the student front five and then Millar the fullback had won a ball he had no right to get to, was illegally hauled to the ground, this time Ball again was on target with the penalty to take the lead at 11-10 for the first time.

From this stage of the half it was the league leaders who had courageously fought back were now dominating with Man of the match Andrew Winderand wingers Rowden and Hall going close and only for strong home defence especially by Logan,Coburn,Jackson and Clotworthy the margin could have been greater. Emense forward drives from Oneill, Leonard and Wilkinson deserved a score but Claire cleared time and time again. The home team tried to run the ball from deep positions however they were unable to get out of their own 22 and the U.U.C. centres Winder and Henry and full back Millar cut them down ruthlessly on each occasion. The final whistle came giving the students the double league victory over an excellent Ballyclaire team and the all-important 4 points to try and keep pace with title favourites Omagh.

Ballyclare Team-G.Byers; J.Reid, J.Jackson, S.Morrow, J.J.Baird; G.Clotworthy, C.Morrow; A.Boyd, A.Wylie, M.Finlay; K.Johnston, M.Crothers; G.Weatherup, W.Logan (capt.), C.Coburn.

University Team – G Millar, C Rowden, A Winder, J Henry, S Hall, L Murphy, J Ball, J Wilkinson, S Stephenson, M O’Neill, D Leonard, J Henley, O Millar, P Smith, J Dillon.

Well Done Sam

Not everyone can claim to having founded a rugby club but back in 1968, this is what Dr SR Logan did, arriving as a member of staff to the Chemistry dept of the New University opened in Coleraine that same year.

During the following 44 years Sam has played for the club, has been mini bus driver, recruitment officer, Hon secretary, President and for many years Club fixture secretary and Rep to the Ulster branch clubs committee and as Joe Eggleson said at the opening of the club rooms, ” when Sam spoke people tended to listen”. His influence has been massive in all things good about the ethos and delivery of student rugby.

In the 70’s he persuaded one of the most forward thinking rugby minds in Irish rugby, JC Lapsley who had coached the famous Kings Scholars at Stranmillis,  and who also happened to be a full Irish selector to take on the coaching of the young club. By this vision of recruitment he influenced the coaching ethos of the club for three decades and indeed to the present day. He was immensely proud that in his latter academic years students who had been involved in the early days of the club would come knocking on his office door to introduce there sons who were now enrolling such as father and son Noel and Christopher Mills from Rostrevor County Down, who both played and acted as Secretary for the club.

Sam also encouraged many to take up club administration  and refereeing most notably Brian Stirling who when sustaining a playing career ending injury in his first year at Coleraine, was instructed by Dr Logan to take up the art of the Whistle! The highlight of his career of many internationals was a Bledislow cup match.

In recent years Sam decided at 70 it was time to stop doing touch judge were he kept many a referee right with his decisions and on occasions in order as to the rules of the game! He now contents himself with spectating at the home games from one of the hospitality boxes at the Cromore Road pitches now affectionately known with the players as the Sam Logan Stadium! Well Done Sam.

Dr Sam Logan being presented with one of the clubs new ties by club treasurer Simon Morgan at the recent home fixture against Lisburn.

5 points asserts lead campaign

UUC entertained Lisburn at the University looking to secure some points to keep pace with the challenge of Omagh and Ballyclaire for the section 2 title. The result a fanatic 52 – 5 win for the home team did not tell the story of the fixture. It has been the pattern in recent weeks for the students who have struggled to achieve any meaningful fluency in their game and with injuries to key players continues to blight them, however in one of those games, every time Lisburn made a mistake the young student team turned it into points. The first score came from a poor clearance which was fielded by full back Miller who was able too round the visitor’s defence to score in the corner, the conversion was missed. Although Lisburn had the better of the scrums and lineout the key factor was the students ability through some luck as well as skill to turn ball over and then punish the opposition with points on the board and good trys from Wingers Hall and Rowden (2), and centres Winder and Henry put the students into a 30 point lead by the break. Lisburn to there credit in the second half with the elements in there favour despite several injuries to key players fought hard and were rewarded with a good try and were unlucky not to score several more against the fragile home defence. The students managed trough man of the match fresher J Dillon and second row Henley to score two further trys with Millar and Murphy converting five in total. The University know they will have to be much sharper against the experienced opponents that lie ahead in the weeks to come.

Letterkenny Away

In wintry conditions at Letterkenny  the students put down a marker that there indifferent recent form is behind them with an impressive 34 – 0 win, and picking up a four try bonus point showed that even in the most difficult of conditions and against good opposition, it seems the limited university team are capable of a style and brand of rugby to ask the questions of the fancied  quality teams  in the league..

The game started with the students opening strongly and winning a lot of possession Intelligently  used by out half Murphy and  on several occasions were only a pass away from braking the Kenny defence, pressure eventually told and a penalty conceded was well converted by the uni 10 Lee Murphy.

Great line out work from Dillon and Millar ably supported by man of the match Leonard and the ever improving Neil secured good possession for the students back line and centres Tommy Guns McGlaughlin and Callum Rowden came close on several occasions, however the defensive work of the home team kept the uni out and only one further penalty was the reward for there efforts. Half time 6 – 0 to the visitors.

The students changed their tactics at half time and took on a more direct approach holding onto hard won ball rather than kicking it away aimlessly.  Excellent plays involving multiple phases of ball retention from the front 5, lead by  Wilkinson and eventually the 1st try came from 6 6″ No 8 Pete Smith.

The tries then started to flow as winger Sam Hall back from suspension grabbed a brace of tries, all 3 conversions successful from the boot of skipper Murphy.

The students pressed for the bonus point try and the fresher G Millar did not disappoint, he ghosted into the line from fullback picking up a lovely pass from scrum half Winder and although held up just short, however the diminutive prop forward Le Massif O’Neill arrived and drove him over the line in what proved to be the last play of the game. The students running out 34 – 0 victors.

Tough win away from home against Skins

Enniskillen 6 UUC 8 with 7 changes through injury and unavailability made the difficult task of travelling to fortress Enniskillen even more challenging for the uni side, but by 4pm it was job done and four vital league points secured for the young student team.

 

Andrew Winder starts flowing back move

With a strong wind straight down the field the home team choose to play with it. The story of the half was Enniskillen kicking for territory and a strong resolute student defence and good ball retention leaving no openings for a likely try, only a brace of penalties gave Enniskillen a 6 point lead at the break.

Centre Tommy McGlaughlin Takes on Skins Defensive Line

 

The students reduced the deficit to a point with a skilful box kick from scrumhalf Winder forcing a scrum five metres from the home team line and an almighty scrum from the uni 8 disrupted the ball at the back foot and several fumbles which took the ball in goal saw the 6’ 10” uni second row Darren Leonard dive at full length to touch down.

 

Moments Later Darren Leonard Scores for UUC

The rest of the half with elements in favour should have been a simple exercise for the students to push for victory however, Enniskillen showed herculean resolve in holding onto possession for up to 20 phases at a time, grinding there way out of their own half, perhaps a lack of desire in opening out possession cost them the game as the university pressure told and a penalty with 5 min to go converted by Whitcroft from 50m out sealed a superb win for the students all fifteen were out standing and skipper Lee Murphy who marshalled his troops superbly all afternoon got his reward.

Win Secured against a very tought City of Derry 4’s

The University 2nd XV squad were on the road again on Saturday past to take on City of Derry 4th XV in an Ulster Branch Minor League North fixture. The Uni lads were quietly confident having easily dispatched their opposition in the home game at Cromore road before the Christmas break. However, judging from the pre-match warm up, it was evident that City of Derry had made a few changes to the side that travelled to Cromore Road – indeed it seemed their 4th XV had been very active in the January transfer window.  The old, wise (but somewhat burly and out of shape) heads that travelled to Coleraine were replaced by younger, leaner and more athletic counterparts. Nonetheless, as Coach McCully correctly stated ‘These are the sorts of things that happen when you travel to play a senior side 4th XV and their 1st and 2nd XV’s don’t have a game. If you have a good enough team spirit you will still win’. Wise words indeed.

 

The game kicked off with the Uni men on the attack. A few early sorties into the opposition 22 were rewarded by three points from the boot of the ever reliable Richard Murphy. Restart kick-off receipt was poor, something that has been a problem for the Uni lads all season. However, what followed next was UUC shampoo rugby at its finest. A few mid-field exchanges and good Uni defence resulted in the City of Derry outhalf kicking deep into the Uni 22. Fullback David McMenemy collected the ball, and in typical UUC 2nd XV fashion, elected to run out of defence rather than put the kick in. The Armagh flyer beat numerous defenders and off-loaded the ball to a Uni player on half way. A number of great ‘take and gives’ saw the Uni lads advance to the opposition 22. As a City of Derry defender put in a good tackle, the ball was off loaded to Stevie Brown coming in at pace. Stevie cut a great angle, drew the last defender and put Richard Murphy in for a length of the pitch try. The two Uni alicadoos on the touchline were in raptures. Murphy easily converted his own try, 10-0 to the Uni. The pre-match words from Coach McCully really did seem well founded at this stage. Yet, for the next 15 mins the Uni men decided to switch off defensively, with City of Derry scoring two soft tries, both of which were converted. The young, athletic City of Derry team had their tails up at this stage and things looked ominous for the Uni boys. However, that man David McMenemy came to the rescue again! Good handling by the Uni backline saw the Armagh flyer coming into the line from fullback; with two defenders to beat he elected to chip the ball over the top. He then duly followed up his own kick, leaving defenders in his wake, for the Uni’s second try of the game. Murphy was successful with the conversion. Score 17-14 to the Uni. The whistle for half-time blew shortly afterwards.

 

The Uni lads started the second half in great spirit, buoyed by the late McMenemy score just before half-time. The Uni scored another two unanswered tries, neither of which were converted. The first went to Chris McClelland after good all round team play. The second was scored by winger, Nathan McCall, after a few good phases of play the ball was passed out the entire backline for the winger to literally fall over the line for a well deserved score. Richard Murphy also kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty, great game management from the fly half. The score was now 30-14 to the Uni. Surely this was game over – but far from it! The City of Derry men came back hard at the Uni boys and scored two excellent tries of their own, one of which was converted, along with a penalty goal. The score was now 30-29 to the Uni, and as the City of Derry captain shouted loudly to his players, this really was ‘game on!’. To their credit the Uni lads dug deep, and were awarded another penalty for their continued pressure in the City of Derry half. Murphy converted with ease, leaving some breathing space with the score at 33-29. A few minutes later with the clock running down the Uni boys were awarded another penalty 20 metres out directly in front of the posts. The was due mainly to great defensive work from Stevie Brown with a huge ‘man and ball’ tackle and then getting back to his feet almost instantaneously to steal ball. The City of Derry player held on to the ball for his life, still reeling from the huge hit Stevie had just put in on him, giving the referee no option but to award the penalty. Richard Murphy stepped up to convert what seemed like a straight forward three points. However, using his years of experience Richard decided to miss the penalty and therefore avoid the dreaded half-way restart (which the Uni really have been having trouble dealing with all season) and thus make City of Derry drop out from their 22 instead (I’m sure this must be what he was thinking!!). Anyhow, this proved to be an excellent decision as City of Derry kicked out long from their 22 restart. The Uni lads easily retained possession until the final whistle, gleefully kicking the ball out of play on the stroke of full time. Final score 33-29.

 

This was an excellent performance from the Uni 2nd XV squad. However, there is still plenty to be worked on. Conceding 4 tries is never something to be proud of. It would be difficult to pick out a Man of the Match, but great games were had upfront by captain Scott ‘Randy’ Stevenson, Stuart Whitcroft, Dave Coaches and Chris McClelland. In the backs, Richard Murphy had another solid well controlled game, whilst Stevie Brown,  and Lee Johnson showed flashes of brilliance, but David McMenemy created so fantastic moves from full back setting up two tries and with his fantastic counter attacking earned him Man of The Match .  Next game for the lads is a home fixture in the McCambley cup against Carrick 5’s. A successful run in the cup would really add the gloss to what has already been an excellent season.

 

UUC 1’s turn over lisburn

On a cold winters day at Blaris, UUC went about defending their unbeaten league status against a Lisburn team who’s league position didn’t tell the whole story as they have picked up 7 losing bonus points with two wins from 9 outings; was this to be an omen for the students. The Uni had one change in their team with Ulster Rugby League player Andrew Winder slipping in at 9, Lee Murphy at Full Back and Callum Rodney moving to outside centre. Lisburn had one change also, with whiley old dog Mark Crowethers suffering a late hamstring injury, replaced by their promising under 20s fly half with Crowethers taking up position as defence co-ordinator.
From the off the students were camped in the Lisburn 22 with big carries by second rowers Morgan and Leonard most notable, and tight head O’Neill putting in a work-man like, and some might say dominative performance around the fringes. This possession and territory would turn out fruitless as with their first foray onto opposing territory after a 20 minute barrage, Lisburn came away with 3 points, which was quickly doubled as with the wind at their backs they looked to build up a lead with a long range effort.
Whitcroft at 10 was striking the ball beautifully out of hand, probing the corners but his place kicking, for the first time this season, went astray as the pressure of the chance to go top must of got to the young royal school Armagh man but he found his range on the stroke of half time as the students went in 6-3 down at the turn.
With the ample UUC crowd replenished with festive refreshments provided by former President Alan Sharpe’s Cognac, the support surged through the team as with the wind at their back, every poor kick was pounced on with counter attack rugby. With Jonny and Callum poking and probing up the middle, the gap was finally made after a surge by Lee Sharpe for Lee Murphy to snipe in at the corner, much to the delight of the travelling support. Whitcroft was successful with the tricky conversion to open up a 4 point gap.
From now on it was one way traffic as the UUC team, and their followers pitched camp in the Lisburn 22 as Dunlevey, Henley and Wilkinson’s ferocious tackling had knocked the literal Christmas stuffing out of their opponents. To give credit where credit is due, Lisburn’s never say die attitude was evident as they held the students for so long, but the pressure told as set piece after set piece wore down the hosts, with after a pick and go young Callum was the last one up holding the ball aloft which was appreciated by dad Ivor who made the trip from Wexford. From a similar play the next score wasn’t long in coming as Marty O’Neill scored, putting him top of the try scoring table as the Desertmartin man was again aloof as he serenaded the crowd with some magical moments.
With kicks going astray, the uni were still in command but as expected, with the last play of the game, after 18 phases, young McDowell capped a fine debt for the senior team as he scored, and kept his cool to add the extras to gain another bonus point. With this, the uni go into their next three games away form cromore road sitting 2nd in the league, a point behind accies with the final game of the season in Tyrone looking more and more interesting.
Director of rugby Brett Campbell was quoted as saying “a wins a win”, while captain Dunlevey said “at the end of the day I just want to play rugby, you know, we did it for the gaffer and ya know, you got to play for 80 minutes and I think we did that ya know. its a game of two halves and at the end of the day, baletteli should never have been sent off.” Great words from the skipper there but all roads now lead to Larne as the league takes a break for the festive period with a lot of promise shown by Eecock, Henry and Miller, their youthful experience could be vital as the uni now have 11 games in a row to push on.
It was also fantastic to see great support for the uni with no less than 5 past 1stXV Captains standing on the side lines showing their support.
Exiles legends Keith Anderson, Johnny McQuiston along with former President Steve Ickringill enjoy the Lisburn match.

Past 1stXV Captains and current exiles Gareth Neilly and Nathan Moore

Report
Taff Brown

Pics
Brett Campbell

Win Moves 2ndXV To Second In League

UUC 2’s welcomed Letterkenny 2’s to the Sam Logan stadium at cromore road, the weather was far from perfect with heavy rain and a bitterly cold wind. The uni started the brighter of the 2 teams in the first 10mins of the game with a charging run by blindside wing forward Bryan Boyd from the back of a rolling maul, secured by open side Kyle Hetherington encouraged the Letterkenny pack to creep in off side and give a penalty in front of the posts towards Campbell end, there was a gusting wind that would have made this simple kick quite difficult indeed. Richard murphy stepped up to the mark and made the opening score 3-0.

From the kick off a knock on saw Letterkenny getting the put in at the scrum, but the uni pack who played very well in the tight all day took a strike against the head and the uni number 8 dummied the 9 and stepped inside the 10 only to be taken down short of the 22, good recycling of the ball gave the uni back line a chance to score, but the cold day seen a knock on 8metres from the Letterkenny line.

Letterkenny fought their way back into the game and from one missed tackle out wide saw their centre charge 40metres to score and their kicker converted. 3-7 Undeterred the uni pack battled back hard and suppressed the Letterkenny back line into a hurried kick which gave the uni lads a lineout 15meters from the line, a well taken lineout by Andrew Munce saw Hetherington once again making a telling drive while popping up to number 8 Ricky Boyd who crashed over the try line, however as obvious as the score was the referee thought otherwise, from the 5metre scrum the Letterkenny backs were found off side, from a nearly identical position Richard Murphy converted the penalty, the uni and Letterkenny Touch Judges both raised their arms but yet again the referee deemed it otherwise. Half time score 3-7
Again the uni started the second half dominating position and territory, but a missed time pass 10mins into the half saw a knock by uni on the Letterkenny 5metre line, from the advantage they run the length of the pitch with a forward pass thrown in for good measure to score in the corner, conversion missed 3-12 was the score, which was against the run of play, the uni number 8 was substituted due to an ankle injury, this allowed Kyle to move into his more natural spot at number 8, and alongside McCully and Boyd the newly formed backrow took the game hard to Letterkenny with Kyle heading over the line from an inside pass, conversion scored. 10-12

UUC 2’s who are unbeaten at home this season were now determined to win this match and a penalty 5 mins from time just short of the half way line saw Murphy again strike the ball sweetly and the ball sailed between the uprights, 13-12. A knock on from the receiving kick immediately put the uni lads under pressure as Letterkenny fought hard but they could not penetrate the uni defence, hands where on heads as a penalty was awarded to Letterkenny, they struck the ball well but it got held up in the wind and the advancing centres claimed the ball and took it over the line, but uni lads held them up. Scrum Letterkenny, pick up 8 to 9 to wing and a great tackle by winger Peter McLean allowed Bryan Boyd to come in on the ball, 4 Letterkenny players couldn’t move him as they held on for a penalty to UUC.

Pressure was relieved and the full time whistle went soon after, the man of the match was awarded to Bryan Boyd who returned to the game after a 4 year absence and showed he still has what it takes. A special thanks to him as well as Peter McLean and Nathan McCall who all stepped up to the mark, and with a team whose heads never dropped and battled to the very end secured a win and the unbeaten record that stands from last season.