UUC turn style on against Omagh
The University of Ulster, Coleraine RFC welcomed Omagh RFC to Cromore Road for their First Round Junior Cup match. This was UUC’s first flurry in the cup and they progressed to the Second Round with a hard fought 21-9 victory.
Both teams wanted to get off to good start but it was UUC who started the brighter of the two with some well worked possession, recycling the ball and running at the Omagh defence. Omagh couldn’t handle the UUC lineout and in the early stages of the game UUC rattled Omagh with a great catch and drive but were halted short of the line. Omagh fought back and went on the attack themselves but couldn’t break the strong student defence.
Omagh won a lineout on their own 10 metre line and tried to take it quick but Michael Dunleavy, without the aid of his lifters, jumped and intercepted the lineout, beat two defenders and ran for the line to score in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed.
Defensive errors led to Omagh getting a penalty which was converted to reduce the deficit to 5-3. Omagh continued to attack the UUC defence but wave after wave was repelled by the UUC defence. Another penalty for interference at the ruck led to Omagh taking the led 6-5 going into half time.
After the break Omagh continued to assail the UUC defence and were awarded with a penalty for ill-discipline which was converted to take the score to 9-5 in Omagh’s favour. From the restart UUC went on the attack and after a well taken lineout from John Lutton, Lee Murphy set the UUC backs away with the ball and after some slick handling Sam Hall beat several defenders to go over in corner to take the score to 10-9. The resulting conversion was missed.
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UUC continued to attack Omagh and were awarded a penalty for ill-discipline at the breakdown and Alan Whitcroft stepped up to take the score to 13-9.
The students then started turning on some of their own signature style with David Orr cutting through the defence before off-loading to Martin O’Neill who was tackled short of the line to further increase the score.
Omagh pinned the students deep inside their half but a turn over by club captain Jamie Wilkinson led to Calum Rowden running down the right touch line before cutting in field and throwing a long pass across the field to Michael Dunleavy who off-loaded to Sam Hall to score in the corner. Whitcroft missed the conversion which left the score at 18-9.
Omagh drove for the UUC line but a lack of discipline led to the students being awarded another penalty which Whitcroft calmly slotted away to take the score to 21-9. After the penalty Omagh knew they had to go for it if they were to win the game but great defence by Andrew Winder stopped them from coming through the middle to score and in the dying seconds of the game as Omagh went for the line David McCullough got his body under the ball to stop Omagh from scoring.
The final whistle went leaving UUC victorious and on their way to the next round. UUC now have to travel to Omagh this Saturday to play them again but this time for league points instead of a place in the cup.