“It Feels so good to reunite within yourself and within THE FIGHT!” Creed
Sat 7th Sept – Match report – Ards 6 v Queens 8 by STEPHEN NUTT
Ards fail to hold on for win at Queens; but improvement continues.
Ards travelled to The Dub on Saturday to play All Ireland 2a team Queens in the Ulster Senior League.
Several changes were made to the Ards squad for this match in order for the coaches to assess players and look at different permutations for the forthcoming All Ireland League campaign.
MARK BANFORD, DAVID ARMSTRONG and John Dowey played their first matches of the season; ANDREW FOSTER, David Parkhill, TAYLOR FERGUSON and Andy Hassard made their first starts for the 1st XV this season.
The opening 10 minutes of the game was all action with both teams missing out on try scoring opportunities.
As early as the 5th minute Ards winger David Parkhill made a try saving cover tackle from which Ards centre Trevor Devlin turned over the ball and released left winger TAYLOR FERGUSON who ran out from his own 22 and turned defence into attack only to be stopped at the Queens 10 metre line, at the resulting breakdown Queens were penalised and Ards awarded a penalty.
Ards opted to keep the pressure on Queens and kicked for a lineout on the Queens 22; Ards secured their own lineout which scrum half Banford fed out to the backs, centre SCOTT YOUNG breached the Queens defence and off loaded to a supporting Ards player, but unfortunately this was knocked on.
However Ards were undeterred and from the resulting Queens scrum Ards turned over possession and attacked the blind side through Young and No8 ROB McCAUSLAND, centre Trevor Devlin turned up on the left wing and ran hard at the Queens line only to be tackled short and adjudged to have made a double movement in stretching for the line.
Ards were forced to make a change after 10 minutes losing flanker Max Harrison with a head injury, Pete Croan replaced Harrison.
Ards continued to attack Queens and after 16 minutes were awarded a penalty when Queens were penalised for not staying on their feet at the breakdown; Banford knocked this over from just outside the Queens 22 metre line. Ards 3 v Queens 0
Ards failed to take control of the resulting restart and were then penalised for not rolling away; the Queens outhalf converted this penalty from just inside the Ards 10 metre line. Ards 3 v Queens 3
Both teams attacked at every opportunity for the remainder of the half but try scoring opportunities were few and far between, Ards repelled Queens attacks by good first up tackling by prop Jonny Millar, flanker Hassard and winger Parkhill.
The first half finished the half when flanker Hassard turned over the ball and outhalf Paul cleared the ball to the Queens 22.
Half time: Ards 3 v Queens 3
Ards again had an early scare at the start of the second half when Queens attacked via a cross field kick which saw fortunately saw the Queens winger compete against one of Ards’ tallest players, 2nd row John Dowey, the Queens winger knocked on and from the resulting scrum Ards cleared their line.
In the 50th minute Queens were awarded a free kick when Ards were penalised for delaying the put in to a line-out, this free then became a penalty as Ards were penalised for back chat. Fortunately for Ards the resulting penalty kick attempt was missed.
The Queens replacement second row caught the resulting 22 drop out, ran through some poor Ards tackles and was destined to score apart from a superb cover tackle by replacement flanker Croan; which also saw the Queens player knock the ball on.
In the 56th minute Ards were awarded a penalty when during a promising attack with forwards and backs linking well, outhalf Paul was tackled without the ball; scrum half Banford stepped up and converted from the Queens 10 metre line. Ards 6 v Queens 3.
In the 60th minute Ards made changes, which saw DAVID CHIVERS come on as hooker with Colin McClure moving to prop and ANDREW FOSTER going off, Neil Beggs come on at full back DAVID ARMSTRONG and Gareth McBurney to the 2nd row for club veteran Gary Presho.
Again, as in the first half both teams attacked at every opportunity in the search for the games opening try; drizzly weather conditions were coming into the game with knock ons and scrappy lineouts becoming all to common; to be fair Queens lineout and scrum came out on tops during this period.
With 4 minutes to go Ards were penalised for being offside and rather than go for the posts Queens elected to kick to touch; from the resulting lineout Queens caught the ball and set up a rolling maul which saw a Queens forward barge over for an unconverted try.
Final Score: Ards 6 v Queens 8
This again was a good performance by the Ards team and for the second week in a row both the referee and the opposition made reference to it.
Even with injuries and non availability Ards are still able to field a competitive senior team indicating the strength and importance of having a Senior Panel and a competitive 2nd XV.
Training continues on Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7pm it is imperative that those wanting to be involved at Senior Level attend training as competition for places is hotting up.
Ards 1sts have no game this Saturday as they received a bye in the Senior Cup; they return to action with a midweek game on Wednesday18th September away to Dungannon.
Jonny Millar, Colin McClure, ANDREW FOSTER,Gary Presho, John Dowey, Andy Hassard, Max Harrison, ROB McCAUSLAND, MARK BANFORD, Stuart Paul, David Parkhill, SCOTT YOUNG, Trevor Devlin, TAYLOR FERGUSON, David McMaster, Ashley Peden, DAVID CHIVERS, Gareth McBurney, Peter Croan, Neil Beggs.
Ards RFC developing local players
Ards RFC Youth player Oliver Glenn makes Ulster Clubs debut.
Oliver Glenn, who plays for the club’s U17 team made his first appearance for the Ulster Clubs U18 side against a strong Exiles U18 team on Wednesday 21st August.
Although the Ulster lads gave a good account of themselves, they were narrowly defeated 17-12.
Oliver is now looking forward to the Inter-Provincial series of matches starting in October.
Other Ards RFC youth players are in the younger Ulster Development age grades and working hard to earn the chance of representative rugby next season and join a line of previous players who have earned Ulster & Ireland under age honours.
Ophir tournament report in August
Baby Oaf’s men win the Bowl!!!!
Ards start the season at Ophir 7s
The new rugby season got under way last Saturday with Ards returning to Ophir 7s tournament for the second year running.
Hopes were high that this year’s motley crew could go one better than last year and lift the cup.
Last year’s veterans of Beggs, Barnett, Aston, S.Mckee and A.Dodd, were joined by C.Stewart, McHenry, Chris McClure, T.Jordan and M.Taylor under the ingenious management team of Fletcher, Peden and Presho.
It was apparent from Beggsies new kit bag that he had serious leadership potential and he was duly charged with leading the men in black into the first match against BHSFP.
Things started brightly with a scrappy game ending in a two tries to one win for Ards against the Belfast High old boys.
The second game against Larne was more convincing with Ards playing an unconventional form of sevens based heavily on scrummaging and rucking!
The three tries to one result perhaps did not reflect the dominance that the Ards men had in this encounter.
After a lengthy break in play Ards took to the field against tournament favourites Queens.
After losing narrowly in last year’s final to the students Ards were highly motivated for this clash but unfortunately the result was the same as last time with Queens edging it by two tries to one.
After another long break in play Ards took on Randalstown in a match where both teams seem to be determined not to score.
Countless opportunities were squandered by both sides with the game finishing as a no score draw.
The sting of this was further compounded with a narrow defeat to hosts Ophir.
The teams sterling efforts were enough to secure third place in the group and a place in the Bowl final against Carrick.
The lure of early season silverware seemed to reignite Ards and they pulled out all the stops in a 45 point demolition of their opposition to secure the third prize bowl.
It was great to see the likes of Barnett and Taylor back in black and scoring tries after long spells out of the game to serious injury.
Thanks goes to everyone who took part and helped bring the first trophy of the season back to Hamilton Park.
Lets hope there are more to follow!