Antrim RFC 36 – 12 Letterkenny RFC
Antrim returned to cup action, this weekend with another favourable home draw against long distance opposition, to claim victory against Letterkenny and advance into the quarter finals of the McCambley Cup. Antrim ran in 5 tries through Ben Phelps, Toby Rowe, Jack Dempster, Andrew Calvert and a Penalty try. CLICK HERE for the shotssssssssssssss
Antrim made a very slow start to the game and failed to make the tackles count, allowing Letterkenny to capitalise and slip through in the early stages to score and convert with the visitors taking a 7-0 lead.
Antrim put the visitors to the sword and early into the half, Robert Nimmo did well to keep the ball in play and hack it through to the tryline. Toby Rowe was tackled before he had the opportunity to touch the loose ball down and Antrim received a penalty try. Rowe made amends with his conversion to tie the game at 7-7.
Antrim began to show glimpses of their abilities and a bit of individual brilliance from Ben Phelps, resulted in Antrim’s second try. A pick up at the base of the scrum was chipped through and chased by Phelps. A combination of some calamitous defending and some good footwork allowed Phelps, the opportunity to hack the loose ball to the line and score as Antrim finished the half as the strongest of the two sides. Rowe’s conversion gave Antrim a slender 14-7 half time lead.
Antrim came out the blocks after half time and opened the scoring with a fantastic training ground move from the scrum, which allowed Andrew Calvert to bulldoze through four different tacklers and score under the posts, for Rowe to convert, as the Antrim men extended their lead to 21-7.
However, the visitors were not dead and buried yet and added a score of their own, on the back of a blindside attack off the scrum. Antrim held the lead at 21-12 with the visitors slowly growing in confidence.
Antrim added another, after some skilful play and quick hands, allowed Antrim to break. With some tidy work, clearing the ruck from William Smith, the quick ball allowed Toby Rowe to catch the defence off guard and score under the posts to convert. Soon after, Rowe added a penalty and Antrim now held a 31-12 lead.
Letterkenny proved stubborn and laid onslaught to Antrim’s defence, pinning them onto the 22 metre for several minutes. Some excellent defence from Antrim forced the knock on and a clearance kick from scrumhalf, Gary Walker was chased down by fullback Jack Dempster, beating his opposite number to the bounce and running away from the defenders to score Antrim’s final try as Antrim stretched their lead to 36-12.
Letterkenny continued to press Antrim and held them on their tryline for the final 10 minutes but once again, Antrim’s defence held firm with some great individual work from Ben Phelps, Matthew Webb and Mark Perry.
Antrim now face an away trip to Academy in the league this coming Saturday with training in the Devil’s Fight Club at Enkalon on Tuesday at 8pm and Thursday 7pm at Allen Park.