After last weeks win against Donegal 2s the students had a much tougher task of Strabane 2s at the Sam Logan Stadium. A close fought encounter saw the students come out 10-9 winners against Strabane.
From the whistle it was obvious the game was going to be physical and that every point would count as the rain was becoming heavy. The uni defence was solid and the students where able to keep Strabane in their own half, and for the first 20 minutes didn’t look like either team was going to score. After a period of play indiscipline started to creep into both sides but an excellent forwards drive and a dubious call from the ref penalised the uni, giving Strabane a penalty in the 22. Their out half stood up to the mark and converted the kick. The students hit back immediately and earned a penalty in the Strabane 22. Jamie Ball stepped up to the mark and converted making the score 3-3, the Uni lads had another attempt at a penalty just before half time but kicker Jamie shaved the up right and missed, at half time the score was 3-3.
The second half started off with the same intensity as the first half, both teams defences where solid. Soon into the second half Strabane where awarded a penalty and converted to make the score 6-3 to Strabane. Straight from the kickoff Strabane worked their way back into the students 22 and a great tackle by lock William Waddell stemmed a telling attack from the Strabane forwards, the students were unlucky as Strabane were awarded another penalty for an infringement in the ruck. Strabane converted the penalty to make the score 9-3.
At this point the students switched on and pushed Strabane deep into their own half. With outstanding ruck work from the uni forwards, saw phase after phase of recycled ball and it was only a matter of time that frustration would set into Strabane, the fitness of the Uni and quick recycling produced the end result as frustration set in and Strabane gave a penalty away less than 5 minutes from time. Tommy McLaughlin took a quick tap and the ball was spread through the backs to winger David McMenemy who cut up Strabane’s defence and crashed over the try line close to the posts, making the score 9-8 in favour to Strabane. Jamie Ball stepped forward to take the conversion and slotted it between the posts making the score 10-9 to the students. With a minute and half to go the uni received and secured the kickoff, recycled the ball and on the 80th minute kicked the ball out of play to seal a hard fought win.
This game has shown the lads that they can match the physical teams and puts them in good stead for their fourth coming teams of Armoy 1st XV and Inishowen 1st XV, its just a pity it took 60mins of rugby before the Uni lads opened up and showed Strabane what they could really do. Man of the match award went to Romain Berge who was outstanding at full back, But credit must go to Jamie Ball who steadied the ship and showed nerves of steel to clinch the match!
Randy has been in the wars!!