was delighted to be able to lend my support to Coleraine RFC last Saturday in their first home match of the season against Dromore. Coleraine may have struggled to put out two teams last season. On this occasion they were able to field three adult teams with the 1st xv losing their match with both the 2nds and 3rds winning. Coleraine President Milne Rowntree made everyone welcome with a large crowd present in the clubhouse to support both the pre match lunch and the teams. What was also noticeable was the number of former players and officials who made the effort to be there and support their local rugby club. If anything recent events will galvanise the club as new Head coach Benjy van Der Byl looks to move the playing side of the club forward. On the day rugby was the winner as the Coleraine community rallied to support their local Community Sports club.
ALL IRELAND LEAGUE
Nine points separate the ten teams in this league. Banbridge by virtue of their win over Ballymena moved into 1st place with Malone in 2nd after defeating Old Belvedere at Gibson Park and Ballynahinch in 3rd place after scoring eight tries in their 42 – 31 win over Buccaneers at Ballymacarn Park. City of Armagh let slip a 11 – 5 lead away to St Mary’s College to lose 27 – 11. They find themselves in 6th place three points ahead of 10th place Ballymena with both teams meeting at Eaton Park before the Section 1 teams break from All Ireland league action until the 24th November. Banbridge are home to Old Wesley this week with Malone travelling to Dubarry Park in Athlone to play Buccaneers with Ballynahinch travelling to play Naas who have a game in hand to play against Old Wesley on the 10th of November. You can see how important these games are for Banbridge and Ballynahinch if they are to prevent Naas and Old Wesley moving up the table. The goal for all the Ulster teams in this league is to finish this block of games with a win to take forward momentum into the next block of four games commencing on the 24th November. Winning your home games is so important in this league as well as picking up away points.
Queens University are our sole Ulster representatives in this league. A disappointing 32 – 31 loss at Nenagh Ormond has them in 4th place five points behind undefeated leaders Navan RFC. With Cashel playing Nenagh Ormond and Navan playing UL Bohemians Queens have the opportunity to move up into the top two places. Interesting statistic Queens have scored 22 tries in their opening four AIL matches.
The form of the three Ulster teams in this league has Dungannon in 5th place, Belfast Harlequins in 7th place and Rainey OB in 10th place with five points separating the teams in 5th – 10th place. Undefeated MU Barnhall and Greystones occupy the top two positions. Much work to be done by the Ulster teams to challenge for a top four finish. Rainey OB ended a three match losing run by defeating Galway Corinthians 21 – 17 at Hatrick Park. Belfast Harlequins are looking to end a three match losing run when they travel to play 4th place Wanderers in Dublin. Dungannon make their third away trip to Galway after losing both their away matches with Sunday’s Well and Sligo. Games that Head coach Andy Hughes felt they should have won.
Bangor have moved into second place after defeating City of Derry 27 – 10. Omagh came unstuck against undefeated Midleton at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields to lose 29 – 7. Omagh find themselves in 5th place with City of Derry in 6th place with one point separating the two teams. Both meet at the Craig Thompson stadium this weekend with the points vital to both teams promotion ambitions. Bangor make the journey to County Offaly to play 10th place Tullamore who are still searching for their first win.
ALL IRELAND JUNIOR CUP 1ST RD
Four Ulster teams represented Ulster in the opening round of this competition. Both Ballyclare and CIYMS recorded impressive wins with Instonians losing 17 – 14 at Shaws bridge to a last minute penalty against Dundalk. Carrickfergus in their first appearance in the Cup suffered a heavy 37 – 7 defeat away to Waterpark.
Quarter Final draw:
Ballyclare v Wicklow
Clonmel v CIYMS
Waterpark v Ashbourne
Enniscorthy v Dundalk
Ties to be played on Saturday 10th November.
Current holders Ashbourne along with Enniscorthy and Dundalk are all previous winners of this tournament. Ballyclare have received their first home draw in their third season competing in this competition. CIYMS make the long journey to Munster to play current Munster Junior l league leaders Clonmel.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Dromore picked up another bonus point in their 39 - 6 win at Coleraine to close the gap on league leaders Ballyclare to two points. This week they have a Conference league match away to Ballynahinch seconds. Ballyclare will be looking to extend their lead when neighbours Carrickfergus travel to the Cloughan this week. With Carrickfergus exiting the AIL Junior Cup they will be looking to move up the table and contest a top four finish this season. We have the meeting of 3rd place Grosvenor and 4th place Instonians at Gibson Park as both teams look to close the gap on Ballyclare and Dromore. Eleven points separate the top four with both Grosvenor and Instonians having a game in hand. Seven points separate the teams in 5th – 10th place. Cooke and Enniskillen meet with two points separating the two sides in 5th and 7th place. Coleraine in 8th and Portadown in 10th are separated by four points with both CIYMS in 9th and Portadown still seeking their first league win. CIYMS have a Conference league game away to City of Armagh seconds.
Limavady returned to the top of Div 2 after winning 14 – 10 at Ballymoney. They have a one point advantage over 2nd place Academy and 3rd place Clogher Valley who remain undefeated and have a game in hand. Ballymoney find themselves seven points behind 3rd place Randalstown with a game in hand with both teams meeting at Kilraughts Road this weekend. A must win game for Ballymoney. Both Lurgan and Ards have picked up wins to move up into 6th and 7th place. Larne find themselves in 8th place two points ahead of 9th place Lisburn and three points ahead of 10th place UUC. Both Lisburn and UUC are still searching for their first league wins.
Donaghadee maintain their lead in this division after another bonus point win at Cavan. They are being hotly pursued by Monaghan in 2nd place with four points separating the two teams. Donaghadee are on the road again this week when they travel to play Letterkenny with Monaghan at Newry.
WEEKEND RESULTS/TEAMS SAT 27TH OCTOBER 2018
ALL IRELAND LEAGUE
Dublin University 37 Young Munster 26
Garryowen 19 UCD 31
Lansdowne 35 Cork Constitution 27
Shannon 17 Clontarf 22
UCC 17 Terenure College 18
Ballynahinch 42 Buccaneers 31
Ballynahinch team: 1. Campbell Classon, 2. Zach McCall, 3. Conor Piper, 4. James Simpson, 5. John Donnan, 6. Keith Dickson, 7. Ollie Loughhead, 8. Conall Boomer. 9. Rhys O’Donnell, 10. Hilton Gibbons, 11. Aaron Cairns (Capt), 12. Rory Butler, 13. Callum McLaughlin, 14. Richard Reaney, 15. Conor Kelly, 16. Tom O’Toole, 17. Jonny Blair, 18. Robin Harte, 19. Tom Martin, 20. Ryan Wilson.
Points scorers: Richard Reaney 3 x tries, Rhys O’Donnell 2 x tries, James Simpson, Conor Kelly, Aaron Cairns 1 x try each, Hilton Gibbons 1 x con.
Banbridge 38 Ballymena 8
Banbridge team: 1. Corrie Barrett, 2. Peter Cromie (Capt), 3. Stuart Cromie, 4. Alex Thompson, 5. Chris Allen, 6. Mike Bentley, 7. Caleb Montgomery, 8. Stephen Irvine. 9. Niall Armstrong, 10. Jonny Little, 11. Adam Ervine, 12. James Hume, 13. Andrew Morrison, 14. Conor Field, 15. Adam Doherty, 16. Ross Haughey, 17. Andrew Jackson, 18. Matthew Laird, 19. Aaron Kennedy, 20. Benjamin Carson.
Points scorers: Stephen Irvine, Conor Field, Niall Armstrong and Aaron Doherty 1 x try each, Adam Doherty 3 x cons and 4 x pens, (18 points)
Ballymena team: 1. Nacho Clandero Crespo, 2. Jonny Spence, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. JJ McKee, 6. Clive Ross, 7. Marcus Rea (Capt), 8. Stephen Mulholland, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Timothy Small, 11. Mark Thompson, 12. Glenn Baillie, 13. Darrell Montgomery, 14. Johnny McMullan, 15. Matthew Norris, 16. James Taggart, 17. Josh Bill, 18. Connor Smyth, 19. James wheeler, 20. Dean Reynolds.
Points scorers: Timothy Small 1 xpen
Malone 39 Old Belvedere 8
Malone team: 1. Peter Cooper, 2. Adam McBurney, 3. Ross Kane, 4. Jonathan Davis, 5. Michael Shiels, 6. Joe Dunleavy, 7. Ross Todd (Capt), 8. Ryan Clarke, 9. Shane Kelly, 10. Callum Smith, 11. Ben McCaughey, 12. Nathan Brown, 13. Josh Pentland, 14. David McMaster, 15. Rory Campbell, 16. Dan Kerr, 17. Ben Halliday, 18. Matthew Agnew, 19. Conor Spence, 20. Gareth Millar.
Points scorers: David McMaster 2 x tries, Ben McCaughey, Adam McBurney, Michael Shiels and Matthew Agnew 1 x try each, Callum Smith 1 x con, Rory Campbell 2 x cons and 1 x pen.
St Mary’s College 27 City of Armagh 11
City of Armagh team: 1. Daryl Morton, 2. Andrew Smyth, 3. Philip Fletcher, 4. Josh McKinley, 5. Peter Starrett, 6. Nigel Simpson, 7. Ryan O’Neill, 8. Robert Whitten, 9. Harry Doyle, 10. Cormac Fox, 11. Tim McNeice, 12. Evin Crummie, 13. Chris Colvin, 14. Andrew Willis, 15. Chris Cousens, 16. Peter Lamb, 17. Michael Hoey, 18. James Hanna, 19. Johnny Pollock, 20. Ryan Purvis.
Points scorers: Andrew Smyth 1 x try, Cormac Fox 2 x pens.
Highfield 29 Dolphin 12
Blackrock College 7 UL Bohemians 33
Galwegians 0 Cashel RFC 43
Old Crescent 17 Navan RFC 20
Nenagh Ormond 32 Queens University 31
Queens University team: 1. Andrew Clingan, 2. Alexander Clarke, 3. Andrew Weir, 4. Dave Whitten (capt), 5. Stuart Evans, 6. James Catterson, 7. Curtis Pollock, 8. Gary Dillon, 9. Conor McAuley, 10. Richie McMaster, 11. Michael Orr, 12. Rory Bell, 13. Conor McKee, 14. Mark Keane, 15. Johnny Milliken, 16. Jack Sleator, 17. Jonny Black, 18. James Longwell, 19. Robbie Johnston, 20. Curtis Dundas.
Points scorers: Andrew Clingan, Mark Keane, Rory Bell, Conor McAuley and Michael Orr 1 x try each, Richie McMaster 3 x cons.
Skerries 19 Greystones 55
Sligo 20 Wanderers 28
Belfast Harlequins 21 MU Barnhall 38
Belfast Harlequins team: 1. Mark McGrath, 2. Saul Herdman, 3. James Harrison, 4. Danny Annett, 5. Troy Webber, 6. Zac Jordan, 7. Daryl Marshall, 8. Toby Mannus, 9. Connor Young, 10. Timmy Emerson, 11. Richie McKee, 12. Ben Sloan, 13. Mark Gribben, 14. James McConnell, 15. Mark Glover, 16. Matthew Borne, 17. Charlie Sairgason, 18. Callum Leckey, 19. David Devine, 20. Christian Bennison.
Points scorers: Christian Bennison and Mark Gribben 1 x try each, Mark Gribben 1 x con and 3 x pens.
Rainey OB 21 Galway Corinthians 17
Rainey OB team: 1. Fintan Quinn, 2. George Fritz, 3. Kieran Donaghy, 4. John McCusker, 5. Michael McCusker, 6. Andy Harbinson, 7. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 8. Paddy McGowan, 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Andrew Donaghy, 12. Damien McMurray, 13. Conor Fitzsimons, 14. Oisin Quinn, 15. Michael O’Neill, 16. Michael Caithness, 17. Jack McIntosh, 18. Charlie Clarke, 19. Andrew Browne, 20. Scott McLean.
Points scorers: Jason Bloomfield 2 x tries, Oisin Quinn 1 x try, Andrew Magrath 2 x pens.
Sunday’s Well 20 Dungannon 8
Dungannon team: 1. Glenn Sinnamon, 2. Daniel Maxwell, 3. Sean O’Hagan, 4. Stephen Todd (Capt), 5. Guilhem Lopez, 6. Alex Gormley, 7. David Leyburn, 8. Jonah Mau’u, 9. John Russell, 10. John Buckley, 11. Matthew Montgomery, 12. Lucca Avelli, 13. Mervyn Brown, 14. Andrew McPhillips, 15. Andrew McGregor, 16. James Gamble, 17. Jamie McNeill, 18. Mark Riddell, 19. Adam Evans, 20 Jordan McIiwaine.
Points scorers: Mark Riddell 1 x try, Lucca Avelli 1 x pen.
Bruff 26 Ballina 18
Malahide 24 Thomond 22
Seapoint 24 Tullamore 7
Bangor 27 City of Derry 10
Bangor team: 1. Evan Wellard – McMillan, 2. Andrew Shaw, 3. James Leary, 4. Lewis Stevenson, 5. Michael Ferguson, 6. Stephen Moore, 7. James Henley, 8. Michael Weir, 9.Liam Preston, 10. Declan Maguire, 11. Desi Fusco (Capt), 12. Adam Alexander, 13. Mark Widdowson, 14. Nathan Graham, 15. Phil Broderick, 16. Andrew Jackson, 17. Orran McIImurray, 18. Dave Caughey, 19. Jamie Clegg, 20. Adam McCusker.
Points scorers: Phil Broderick, 1 x penalty try, Desi Fusco and Nathan Graham 1 x try each, Mark Widdowson 1 x con and Nathan Graham 1 x pen.
City of Derry team: 1. James Hamilton, 2.David Ferguson, 3. Sam Duffy, 4. Adam Bratton, 5. Conor McMenamin, 6. Tiarnan Thorton, 7. Craig Huey, 8. Stephen Corr (Capt), 9. Simon Logue, 10. Conall Gill, 11. Callum O’Hagan, 12. James Perry, 13. David Graham, 14. Thomas Cole, 15. David Lapsley, 16. Conor Cregan, 17. Hugh Flanagan, 18. Richard Baird, 19. Denis Posternik, 20. Phil Duffy.
Points scorers: Adam Bratton and Simon Logue 1 x try each.
Omagh 7 Midleton 29
Omagh team: 1. Kyle Alexander, 2. Richard Hemphill, 3. Peter Todd, 4. Kaine Holden, 5. James Sproule, 6. Stuart Allen, 7. Adam Longwell, 8. Martin Clyde, 9. Stewart McCain (Capt), 10. Stuart Ballantine, 11. Matthew Eccles, 12. Luke Hanson, 13. Scott Barr, 14. Neil Brown, 15. Stephen MacLaine, 16. Phil Ewing, 17. Richard Smyth, 18. Mervyn Edgar, 19. Eoin Murnaghan, 20. Dean Kane.
Points scorers: Luke Hanson 1 x try, Stuart Ballantine 1 x con.
ALL IRELAND JUNIOR CUP 1st RD
Wicklow (Leinster) 52 Kilfeacle (Munster) 0
Richmond (Munster) 18 Enniscorthy (Leinster) 32
Ashbourne (Leinster) 57 Westport (Connacht) 0
Creggs (Connacht) 24 Clonmel (Munster) 36
Connemara (Connacht) 10 Ballyclare 21
Ballyclare team: 1. Rory Henderson, 2. Matthew Coulter, 3. Al Boyd, 4. Ryan Tweed, 5. Grant Bartley (capt), 6. Aaron Playfair, 7. Gary Weatherup, 8. Ross Johnston, 9. Andy Eastop, 10. Robbie Reid, 11. Michael Kirk, 12. Joel McBride, 13. Willie Stewart, 14. Callum Wilson, 15. Gary Clotworthy, 16. Jack Black, 17. Willie Logan, 18. Matthew Robson, 19. Niall Lawther, 20. Owen Kirk.
Points scorers: Michael Kirk 1 x try, Robbie Reid 1 x try, 1 x con and 3 x pens (16 x points)
CIYMS 32 Monivea (Connacht) 13
CIYMS team: 1.Aaron Kilpatrick, 2. Scott McNarry, 3. Gavin Woods, 4. Cory Tipping, 5. Shane Moffatt, 6. Jason Gilliland, 7. Scott Dowle, 8. Harry Jenkins, 9. Cameron Stewart, 10. Paddy Beverland, 11. Jason Harvey, 12. Matthew Kilgore, 13. Matty Butler, 14. Peter Raine, 15. Natahan Burns, 16. Stuart Ferguson, 17. Ross Sinnamon, 18. Gavin Crothers, 19. John Creighton, 20. Gareth Peden.
Points scorers: Shane Moffatt, Nathan Burns, Jason Gilliland, Gavin Crothers and Matthew Kilgore 1 x try each, Matthew Kilgore 2 x cons and 1 x pen.
Instonians 14 Dundalk (Leinster) 17
Instonians team: 1. John Andress, 2. Conor Gallagher, 3. Alan Whitten, 4. Daryl Smith, 5. Sean Shuttleworth, 6. Paddy Bell, 7. Massimo Kiri Kiri, 8. James Martin, 9. Ross O’Donnell, 10. Andrew Keane, 11. Colm Cregan, 12. David Scott (Capt), 13. Michael Melville, 14. Gareth Burns – Delaney , 15. Paul Marshall, 16. Jonathan Mooney, 17. Josh Cregan, 18. Tom Matthews, 19. Mark Mairs, 20. Richard McCarthy.
Points scorers: Gareth Burns – Delaney and Colm Cregan 1 x try each, Andrew Keane 2 x cons.
Waterpark 37 Carrickfergus 7
Carrickfergus team: 1. Gareth McKeown, 2. Alan Whitley, 3. Adam Gibney, 4. Chris Taylor, 5. Chris Rodgers, 6. Ryan Gibson, 7. Ross Crymble, 8. Ryan McGonigle (capt), 9. Conor Cambridge, 10. David Carse, 11. Fionn McCormick, 12. Adam White, 13. Johnny Sheriff, 14. David Moore, 15. Michael Black, 16.Jack Burton, 17. Stuart Cheshire, 18. James Graham, 19. Nathan Greenwood, 20. Curtis Rea.
Points scorers; Stuart Cheshire 1 x try, Adam White 1 x con
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DIV 1
Coleraine 6 Dromore 39
Coleraine team: 1. Cillian Butler, 2. Andy McKee, 3. Chris Breadon, 4. DD McAllister, 5. Josh Christie, 6. Bernard Mullan, 7. Brandon Baillie, 8. Steven Dickey, 9. Matthew Leighton, 10. Jonny Crowe, 11. Stevie Callaghan, 12. Martin Senk, 13. Bradley Dempster, 14. Niall Irwin, 15. Gavin Piennar, 16. Kyle mcAuley, 17. Marek Juzl.
Points scorers: Gavin Piennar 2 x pens
Dromore team: 1. Tom Lyttle, 2. Stuart Sloan, 3. Jonny Simpson, 4. Rory Pepper, 5. Matthew McMaster, 6. Jonny Maguire (Capt), 7. Peter Elliott, 8. Ben Heath, 9. Lee Steenson, 10. David Lyttle, 11. Brian McClearn, 12. Aaron Stewart, 13. Graeme McCandless, 14. Andrew Gilmore, 15. Adam McDonald, 16. Andrew Black, 17. Adrian Dodds.
Points scorers: Andrew Gilmore 2 x tries, Stuart Sloan, Aaron Stewart, Ben Heath and Jonny maguire 1 x try each, Lee Steenson 3 x cons and 1 x pen
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DIV 2
Academy 62 UUC 8
Academy team: 1. Chris Nash, 2. Lee Moody, 3. Troy Wilson, 4. Keith Dobbin,5. Brian Cahill, 6. Jamie Watts, 7. Stuart Martin, 8.Richard Henderson (Capt), 9. David Kenny, 10. Jordan Buchanan, 11. Steve Fawcett, 12. Callum Lyle, 13. Mark Wylie, 14. Simon Beattie, 15. Chris Cooper, 16. Peter Jackson, 17. Jamie Wilson.
Points scorers: Simon Beattie, Keith Dobbin and Callum Lyle 2 x tries each, Jamie Wilson, Mark Wylie and Chris Nash 1 x try each, Chris Cooper 7 x cons and 1 x pen (17 x points)
UUC team: N/A
Ards 37 Larne 3
Ards team: 1. Andrew Foster (Capt), 2. Tom Arthur Donnan, 3. Matthew Kane, 4. Danny patton, 5. Ross Torney, 6. Paddy Bond, 7. Ryan Thompson, 8. Graeme Taylor, 9. Alex Hendrickse, 10. Paul Cox, 11. Mark McLean, 12. Jamie Cardwell, 13. David Armstrong, 14. Trevor Devlin, 15. Aaron May, 16. Adam McKee, 17. Adam Faloon.
Points scorers: Alex Hendrickse, Mark McLean, Aaron May, Matty Kane Adam Faloon and David Armstong 1 x try each, Paul Cox 2 x cons and 1 x pen.
Larne team: 1. Andrew Hyndman, 2. Craig Gibson, 3. Micah Stevenson, 4. Jonny McKinty, 5. Stuart Johnston, 6. Ryan McAllister, 7. Gareth Jamison, 8. Eddie Hunter, 9. Ryan Garrett, 10. B J McFaul, 11. Jacob Swann, 12. Matthew Agnew, 13. Jonny Hall, 14. Antonio White, 15. Aaron McBride, 16. Luke Barford, 17. Marc gilbert.
Ballymoney 10 Limavady 14
Ballymoney team: 1. Matthew Blair, 2. Kenny McAneaney, 3. Scott Gamble, 4. Danny Platt, 5. Russell Blair, 6. Timmy Woods, 7. David McKeeman, 8. Daniel Ramage, 9. Matthew Steele, 10. John Hyndman, 11. Matthew Bell, 12. Martin Irwin, 13. Connor Creith, 14. Michael Armstrong, 15. James Cleland, 16. John McFetridge, 17. Garvin Bellingham.
Points scorers: Martin Irwin 1 x try, John Hyndman 1 x con and 1 x pen.
Limavady team: 1. Rory Scholes, 2. Luke Montgomery, 3. Clive Scott, 4. Daniel Irvine, 5. John Purcell, 6. Ben Riley, 7. Stuart Simpson, 8. Jonny Lees, 9. David Craig, 10. Peter Wilson, 11. Stuart Roddy, 12. Jody McMurray, 13. Robert Lamberton, 14. Matthew Haslett, 15. Jim McCartney, 16. John McCollum, 17. Michael rice.
Points scorers: 1 x penalty try, Jody McMurray 1 x try, Peter Wilson 1 x con
Lurgan 14 Lisburn 1. Graham Currie, 2. Lewis Lawson, 3. Ryan Emerson, 4. Richard Shilliday, 5. Neil Adamson, 6. Lee Allen, 7. Ryan Osbourne, 8. Dean Wilson (Capt), 9. Chris Jenks, 10. Dylan Gill, 11. Richard Hull, 12. Te Rangihau Te Whetu, 13. Ben McIIwaine, 14. Ryan Mooney, 15. Stephen Nolan, 16. Matthew McConaghie, 17. Andrew Gray.
Points scorers: Ryan Mooney 1 x try, Stephen Nolan 3 x pens
Lisburn team: 1. Jamie Dickson (Capt), Matt Nelson, 3. Phil Jefferson, 4. Jack Nedza, 5. Dave Curry, 6. Adam Jameson, 7. Chris Cumming, 8. Noel Hooke, 9. Jonny Dunlop, 10. Richard McGregor, 11. Conor Gascoigne, 12. Peter Dillon, 13. Scott Colligan, 14. Josh Mulligan, 15. Chris Nimmons, 16. Peter Graham, 17. Uate Caquea.
Points scorers: Noel Hooke and Chris Cummings 1 x try each.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP/CONF DIV 1
Ballymena seconds 33 Clogher Valley 21
Ballymena team: 1. Ashton Logan, 2. Andrew Ferguson, 3. Jack Francis, 4. Reuben Russell, 5. Donovan Waulahan, 6. Ryan Mattison, 7. Jack Wilson, 8. Inoke Knox, 9. Jack Fleming, 10. Eoin Ritson, 11. Jack Lewis, 12. Alan Smyth, 13. Matthew Dick, 14. Chris Smyth, 15. Scott Willoughby, 16. David Forsythe, 17. Connor Agnew.
Points scorers: Matty Dick, Alan Smyth, Ashton Logan and Reuben Russell 1 x try each, Eoin Ritson 1 x try, 4 x cons.
Clogher Valley team: 1. Philip Hopper, 2. Kyle Cobane, 3. Neil Henderson, 4. Mark McKenna, 5. Michael Treanor (Capt), 6. Eugene McKenna, 7. Aaron Dunwoody, 8. Josh Fegan, 9. Mark Ellis, 10. Neil Trotter, 11. Josh Coulter, 12. Reece Smyton, 13. Paul Armstrong, 14. Fleming Agnew, 15. Ewan Haire, 16.Brian McKeown, 17. Ross Finlay.
Points scorers: Paul Armstrong and Michael Treanor 1 x try each, 1 x penalty try, Paul Armstrong 1 x con, Reece Smyton 1 x con.
Malone seconds 30 Banbridge seconds 15
Malone team: 1. Gary Crawford, 2. Scott Finlay, 3. Seif El Den, 4. Lee Barlow (Capt), 5. Josh Davidson, 6. Matthew Hadden, 7. Matthew Fisher, 8. Tom Dullage, 9. Callum Leckey, 10. Bruce Duff, 11. Jack Knox, 12. Stuart Doddington, 13. Andy McConnell, 14. Tiarnan Dillon, 15. Chris Jordan, 16. Charlie Shannon.
Points scorers: Matthew Hadden 2 x tries, Scott Finlay, Tom Dullage, Gary Crawford 1 x try each, Bruce Duff 1 x con and 1 x pen.
Banbridge team: 1. Robbie Mathers, 2. John Wilson, 3. James McCrum, 4. Alex Megaw, 5. Robin Hewitt, 6. Paul Ross, 7. Scott Magowan, 8. Martin Laird, 9. Robin Thompson, 10. Ben Thompson, 11. Ben Cross, 12. Hugo Harbinson, 13. Ross Cartmill, 14. Zac Chambers, 15. John Porter, 16. Keith adams, 16. Stefan Patterson.
Points scorers: Robbie Mathers 2 x tries, Keith Adams 1 x try.
Randalstown 38 Omagh seconds 14
Randalstown team: 1.Matty McBrien, 2. Scott Stevenson, 3. Simon Adams. 4. Adam Watt, 5. Danny Webb, 6. Daniel Cullen, 7. Johnny Fullerton, 8. Danny McGrandless, 9. Tommy Holland, 10. Tommy McGlaughlin, 11. Coby Mason, 12. Ryan O’Dea, 13. Conor Murray, 14. Daniel McGlade, 15. Michael Smith, 16. Matty Turner, 17. Brian Gourley.
Points scorers: Daniel McGlade 2 x tries, Conor Murray, Matty McBrien, Michael Smith and Ryan O’Dea 1 x try each, Coby Mason 4 x cons.
Omagh team: 1. Glenn McKinley, 2. Gary Smith, 3. Ethan McKeown, 4. Jack Mitchell, 5. Richard Harper, 6. Michael Gibson, 7. David McFarland, 8. Stuart Lyons, 9. Adam Beattie, 10. Kyle Beattie, 11. Andrew Monteith, 12. Taine Logan, 13. Scott Ballantine, 14. Oscar Nelson, 15. David ward, 16. Jordan Brolly, 17. Matthew Sproule.
Points scorers: Andrew Monteith 1 x try, 1 x penalty try, David Ward 1 x con.
ALL IRELAND LEAGUE ROUND 5
Clontarf (1) v UCD (3). Played Friday 2.11.18. KO 8PM
Terenure College (10) v Dublin Uni (7). Played Friday 2.11.18. KO 8PM
Cork Constitution (2) v Garryowen (8)
Shannon (4) v UUC (9)
Young Munster (6) v Lansdowne (5)
Old Belvedere (7) v St Mary’s College (5). Played Friday 2.11.18. KO 8PM
Ballymena (10) v City of Armagh (6)
Banbridge (1) v Old Wesley (8)
Buccaneers (9) v Malone (2)
Naas (4) v Ballynahinch (3)
Ballymena v City of Armagh
It is a case of back to the drawing board this week for the Ballymena coaches and players after a disappointing 38 – 8 defeat away to Banbridge in Round 4. The players have the chance to redeem themselves when City of Armagh are the visitors to Eaton Park this week with the Section 1 teams breaking for three weeks before they resume playing on the 24th November. As Head coach Andy Graham put it. Two wins from your first block of five games looks better than one win from five. He felt his team just did not turn up at Banbridge after their impressive 40 – 22 win over St Mary’s College in Round 3.
Despite being 16 – 3 behind at half time he felt his team with the wind advantage could win the match. Back row forward Connor Smyth was yellow carded before halftime with fellow back rower Clive Ross yellow carded early in second half to leave Ballymena playing with 13 players for 5/6 minutes. It was during this period Banbridge took advantage of their numerical numbers to score a further two tries .Number 8 Stephen Mulholland was a late cry off due to work commitments and was replaced by Clive Ross. Ballymena did rally to score a late try but had left it all too late. The challenge this week has been to fix their defence in training. Several of the teams big players did not perform last week and the coach is expecting a response from these players. Again discipline was an issue with the coach putting it down to the pressure Banbridge exerted during the match. There was also the concern over out half Timothy Small being taken out in the air with no sanction imposed by referee Dan Carson who had the experienced David Wilkinson running the touchline.
For the match with City of Armagh Ulster releases will include Marcus Rea and Michael Stronge. Bruce Houston who was training with the Ireland under 20s squad is a doubt due to a family bereavement. Stephen Mulholland returns at number 8. Winger Mark Thompson is away this week to Canada and will be replaced by Dean Reynolds on the left wing. Winger Jordan Foster remains unavailable due to work commitments. Houston Bonnar is ruled out after picking up an injury last Saturday playing against Omagh.
Ballymena team: 1. Nacho Clandero Crespo, 2. Jonny Spence, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. JJ McKee, 6. Connor Smyth, 7. Marcus Rea (capt), 8. Stephen Mulholland, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Timothy Small, 11. Dean Reynolds, 12. Glenn Baillie, 13. Darrell Montgomery, 14. Johnny McMullan, 15. Matthew Norris. Bench replacements from Tames Taggart, Josh Bill, Willie McKay, James Wheeler, Alan Smyth, Andrew Ferguson, and Jacque Bolger.
Andy Graham is aware his team on their day can beat anyone in this league. This weekend is about redemption with the coach expecting to give his players the opportunity to make amends for the loss at Banbridge. It is all about the players doing themselves justice. Last Saturday the players were a shadow of the team that defeated St Mary’s.
Talking to Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker his team failed to convert two early opportunities to score tries with the ball carriers being knocked into touch just short of the opposition try line in their defeat away to St Mary’s. Again small margins decide matches with it all about building the confidence levels by taking your chances. The difference between the two teams was that St Mary’s wanted the win more after defeats away to Ballymena and Malone. Despite trailing 11 – 5 at halftime St Mary’s proved they were much more clinical with the ball in hand scoring 22 unanswered points in the second half to win 27 – 11. This weekend at Ballymena is all about consistency and bouncing back and getting a good result. The team will learn from the loss in Dublin. It is all about finishing this block of five games with a win to take forward to the next block of four games before the Xmas break. The squad has a few bumps and bruises from the weekend with everybody expected to be available. Both Neil Faloon and Paul Mullan remain on the injured list with both targeting a return for the next block of four AIL games.
The coaches are considering changes to the starting xv with selection to be finalised on Thursday night. There is a doubt over the availability of back row forward Ryan O’Neill who has been called up to the Ireland under 19 training squad this week. It was the right decision to give the same team that defeated Malone the opportunity to play at St Mary’s.
Both City of Armagh and Ballymena lost last Saturday and will want a win to complete the first AIL block with a win. Chris Parker knows this Ulster derby will be very difficult for his team . He is expecting it to be tight and to be a one score game to decide the winners. Both teams need the points. If Armagh perform the way they did against Malone they can get a result at Eaton Park.
Banbridge v Old Wesley
Head coach Simon McKinstry was delighted with the performance of his team in their 38 – 8 win over Ballymena at Rifle Park last Saturday. It was their most impressive performance of the season. What pleased the coach was the team only gave away two penalties in the first 60 minutes. Discipline was an area the team have worked on. It was trusting their defence with players getting into their defensive formations. When opposition teams play Banbridge they fill the pitch to deny them space to play their attacking rugby. This is where your defence has to be top of their game. Despite Caleb Montgomery and Adam Ervine having to leave the pitch early due to injury their replacements ensured the team kept its shape. Other pleasing aspects were the performance of Adam Doherty who kicked 7/8 and finished with 18 points. Andrew Morrison in midfield continues to be a consistent performer with his elusive running. His players are looking forward to the three break after this weekend. The first block of games has been physically demanding on the squad. As Simon said to me in this league you need a squad of 35/40 players to be competitive. Former RBAI prop Corrie Barrett has made an early impact with the ability to play both sides of the front row. Hugo Harbinson brother of Ethan Harbinson has been another player impressing on the second xv who will come into contention this week. Whilst studying in Dublin Hugo played for Blackrock College in the All Ireland League and brings competition to the backline. There are a few players with bumps and bruises from the Ballymena game. They are expected to come through fitness tests on Thursday night. Ulster under 19 prop Robbie Mathers is another young player with a lot of potential. He emphasised that at the weekend scoring two tries for the second xv against Malone seconds. David McCann remains unavailable after training with Ireland under 20 squad. The squad remains similar for this week with both Caleb Montgomery and Adam Ervine ruled out due to injury.
1st xv captain Michael Cromie has returned to full training this week. He awaits clearance from his consultant before resuming playing. Adam Ervine joins Josh Cromie, Robin Sinton and Ian Porter on the injured list.
Simon McKinstry – Banbridge lost down at Old Wesley and won by a point at home. He and his players are expecting another tight match. Old Wesley always bring a big pack and use their big players to punch holes in the opposition defence. For Banbridge it is all about focusing on themselves this week. He is looking the players to bring the same performance levels as they did against Ballymena. A win will carry momentum into the next block of four AIL games before Xmas.
Malone v Buccaneers
Following their defeat away to City of Armagh – Malone Head coach Paddy Armstrong made a number of changes for the Old Belvedere match. Adam McBurney and Ross Kane came into the front row with Captain Ross Todd moving to openside and Ryan Clarke returning at number 8. Shane Kelly was restored to the scrum half position with Ben McCaughey making his debut on the wing. There was a welcome return at full back for Rory Campbell for his first outing of the season after being unavailable due to injury. The impact was a much improved performance with the team scoring six tries with debutant Ben McCaughey scoring the first try. His right wing partner Davy McMaster helped himself to two tries with Ulster players Adam McBurney and Matthew Agnew adding one each.
Paddy Armstrong was full of praise for the Armagh team in their win over his side. He could not take away from them how well they played. It was a reflection of how tough this league is. The key for his team is making sure his players are well prepared for the games ahead going forward. Buccaneers this weekend will be another tough game. Every team in this league can beat each other. It is all about focusing on ourselves. It is making sure the players are clear on their roles and don’t get uptight or get ahead of themselves. The coach is looking forward to the game at Dubarry Park in Athlone. They have a lovely playing surface that is good to play on. It will be a good experience for his players. The return of Ryan Clarke against Old Belvedere made a big difference to the performance of the team. Paddy’s approach is all about the players working hard and having a positive attitude to their training each week in preparation for their matches.
Ballynahinch v Naas
Had the opportunity to catch up with Tom Rock who joined the coaching team at Ballynahinch in 2017/18. The former Yorkshire born player played for Leeds Carnegie, Otley and London Welsh before taking up a position with Blaydon RFC as director of Rugby. When he joined the RAF he ended up captaining the UK Armed forces team against a Bath United team in 2016. After leaving the services his family made the decision to return to NI where his wife comes from. Tom was keen to move back into coaching and spoke to several clubs including Ballynahinch. The opportunity to work with Brian McLaughlin appealed to him with the club in transition after Head coach Derek Suffern stepped down. Ballynahinch represented the good old fashioned values within a club he was looking for. Despite early appearances for the 1st xv it was recognised that the time had come for Tom to hang up the boots in December 2017 and fully focus on his coaching position at the club. Tom is ambitious as a coach and is looking to develop his opportunities whilst coaching at the club.
Ballynahinch have good structures in place with Tom describing himself as lucky to get involved with the club. Hinch are a well run club like every other club they also have their challenges. The 2017/18 season was very much a transition season for the 1st xv after the upheaval and change at the end of the 2016/17 season. There was also disappointment the team did not secure promotion after losing out to neighbours Banbridge in the playoffs. The 1st xv squad have a very young age profile with several new faces coming into the squad. One of the positions that has concerned Ballynahinch in recent seasons has been the front row with experienced props Stuart Orr and Jerry Cronin unavailable due to work commitments and retirement. The club have used this season to move Hooker Conor Piper into the tight head position with considerable success. They also have had Ulster props Tom O’Toole and Tommy O’Hagan allocated to the club. Other young props coming through this season include Ulster A prop Campbell Classon along with Kelvin Hamilton, Jonny Blair and Ben Cullen. Zach McCall and Clayton Milligan along with Conor Piper provide options at hooker. In the second row the club has the experienced combination of James Simpson and John Donnan. Ollie Loughead, Keith Dickson, Tom Martin and Conall Boomer are the back row options. Ulster Academy forwards Aaron Hall and Jack Regan remain unavailable due to injury. Rhys O’Donnell has stepped up at scrum half with New Zealand out half Hilton Gibbons settling in very well into the out half position. He has fitted in very well with the squad and displays a confidence in his play. Hilton Gibbons is aware that the promising Ryan Wilson is one young player at the club pushing for his ten jersey. Aaron Cairns and Richard Reaney provide pace and experience on the wings with the centre pairing of Rory Butler and Callum Mclaughlin combining well in defence and attack. Conor Kelly continues to impress at full back with Ulster Academy prospect Iwan Hughes coming into contention after being released by Ulster for a place in the back division. The return to the club this season of the experienced Robin Harte adds to the competition in the backs along with two young players Lewis Finlay and Ronan Patterson who are examples of the talent coming through at the club. The coaches will welcome the news that Stuart Morrow has returned to training and will come into contention for selection on the 1st or 2nd xv this week.
Back row forward Keith Dickson is unavailable this week. Zac Ward is back training at the club and along with Tom Martin will again be challenging for a place in the back row at Naas.
Tom Rock knows the game at Naas will be tough. The Ballynahinch team are an ambitious and developing squad. It is all about the team concentrating on them selves this week and putting in a performance. Naas have seasoned players and are a talented side who like to play good rugby. For this Ballynahinch team it is all about aspiring to build consistency in their performances.
Ballynahinch chairman Philip Gregg was delighted with the win over Buccaneers last week. With Ballynahinch leading 42 -10 going into the final quarter the coaches made several changes with Buccaneers capitalising to score three converted tries to leave the final score 42 – 31 in favour of the home side. It has been a difficult couple of opening months to the season with a considerable number of players unavailable for a variety of reasons until October with the club still able to field seven Adult teams. Like many clubs Ballynahinch are unable to field an under 18 team this season. They have a small number of players in this category who are playing their rugby at Banbridge and Malone this season. What has pleased the chairman is the work James Kirk and Ian Dornan are putting in with the under 14s and under 16s. 1st xv Captain Aaron Cairns has put in place a player rotation system where members of the 1st xv squad work with the Youth teams on a Wednesday night. Ulster prop Kyle McCall has been another example of players coming down and giving of their time to help the Youth section.
Ballynahinch RFC in partnership with Ulster Rugby are delighted to announce that Grosvenor 1st xv hooker Stuart Smyth has taken up the CCRO post in Ballynahinch. His focus will be on targeting primary schools and non playing rugby schools in the area.
Cashel RFC (2) v Nenagh Ormond (6). Played Friday 2.11.18. KO 8PM
Dolphin (9) v Galwegians (10)
Navan RFC (1) v UL Bohemians (5)
Old Crescent (8) v Highfield (3)
Queens University (4) v Blackrock College (7)
Queens University v Blackrock College
Talking to Ian McAvoy 1st xv Manager at Queens Uni: There was disappointment the 1st xv could not come away from Nenagh Ormond last Saturday with a win after coming up just short 32 – 31. There were kickable opportunities they were unable to convert into points. The target this weekend is to take maximum points in the meeting with Blackrock College at the Dub. Players including Ali Burke, Andrew McGrath, Brian Cunningham, David Swann and Johnny Hunter will come into contention for selection after returning from injury. Robbie Johnston picked up an injury that will rule him out this week. There is talent in abundance in the playing squad with competition for places in the backs particularly strong with Ulster under 19 centre Ben Power looking to make the match day 20 on Saturday. Michael Orr who joined Queens from Portadown is another player to make a big impact this season with his versatility to play at 9.10. 11. 14 and 15. Other players developing under the coaching of Derek Suffern include Dalriada back row Curtis Pollock and former Omagh player Adam Longwell. Former Wallace hooker Sam Cardosi who impressed for Queens early season has moved on to New Zealand to continue his rugby development. Queens are like many clubs as they look to develop and retain front row forwards in the Domestic game. There are several difficult decisions for the coaches to make on Thursday night with so many players pushing to be included in the 1st xv squad.
Galway Corinthians (8) v Dungannon (5)
Greystones (2) v Sligo (6)
MU Barnhall (1)v Sunday’s Well (3)
Rainey OB (10) v Skerries (9)
Wanderers (4) v Belfast Harlequins (7)
Dungannon v Galway Corinthians
Head coach Andy Hughes had to deal with his prop Glenn Sinnamon being red carded in the first quarter of their game away to Sunday’s Well on Saturday. Despite his team being down to 14 players he felt his side could have won the match as they trailed 12 – 8 with 15 minutes remaining only to concede a breakaway try. The pre match talk was all about not allowing the Cork side to hassle or niggle his side in this match or allow them to drag his team down to their level. Unfortunately the Dungannon players did not heed the words and quickly lost their structure. It was that final quarter when Sunday’s Well were out on their feet that Dungannon started to play their best rugby only to concede a score that killed off the game and meant the visitors left Cork with no points. What pleased the coach was how well the teams lineouts and scrums functioned throughout the game. Dungannon had their opportunities with centre Mervyn Brown being denied a score and the team failing to take advantage of a two to one break to score another try.
The coach has a couple of injury concerns for the trip to Galway this week with centres Mervyn Brown and Lucca Avelli facing late fitness tests on Thursday night. Full back Andrew McGregor is unavailable and will be replaced by Conor McGeough. Prop Glenn Sinnamon has been suspended for three weeks and will be replaced by Ross Stewart. Jack Ravey who was unavailable last week will come into contention for selection otherwise squad will be similar to team that travelled to Cork. Second row Lewis McCrabbe is unavailable with Ross McCaughey turning out for the seconds.
Rainey OB v Skerries
Head coach John Andrews was delighted with the response of his players to their opening three losses in the AIL as they dug deep to record a much needed win over Galway Corinthians at home last Saturday. There were a few nerves when the team let Corinthians back into the game after leading 21 – 10 to narrow their lead to 21 – 17. During training last week it was all about the team bouncing back from their three AIL defeats. It was a case of the players rolling up their sleeves last Saturday and working hard for each other. For his players it is all building on their performance against Corinthians when they seek their second win against Skerries. The coach is having to manage a very youthful squad this season. He felt the players have learned from their three defeats. In the first game MU Barnhall caught them cold. Six minutes of insanity cost them at Greystones with opportunities thrown away against Wanderers at home. From those experiences the team are learning to play for 80 mins.
On Saturday against Corinthians the two McCusker brothers John and Michael were excellent bringing the physicality that was missing in the opening games. The back row of Andy Harbinson, Captain Paul Pritchard and the returning number 8 Paddy Magowan played a key role in securing the win. The backs scored a couple of lovely tries with scrum half Jason Bloomfield scoring twice – one a fine individual effort.
There will be a number of changes this week. Centre Conor Fitzsimons took a knock and will be rested. Oisin Quinn will move into the centre to partner Damien McMurray with Michael O’Neill moving from full back to wing. Scott McLean comes off the bench to fill the full back position. In the forwards Stephen Rutledge returns to the front row with Fintan Quinn dropping down to the bench. Timmy Barker will return to the pack if he comes through a late fitness test on Thursday night. The bench will include Fintan Quinn, Michael Caithness, Gary Clarke, Andrew Brown and Andy Harbinson subject to Timmy Barker being available. Jack McIntosh who benched last week will drop out of the matchday twenty.
John Andrews is looking forward to the game. His players have a real chance after the win over Corinthians. It is going to take another hard shift to secure the win. He is determined to see his players build on their performance last week.
Belfast Harlequins v Wanderers
Quins face another top four team this week after losing to leaders MU Barnhall 38 – 21 at Deramore Park last week. They follow this up next week against second place Greystones at home. Having won their opening game at Galway Corinthians they could not have had a more difficult run having lost their last three games. Can they turn these games coming up against Wanderers and Greystones into wins. The team will welcome back number 8 Ben Alexander with Zach Jordan ruled out through injury. Winger Richie McKee is also unavailable and will be replaced by Peter Dunlop. There are positional changes with Mark Glover moving into the centre alongside Mark Gribben and Ben Sloan filling the full back jersey. Toby Mannus moves from number 8 to partner Captain Danny Annett in second row. New Zealand second rower Troy Webber is ruled out after picking up an injury against Barnhall.
Belfast Harlequins team: 1. Mark McGrath, 2. Saul Herdman, 3. James Harrison, 4. Toby Mannus 5. Danny Annett (capt), 6. Jaz Andress, 7. Daryl Marshall, 8. Ben Alexander, 9. Connor Young, 10. Timmy Emerson, 11. Peter Dunlop, 12. Mark Gribben, 13. Mark Glover, 14 James McConnell, 15. Ben Sloan, 16. Matthew Borne, 17. Charlie Sargaison, 18. Christian Bennison, 19. David Devine, 20. Kyle Adams.
Ballina (3) v Thomond (8)
Bruff (4) v Seapoint (7)
City of Derry (6) v Omagh (5)
Midleton (1) v Malahide (9)
Tullamore (10) v Bangor (2)
City of Derry v Omagh
Director of Rugby Paul O’Kane is not envisaging too many changes this week. Pack will be the same bar Richie Baird coming in to replace the unavailable Tiernan Thornton in the back row. Full back David Lapsley is ruled with an injury and will be replaced by Thomas Cole with David Jackson slotting into the wing. Gerard Doherty returns to the bench along with Ben Pollin as forward cover. The team are looking forward to the challenge of playing Omagh this weekend. They are a great club and have a good playing squad. As Paul put it it would be a brave man who would put money on the outcome of this match. A game that will attract a large crowd to the Craig Thompson stadium for this attractive Ulster derby.
Omagh Head coach Phil Marshall is looking his players to bounce back from their 29 – 7 home defeat to leaders Midleton when they travel to the North West to play City of Derry in their Ulster derby. Second row Jamie Sproule is unavailable due to a family wedding with Jonny Sproule and Kaine Holden starting in the second row. Mervyn Edgar starts at six with number 8 Matthew Clyde dropping down to the bench. His place is taken by Stuart Allen. The backline will be the same that played against Midleton . Both Ryan Mitchell and Scott Elliott who missed the game last Saturday will take their place on the bench.
Bangor v Tullamore
Ricky Armstrong: City of Derry were a decent side and forced the Bangor team to grind out a win without playing particularly well. The team picked up a few injuries with Stephen Moore likely to be ruled out for several weeks. Scrum half Liam Preston was another player who had to be replaced after picking up an injury by centre Mark Widdowson who put in another fine performance. Liam Preston will face a late fitness test. Another piece of good news is that Ali Lockhart is expected to return to playing for the seconds this week after being out with a groin injury. One piece of disappointing news to hear was the unfortunate injury Bangor back row forward James Stewart picked up playing for the seconds against Ballynahinch thirds. Both he and the returning David Bradford collided heads whilst tackling a Ballynhinch player with James coming off worse. He suffered a fracture to his forehead and was detained in hospital for several days after under going surgery. He has now been discharged and we all wish him a speedy recovery. On a positive note for Bangor - 1st xv Captain David Bradford came through 60 mins of rugby along with returning prop Phil Whyte. Prop Conor McIImurray was another player who was also injured playing for the seconds. Phil Whyte is expected to come into contention for selection this week with David Bradford requiring a few more games under his belt before being considered for the 1st xv. Out half Gareth Millar continues his rehabilitation and is expected to be available in another eight weeks.
Had the opportunity to catch up with new Bangor Head coach Michael Ferguson. When the post became vacant it was not a difficult decision for Michael to make. For Michael Ferguson - Bangor are a well structured club with a strong committee in charge. He is assisted in his coaching duties by former Ulster second row Lewis Stevenson and two of the current Ulster squad Craig Gilroy and Stuart McCloskey. He is very appreciate of the work Craig and Stuart are putting in and how well received it is by the players.
The win over City of Derry was hard earned against a good City of Derry team. He was pleased with the character shown by the players to fight back and grind out the win after trailing at halftime. Unfortunately the squad picked up several injuries with back row forwards Stephen Moore and James Henley being ruled out this week. Scrum half Liam Preston is another doubt with Lewis Brett being brought over to cover for the game at Tullamore. Both David Bradford and Phil Whyte had a run out for the seconds last Saturday with Whyte coming into contention for this weekend. Bradford needs more game time before being considered for the 1st xv.
At the minute the coach has listed a squad of 22 for this week with selection to be finalised on Thursday night. The plan for Saturday is to use the pack to get the team on the front foot to allow the Bangor backline to come into the game. It is all about getting the game management right from the start. He wants the team to play their own game and get the basics right. It is playing with an intensity that will allow the team to finish off the chances they create and impose themselves on Tullamore. He feels there is a lot to come from this Bangor squad this season. It is all about keeping them grounded. It is about taking it one game at a time. In this league it is all about winning your home games and picking up wins on the road.
Bangor squad: Philip Whyte, Andrew Shaw, James Leary, Evan Wellard – McMillan, Andrew Jackson, Orran McIImurray, Lewis Stevenson, David Caughey, Matt Nesbitt, Craig Burton, Jamie Clegg, Mikey Weir, Michael Ferguson, Lewis Brett, Declan Maguire, Adam McCusker, Mark Widdowson, Phil Broderick, Desi Fusco (Capt), Nathan Graham, Ali Lockhart, Shaun Fair, Liam Preston
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DIV 1
Ballyclare (1) v Carrickfergus (6)
Cooke (5) v Enniskillen (7)
Grosvenor (3) v Instonians (4)
Portadown (10) v Coleraine (8)
Ballyclare v Carrickfergus
Mike McKeever: There is always excitement at the Cloughan with a derby fixture against neighbours Carrickfergus. There is also a great buzz building around the club with the team securing a quarter final place in the AIL Junior Cup where they will play Wicklow at home on Saturday week. For the squad this week it is focusing on their match with Carrickfergus as they look to maintain their place at the top of Div 1. So far the coach has used 31 players on the 1st xv this season with the squad containing a great mix of youth and experience. Team and replacements will be finalised on Thursday night with a number of the bench players from the Connemara win needing game time on the seconds. Several players who were unavailable last week will come into contention to start this week. There is encouraging news with injured players such as Bobby Smith and David Clarke close to returning.
Carrickfergus: No news available
Cooke v Enniskillen
For Cooke Head coach Colin Atkinson and his players this is another important game when one looks at the league table. Again he has several late calls to make before finalising his team at training on Thursday night. Both front row forwards Jonny McClune and Curtis Montgomery remain unavailable due to injury. They will likely be replaced by Ross Dunning and James Milligan. Ian Moxen and Matthew Crothers will return to the squad after missing the teams 32 – 5 defeat at Ballyclare.
Enniskillen Head coach Stevie Welsh is not expecting too many changes to his side for the trip to Shaws bridge on Saturday. The team are looking forward to playing again having not played since their 27 -17 defeat away to City of Armagh seconds on the 13th October. Selection to be finalised at training on Thursday night. Cooke have had the better of the exchanges between the two teams at this venue in recent seasons with the coach looking to change that.
Grosvenor v Instonians
Head coach Robert Ford will have a full strength squad available for the match with Instonians on Saturday with Stuart McIIwaine, Pearce Jamison and Allen McCluggage all available. Andrew Kelly is fit again and has been excellent in the last two games. Winger David Egner is still out with a collarbone injury with Peter Davison continuing in his absence. It will be a big challenge for his team facing an Instonians team that includes two former professional players in Player/coaches John Andress and Paul Marshall along with their two New Zealand additions in Massimo Kiri Kiri and Cameron Barr. It is an opportunity for his players to test themselves against such quality players. His players have been working extremely hard in training and cant wait to get out on the pitch again this weekend.
Had the opportunity to catch up with new Instonians Head coach John Andress who is assisted by former Ulster scrum half Paul Marshall. The current squad at the club have the talent and ability to compete in Div 1 this season. What the coach is saying it is turning the 90% possession they have in games into points and wins. Discipline is an area the squad are working on with needless penalties costing the team against Dundalk last Saturday. It is also a case of reducing the errors and minimising the handling mistakes and poor decision making that has let the team down. The coach feels his side are not far away from clicking as a team. He feels once the team click they will be very hard to play against. This time last season they were in a similar situation with similar points. It is up to the team to put down a performance and be at the top of their game.
Grosvenor are a very well organised side who work hard for each other. They are well drilled with forwards coach Peter Lowry having a big impact this season.
Selection has been impacted in recent weeks with out half Richard McCarthy following return to play protocols. He is expected to be available this week. Hooker Cameron Barr faces a late fitness test. His strong scrummaging has been missed in recent games. Matthew Kilpatrick was unavailable last week and will return to the squad. The injury sustained by Michael Melville against Dundalk is not as bad as first thought. He will miss the game at Grosvenor. Second row Michael Blackwood is another player who will be available. Front row Matthew Nelson has been following return to play protocols. Ross O’Donnell has been consistent in his performances and can play at either scrum half or wing. With the return of Richard McCarthy – Andrew Keane is an option to play at full back. Winger Gareth Burns – Delaney made a timely return against Dundalk scoring a fine individual try.
For the game at Grosvenor the Instonians coaches and players are looking to test themselves against a very good team. The challenge for Instonians is getting above Grosvenor in the league. This match will show where the team is at present. These competitive games are the ones the players look forward to. Selection will be finalised at training on Thursday night.
Portadown v Coleraine
Five league defeats have Portadown seeking out their first league win this season. Head coach Richard Hedley and his players are aware of the importance of this match. Players have trained well this week. As the coach put it they just need a good Saturday. For the game this week the coach welcomes back Johnny Holden in the backs and forwards Robert Reid and Gary Hall.
Coleraine Head coach Benjy Van Der Byl goes with the same squad that played against Dromore last Saturday. He agrees his team have to get a win and chase all the league points that are available. His team have to beat the teams around them so they can create space between them and the teams at the bottom end of Division 1. He believes he has the talent in the squad but does not have the depth . All his efforts have been directed to building a culture again in Coleraine that is new to the younger generation of player. The goal is to keep plugging away and work hard on the fundamentals.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP/CONF DIV 1
Ballynahinch seconds (6) v Dromore (2)
City of Armagh seconds (3) v CIYMS (11)
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DIV 2
Ards (7) v Academy (2)
Ballymoney (5) v Randalstown (4)
Larne (8) v Lurgan (6)
Limavady (1) v UUC (10)
Lisburn (9) v Clogher Valley (3)
Ards v Academy
Head coach John West is expecting a hard game with Academy at Hamilton Park on Saturday. They have been able to strengthen an already strong pack this season as they have started their season strongly. Compared to last season Ards are better off points wise compared to this time last season. The team know the challenge they face against Academy but will give it their best shot and see where that puts the team. The coach is not expecting to make too many changes this week with Onisi Burekama returning to the squad.
Talking to Academy coach George Saunders, selection will not be finalised until Thursday night. It is expected the team will be on similar lines to the side that defeated UCC 62 – 8 last Saturday.
Ballymoney v Randalstown
Another big game for Jonny Hanna and his coaching team after losing 14 – 10 at home to league leaders Limavady. They welcome Randalstown to Kilraughts Road knowing they need to win to keep in touch with the top teams in this division. He is expecting a tough test as Randalstown were only one of two teams to beat Ballymoney twice last season. He wants to see his players turn around their record against them. From the team that started against Limavady both Scott Gamble and Russell Blair are unavailable this week. John McFetridge is a doubt and will require a late fitness test. Andy Brown will come in at prop with Marcel Ngyutin coming on to the bench. As he put it his team need to pick up the points at home this week.
Larne v Lurgan
Head coach Graham Cloke welcomes back Larne Captain Jonny Cole this week along with Matt Crampsey and Luke Burford in the front row. Former Larne Grammar Schools player Micah Stevenson continues to impress in the front row. Out half B J McFaul is unavailable this week with Aaron McBride taking over. Matthew Agnew will partner Jordan Burns in the centre with Johnny returning on the wing. Unfortunately Phil Andrews is having to take the season out due to a recurring hip injury. Important game for both teams this week.
Lurgan assistant coach Jason Wallace: Squad is expected to be on similar lines to side that defeated Lisburn 14 – 10 last Saturday with Daniel Lyness added this week.
Limavady v UUC
Head coach Graeme Eastwood retains the same squad that defeated Ballymoney last Saturday with Mark Woods added to the squad this week. He described last weeks win over Ballymoney as a hard fought four points on the road for his Limavady team with his players playing very well. The team had 90% of the pocession but should have probably had more scores, but the coach is very happy with the result. On the injury front he is hoping to have Luke Faulkner, Gavin Martin, Darren Corrigan and Jamie Millar available for the teams next league game away to Lurgan on the 1st December.
No information available from UUC
Lisburn v Clogher Valley
Head coach Andrew Postlethwaite has stood down at Lisburn this week with his replacement to be confirmed tonight (Thursday). It has been a difficult time for the club 1st xv on the back of four successive defeats in the league as they go in search of their first win. A late Lurgan try denied them their first win at Pollack Park in their 14 – 10 defeat last weekend. The team had made it through to the quarter finals of the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup this season before losing out to Malone seconds at Gibson Park 19 – 14.
When you looked at the list of players unavailable last week including Craig Hossack, Dinus Mansa, Wili Lil Tee, Jake Bebbington, Kitione Dominiqbau, Dylan Postlethwaite, Andy Barron, Craig Walsh, Andy Neely, Gareth Gardiner and James Welling you can see the challenges Director of Rugby Mike Knowles and his coaches face each week. Five of the players had been ruled out due to concussion and were following return to play protocols. Both Wili Lil Tee and Jake Bebbington are ruled out with fractures and Andy Barron due to illness. Both Craig Hossack and Kitione Dominiqbau were unavailable last week.
The coaches welcome back Craig Walsh, Andy Neely and James Welling for the home clash with Clogher Valley. Chris Nimmons picked up an shoulder injury at Lurgan that will rule him out this week.
Clogher Valley team: 1. Philip Hopper, 2. Kyle Cobane, 3. Neil Henderson, 4. Eugene McKenna, 5. Michael Treanor, 6. Aaron Dunwoody, 7. David Sharkey, 8. Ryan Wilson, 9. Mark Ellis, 10. Reece Smyton, 11. Josh Coulter, 12. Andrew Johnson , 13. Paul Armstrong. 14. Fleming Agnew, 15. Ewan Haire, 16. Ross Finlay, 17. Mark McKenna.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP/CONF DIV 2
Banbridge seconds (7) v Omagh seconds (12)
Malone seconds (9) v Ballymena seconds (6)
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP DIV 3
BHSFP (6) v PSNI (4)
Letterkenny (10) v Donaghadee (1)
Newry (7) v Monaghan (2)
Ophir (12) v Cavan (11)
Strabane (8) v Civil Service (5)
Virginia (9) v Holywood (3)
Enjoy your club rugby this weekend.
Updated 18:53 - 1 Nov 2018 by Stephen Barbour