ARDS RFC NOTES: Close Encounter at Stevenson Park ~ III XV v Ballymena IV XV, Movember Moustache Season In Full Swing! + Pictures Of IV XV v Holywood

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Close Encounter at Stevenson Park
Dungannon 37 V 6 Ards

Ards played under the lights at Stevenson Park against Dungannon last Friday night in an Ulster Senior League match. Whilst the score line suggests a straightforward win for the home side the result was only secured in the final 15 minutes of a pulsating and competitive match. The game, despite torrential rain earlier in the day, was played in very good conditions and Ards elected to play into the slight breeze in the first half.
Dungannon had selected a strong side and they were quickly into their stride. They turned over an Ards scrum just outside the Ards 22 metre line in the 4th minute and when the ball was recycled through two quick rucks to create an overlap their left winger scored a try which was converted to leave Ards 7-0 down at a very early stage. The floodgates could have opened after this setback but Ards stood firm to keep the home side at bay and slowly worked their way into the match. Although the Ards scrum was under pressure, the lineout was a source of good clean possession with Jonny Dawson and James McCavery in fine form. The contest for the ball at the breakdown was fierce with Ards holding their own. In the 18th minute Ards were awarded a penalty which was dispatched between the uprights by Paul Cox. The Ards men were now playing with confidence and sustained pressure in the Gannon 22 saw a yellow card being shown to a Gannon wing forward for failing to roll away in the tackle. This did not effect the home side too much as they added to their score with a well struck penalty in the 26th minute. Ards continued to play with intensity and when a penalty opportunity presented itself in the 35th minute Cox was successful again to reduce the deficit to just 4 points.
With no further scoring from either side by half time the game was in the balance and the second half was eagerly anticipated. Once again Dungannon struck early from the restart and in the 45th minute scored a good try which was converted to extend their lead to 17-6. A fine break out of defence from Ryan Diver in the 55th minute was carried in by Conor Piper and Mark Banford but the scoring opportunity went astray when the ball was knocked on in the tackle. Just a few minutes later, Mark Banford was yellow carded, and he was quickly followed into the sin bin by Trevor Devlin. This lack of discipline cost Ards dearly as Dungannon had the numerical advantage and the know how to finish off the game. Two further tries followed for the home team, both well converted, and two penalties to leave the final score at 37-6 in their favour. Dungannon certainly deserved their win but Ards will be encouraged by this performance, albeit with injuries picked up by two more front row forwards, the management team will have their work cut out for them for team selection for the future.
The Ards team was; Matty Weir, Conor Piper, Andrew Foster, John Dowey, James McCavery, Ryan Diver, Jonny Dawson, Max Harrison, Mark Banford, Paul Cox, Trevor Devlin, Scott Young, Michael Taylor, Mark McClean, Gareth Wilson, Colin McClure, Matt Busby, Peter Croan, Kyle Agnew, Jamie Stinson.

Ballymena 4ths 10 – Ards 3rds 14

Ards 3rds travelled north to Ballymena last Saturday on a high following a string of good results. The match started in perfect rugby conditions with Ards going on the offensive from the outset, recycling ball well and driving into the Ballymena half. Unfortunately despite coming close they could not get any points on the board. The home side stepped up a gear and some suspect defending from the Ards men allowed them in for a soft, unconverted try in the corner. The Ards pack showed their dominance throughout the half winning a number of scrums against the head and carrying ball well in the lose. The match took a turn for the worse when, against the run of play Ballymena were allowed to run in another try which was the result 3 missed tackles. To their credit the Ards heads did not drop but instead they responded to some strong words behind the posts and took the game to the home team. A marked increase in aggression allowed Ards to drive deep into the opposition half with Millar, Peden and Chivers all carrying ball well. Following a number of phases the ball was spread to the backs and Robinson stormed through the defence to score beneath the posts, Aston added the conversion.

The second half started with Ards trailing 10-7 but with momentum behind them. The forwards continued to show their superiority with the Ballymena scrum under intense pressure and Hunter wrecking havoc on their lineout. Despite intense pressure on the line and some great running from Robinson and Mills Ards could not get over the line and missed a number of chances to take the lead. However some strong defence by Ards including a couple of try saving tackles by Wright at full back kept them within touching distance until the 75th minute when Robinson broke the line again to score another try that was converted by Aston to give them a four point lead with 5 minutes to go. As expected Ballymena threw everything they had at Ards who defended firmly and showed great discipline. It was fitting that the final play of the game saw Hunter steal yet another Ballymena lineout which Chivers hacked clear to secure a well earned victory for a team that continues to improve each week.


November has been renamed Movember this year to help raise awareness in relation to men’s health issues.
Movember is an event that runs through the month of November to raise money and awareness in relation to men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer.
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Over the past few days quite a number of players have begun to show some serious growth above their upper lips as moustaches of all types begin to form.
People can donate to the charity online through the Movember website at

A team has been registered for the Club under the name, Ards RFC and this way people can donate on behalf of the Club.
Please support this noble charity event.

Up Coming Events at Ards RFC

Sat 19th November – 6:00pm
This event has had to be moved from the Friday night due to Drumbo Park having made a mistake with the booking. If this causes anyone a problem please contact Neil Workman.
Ards RFC’s major fundraiser for 2011 will be a trip to the Drumbo Dogs Track, on
Please see the club Web Site for more information.

Fri 25th November – 12:30pm
FARLS luncheon at Ards Club House
Please Contact Douglas Harley for more Details.

26th November – 7:15pm
Poker Night
Please contact Stephen Nutt for more Details

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