Students Win Again!!

UUCRFC 2nd XV have started their League campaign with a win against Armoy 1st XV. From the offset the students took the game to the vastly experienced Armoy team but the students came out on top after playing a game of open, free flowing, off the cuff rugby.

Tries on the day from

J Gilkinson , B Parke (2), J Stevenson, A Rourke (2), R Jackson and S McCleery with J Stevenson slotting 4 Converstions and 1 Penalty Kick.

Final score

UUCRFC 2nd XV 51 – 07 Armoy 1st XV

Team

1.Stephen McCleery

2.Peter McCully

3.Linsey McLaughlin (C)

4.Andrew Janes

5.Calvin Galbraith

6.Gary Burke

7.Samuel Hetherington

8.Daniel Morgan

9.Andrew Eastop

10.Brendan Parke

11.Andrew Rourke

12.Stuart Ballantine

13.John Gilkinson

14.Aaron Armstrong

15.James Stevenson

16.Scott Bashford

17.Ryan Jackson

Photos by John Kelly

UUCRFC 2nd XV v Armoy 

This Saturday 10th September sees the 2nd XV start their domestic season with a home game against Armoy. Armoy is the 2nd XV’s local rival the game will be a tough battle from the start for the students.

Kick off is at 1430hrs at the Sam Logan Stadium, Ulster University, Coleraine. If you are in town, call down and support the guys.
Reminder that parking on campus is free on a Saturday.

UUCRFC 1st XV v Coleraine 1st XV

This Saturday, 3rd September 2016, sees the return of the domestic league for UUC bad they start there campaign in Qualifying 2. Not only is it the league opener for the UUC men, it is also the local derby as the students take on the town. 

Kick off is at 1430hrs at the Sam Logan Stadium, The Sports Pavillion, Cromore Road, Coleraine.

If you are about the town, call down and show your support for the men in green in what will be a highly entertaining game.

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

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

Away win in donegal

Great away win for Uni 2’s

UUC 2’s travelled the lengthy distance to Donegal RFC, from the kick off it was clear that the Donegal were out to make good on the 62-0 defeat they suffered at the Sam Logan Stadium. Both Donegal and Uni started off brightly with both teams defending tremendously with both teams missing some scoring opportunities at the posts but it was UUC to score first from some beautiful hands taking the uni lads up to the Donegal 22 but failed to capitalise, Matt ‘Tails’ Hill had a fantastic game at fullback controlling the game well, and importantly keeping Donegal back in their own half with well fielded kicks, but the sustained and constant pressure that
Was exerted onto Donegal resulted in a penalty just before half time, Richard Murphy once again showing his fine kicking ability took the 3points.
Half time 0-3
UUC made one change as Joe ‘Zeus’ McKinney was replaced by Liam ‘George’ O’Discin at the half time break. The second half saw the uni lads start with far more vigour than Donegal, such was the intensity number 8 Aaron Doherty charged down a kick just past the UUC 10metre line, kicked the ball on, and showing a fantastic turn of pace beat the Donegal winger to slide over the line, Conversion slotted over my Murphy 0-10.
This sparked the game into life as Donegal were now chasing the game and the defensive line led by returning backrower who put in massive tackles all day causing turnovers, this never let Donegal anywhere near the UUC try line. From a resulting scrum Doherty picked up a great hook by Scott ‘Randy’ Stevenson beating their seven and stepping 10, his line drew in the covering winger, he then popped up to the uni 9 who got hauled down just short of the line but hand the whereabouts to put a pass up from the deck to oncoming support of Stuart Whitcroft who went over in the corner, conversion missed 0-15
As Donegal were chasing the game hard now, they were starting to throw the ball wide at any occasion but the unrelenting pressure from the UUC backline saw a speculative pass picked of by Whitcroft who went half the length of the pitch to dot the ball below the posts, Murphy kicked the conversion 0-22
The rest off the half saw UUC play most of the game in Donegal territory, but on occasions couldn’t exploit their field position as the lineout was letting them down, but continued pressure resulted in Ty Young making a great hit followed in by Hetherington and it was a penalty for UUC Donegal were holding on, Murphy again calmly stepped up to the mark and took on the 3 points 0-25.
5 mins before time saw Hetherington making a break from the back of a maul beating 2 defenders, a breaking a great tackle he popped the ball outside him to supporting prop Linsey ‘Phats’ McLaughlin who burst over the line, but alas the referee deemed it a forward pass. Final Score 0-25
A great performance on the road for the UUC lads as returning player Kyle Hetherington scooped the man of the match award for his outstanding efforts on the pitch.
Next up is Letterkenny at home who are mid table and a very capable team indeed, the lads will have to hit the training fields this week to ensure a home win.

uni seconds return to winning ways

Uni were simply superb as City Of Derry were the visitors and the freshly strengthened side saw the return of Joe McKinney, Aaron Doherty as well as the long awaited return of Andrew Munce to the second row, the uni now at full strength for the first time in 2 weeks had a team that wanted to prove a point.
The weather conditions were perfect for playing, however it was the City Of Derry lads who scored first from a messy ruck, a hack on and a more than suspect grounding of the ball saw a score for them in the corner, conversion missed. 0-5

The solid front row of Linsey McLaughlin, Scott Stevenson and Dave McCullough dealt with the larger City Of Derry pack well as they ensured unyielding scrums all day long, and from a scrum on the halfway line, quick ball along the back line saw a great backline move up towards the City Of Derry 22, when the forwards recycled the ball well and lock Daniel Morgan broke through several defenders to crash over the line, conversion missed 5-5 it was game on.

City of Derry battled back hard, soon after kick off with a sustained period camped on the Uni try line, but fantastic defence by both forwards and backs shown the way by Andrew Munce and Joe McKinney lead to the uni lads forcing a penalty from City Of Derry,

this was the vital turning point in the game, as you could visibly see the intensity of the Uni step up considerably, and as they increased the pressure in the last 20mins of the half the uni scored 3 more times from Berge, McMenemy and Whitcroft, half time score 24-5

City Of Derry kicked off the second deep into the Uni 22 and a moment of miscommunication saw no one claim the ball and the City of Derry winger took full advantage of the bounce, too dot the ball under the posts, 24-12. However this would be the last time City of Derry would enter the Uni 22.

The Fantastic defensive work of the forwards forcing turnovers combined with the magic hands and great running lines of the backs saw a bombardment of trys in the second half, as the fitter pack led strongly by Scott Stevenson helped open up space for McMenemy, Berge and Whitcroft all to score their second trys. And as the game opened up further sub Tails Hill, went over the white washed joined by Richard Murphy soon after. Final Score was 62-12, keeping the Uni’s record of being the most attacking backline in the league. It was also great to see that subs of Niall Diffin, Tony Colgan and Tails slotting into the game seamlessly.  Man of the match went to Andrew Munce whose work rate was second to none on the day. They hope to carry this team trough to the next game against Donegal away, with their ones are not playing it will be a tough encounter, but the belief is in the squad to bring home a win from Donegal next week 26/11/11.

UUC 2’s suffocated by Inishowen 1st XV

The Uni lads travelled northward to Inishowen R.F.C 1st XV who previously played Qualifying League Rugby until very recently, however undeterred the students were eager to find out how far they had come this year, as they were going up against such a strong team in the minor league.

It was a pleasant day in Donegal, the right conditions for running rugby and the first half did not disappoint, as both teams we’re willing to run the ball and it was 10mins and soft tackling that allowed the Inishowen team to score first down the wing. Try was converted 7-0.

UUC started to realise this was a tougher game than the previous week and stepped up the physicality in the tackle and started to force the odd turnover, however some speculative passing midfield by the forwards gave a turn over to Inishowen from which they scored on the opposite wing 10 mins later. Try converted 14-0.

A quick chat under the posts and the UUC lads dramatically upped the pace of the game working Inishowen hard from the kick off, and the continued pressure saw scrum half Tommy McGlaughlin force a penalty near the posts; it was kicked by out half Richard Murphy. 14-3

The receiving kick was fielded well by Daniel Morgan and a powerful drive by open side Stuart Whitcroft ably supported by Scott Stevenson saw the lads drive deep into the Inishowen 22, A lovely crash ball by Linsey McLaughlin and quick ruck ball saw the UUC full back head over the line 5 meters from touch. Try Converted by Murphy on the stroke of half time. 14-10 and the lads were confident they could take the game to Inishowen.

However Inishowen had other thoughts on how to play rugby in the second half, as the closed the game out by continually picking and driving in ugly but ultimately efficient rugby as the continued pressure from picking and driving led to a hands in the ruck penalty, and it was a kick top the corner, lineout maul and pick and go rugby saw Inishowen score to trys in 20mins one in each corner.

UUC 2’s never deterred from trying to play a better brand of rugby but it was hard for the chaps to get any continuity together with only 5mins of game time on the ball in the second half, but credit has to go to the uni as they never stopped defending as we seen 18 pick and goes from Inishowen and they hadn’t left their area just outside their own 22.

Final score was Inishowen 1stXV 24 UUC 2ndXV 10.
The guys have taken great pride from the game being a genuine Minor League team doing so well against a former qualifying team and look forward to the Inishowen lads travelling up to the Sam Logan Stadium in the New Year.

Man of the match was yet again a hard decision with so many guys making an impressive contribution to the team, but Stuart Whitcroft certainly had to take the honours as he battled hard at every ruck and maul.

Ballyclare push hard

In perfect conditions the visitors to the Logan Stadium were Ballyclare who last season put 10 trys past the students. The game started with the home team having the better of the early exchanges, with the lively Jamie Ball at scrum half pulling the strings, however things changed abruptly when the students tried to move a ball wide and a misdirected pass bounced into the Ballyclaire no 12’s hands, he out stripped the home defence to touch down under the posts, the conversion easily made gave the visitors a 7 point lead.

The students then suffered another blow when shortly after the restart a good cutting break saw rugby league convert, centre Andrew Winder carry the ball into contact were he fell awkwardly and damaged his ankle in the process, to his credit he choose to stay on the field, moving to the wing were he played basically on one leg for the remaining 70minutes and crucially, his presence would make a telling contribution to the game.

The students reorganised and went about trying to get a hold on the talented Ballyclaire team, a great step in the middle of the field from hooker Ryan Eecock who has made the number 2 shirt his own this season, supported by O’Neill and Wilkinson created quick possession, this was moved once more through the forwards hands with the back row ground hog John Dillon making the ball available, quick handling and direct running by the back line saw full back Lee Murphy give Winger Sam Hall a great pass and the big lad coming onto the pass flat out stripped the away defence to score in the corner. Out half Whitcroft slotted the difficult conversion to level affairs, it was game on.

A period followed were both teams struggled to retain primary possession, with in turn each team winning line outs and scrums against the head, but good defensive work lead to turnover of the ball and it was a moment of inspiration from skipper Dunlevey to make the ball available giving the Uni no 10, who always looks to keep the score board moving, tried a long range attempt at a drop goal, on target but just dropping under the crossbar. However the fullback managed to fumble the ball and gave a knock on, this gave the students prime field position. To their credit Ballyclaire survived the onslaught on their try line however eventually an offside infringement was conceded and Out half Whitcroft made no mistake with the penalty kick to give the home side the half time lead.

The restart saw Ballyclaire start the better and the student defence was well tested surprisingly and uncharacteristically indiscipline home defence gave several penalties away, but thankfully the visitors kicking boots were still in Ballyclaire and the scoreboard was not threatened. The students then played some good rugby with Millar, Dunlevey, McCullough and Henley dominating the line out and great defence from Rowden and Hill and Murphy who is securer than any European bank at fullback, saw the students get into penalty range and when the error came Whitcroft converted from 30m out to give the students a 13 – 7 lead.

One of the trade marks of the home team this season has been having the capacity to score at key times in games and in probably the key moment of this entertaining fixture, the students were given the put in to a scrum that the visitors may have felt should have been there’s, 10 yards out, surprising the Claire defence no8 went blind and fed scrumhalf Jamie Ball who gave the pass to Winder who considering his damaged leg stepped round the visitors winger and fullback to score a try. Whitcroft converted the conversion from the touch line, his 12th consecutive kick at goal, to open up a 20 – 7 lead.
Ballyclaire to there credit came back at the students and forced a try with a juggling act by the fullback after a good build up saw him have loose then have again control of the ball as he crossed the try line, to bring the visitors back within 6 points .However the students had the best of the final exchanges and almost crowned a dogged performance by scoring what would have been an outstanding try with every forward touching the ball inter passing through the Ballyclaire defence with unfortunately the final pass going to ground with the try line at their mercy. Final score UUC 20 – Ballyclaire 14

2ndXV Suffer First Defeat

It was a wet and windy day at Lime Park Armoy, the pitch was heavy under foot but the students battled hard from start to finish as the two best defensive teams in the league went head to head. Luck divided the teams in an outcome in a match that could have swung either way on the day.

The first half was a close fought encounter as both teams defended vigorously and a strong referee kept Armoy honest but first points went to Armoy after 15mins of play as they kicked a penalty, 3-0. The students battled back hard and only after Armoy conceded 8 penalties in a row did the students finally take advantage of a positional penalty and kicked 3 points of their own, 3-3. The continual penalty count frustrated the students as they couldn’t gather momentum against Armoy a yellow card may have enabled the game to settle down into some rhythm but this wasn’t to be and it was Armoy to strike next 10mins before half time by kicking a penalty to take the score to 6-3. 5 mins before half time the University lost hooker Jeremy Gregg who took a nasty tackle.

The second half saw the student start the more aggressive of the two teams stretching Armoy from one side of the pitch and Jamie Ball kicked them well deep into the corners, a knock on from a lineout by Armoy saw a scrum 8 metres from the line and pick up from Aaron Doherty drive well from the back of the scrum and quick recycling of the ball seen Stuart Whitcroft dive for the corner only to be denied by millimetres on the touch line.
The students found it hard to create any flow in their game due to excessive penalties from Armoy, however credit has to go to Armoy on their well drilled defence as they played the conditions well and kept the students at bay. It was this strong defence that put pressure on the students which saw a break down in communications and a dropped pass, the quick thinking of the Armoy number 6 saw him hack the ball through, he controlled the ball well to see him go over the line 10mins before time, the converted to make the score line 13-3. The students battled bravely to the last minutes of the game and believed if the game were to continue it would most definitely have finished on a different score.

Although the students were beaten they can take great pride from the game, as it was a hard fought game from both teams, and one of those games that could have went either way. There will be hard lessons learned from this game, and the students shall take them on board and implement them at training to help secure a victory in their next game away against Inishowen.
Man of the Match went to Jamie Ball at scrum who kept the students heading in the right direction.