Ards Rugby Club Notes: AIL RUGBY: Incl Ards 1st & 2nd XV V Ballymena Rugby 1st & 2nd XV

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1st XV – In a highly competitive game Ards started stronger than their more illustrious opponents and should have taken the lead after 12 minutes when they failed to convert a penalty, following a Ballymena infringement.

Ballymena claimed the first points after 17 minutes, when, against the run of play Fisher converted a penalty, following an offside infringement by Ards.

In the 21st minute, Ballymena increased their lead with a well worked try from McBurney. Fisher added the conversion. This left the score at 10 points to 0 at half time.

Ballymena were quick to take control of the second half and Kerr raced in for a try in the 43rd minute. Fisher was again successful with the conversion.

The visitors continued to dominate field position and possession and Fraser ran in for another try in the 56th minute. Drysdale was successful with the conversion.

Ards then enjoyed a spell of dominance and their endeavours were rewarded with a Taylor Ferguson try in the 63rd minute, which Stewart Paul converted.

Ten minutes from time Ballymena scored the last points of the game, when Fraser raced over for an unconverted try in the corner.
This left Ballymena victors on the day by 4 tries to 1 and a score line that slightly flattered them.

Team – J Mawhinney, G Quinn, A Foster, C Marks, K Heaslip, R Millar, S Minnis, K McIlwaine, M Banford, S Paul, T Devlin, T Ferguson, S Young, A Todd, C Agnew, R Eaves, J Millar, G Presho, S Ferguson, D Armstrong

2nd XV – Ards gave one of the best displays by a 2nd fifteen at the club for many a year and thoroughly merited a fantastic victory over their more illustrious opponents. Ards took the game to Ballymena from the outset and after sustained pressure won a lineout in their opponents 25. Ards caught the ball and mauled over the try line to score a well worked try by Conor Piper in the 7th minute, unfortunately the conversion was missed from out wide. 5-0. Ards continued to pressure during the remainder of the half but failed to capitalise on some good chances. When Ballymena did get into Ards half of the pitch they were meet with terrific defence from forwards and backs alike. This defence led to Ballymena having no option but to take a penalty kick at the posts as there was no way through, which was converted to leave the score at half time 5-3 to Ards.
The second half started in a torrential downpour which continued throughout much of the half. This however did not deter Ards who again took the game to Ballymena. Great forward play and good tactical kicking kept Ballymena pegged back deep in their own half. This tactic worked a treat because the Ards backline chased well and gave Ballymena no space to run, so only letting them kick the ball back to Ards again. Ards finally added to their score with a try by W McAllister in the 75th minute. Again the platform was set up by the forwards before going through the hands off the entire backline for Willy to score in the corner. Again the conversion was missed from way out wide.
The final whistle arrived shortly after with Ards players deservedly getting a win under their belts in the first league game of the season.
All the players acquitted themselves to the task in hand and did themselves no harm in pushing to get into the first team, as well as setting the seconds up for possibly a good season ahead.
TEAM – J Millar C Piper M Weir G Presho C Barnes J Stinson D Calvert A Bloxham C Allen A Derwin G Wilson J Morgan A Crawford W McAllister M Taylor

Ards Ladies: section had an excellent turnout at training on Wednesday with over 20 players enjoying some fresh air exercise in pleasant balmy conditions. This was a very welcome and encouraging site and helps make the prospect of playing in their first real game soon, a real possibility.

Earlier in the day, Ulster Branch Ladies Development Officer Joy Sparks, met with Club President Reggie Haddock and PRO Roy Lawton, to see for herself how Ards were catering for the new Ladies section and was impressed with what she saw and heard. Joy went on to offer invaluable assistance and has promised to return soon to take one of the training sessions herself.

The Club would like to express their gratitude to Joy for taking time out of her busy schedule to come down to Hamilton Park, and look forward to meeting with her again in the near future.

The Ladies are still recruiting new players for both their Tag (none contact) and Full-contact sides. If you feel you’d like to have a go, then come along to their training session on Wednesday evenings from 7 – 8.30pm, everyone welcome.

For more information about joining Ards Ladies section please contact Ross Reid on 07801 848762.


Like the seniors, the Youth section got their playing program off the ground when the U15s played Malone and the 17s hosted a Blitz at Ards.

U15s Match Report – The U15s got their season off to a good healthy start when they travelled over to Cherryvale in Belfast on Saturday, to play Malone. This should have been a Blitz tournament, but all the other clubs failed to show so Ards and Malone played a single game instead.

The game was played in good spirit throughout, with some great individual performances on display from both teams.

Ards played some very enthusiastic rugby and are to be congratulated for the total commitment they showed against a well drilled side.

After the game, Ards were rewarded for their effort with some welcome ice cream courtesy of Coach Gerald Flynn, which went down a treat.

Both teams will now be entered into their respective leagues which will commence in a few weeks time.

Come along and sign up to help get Ards Youth back into the Premier Division of Youth rugby. Leagues, Cups and All Ireland Competitions, are up for grabs, as well as end of season tours.

To qualify for the various Youth teams, a player must be under 13, 15, 17 or 19 etc on 1st January 2010.

The Youth will continue to train on Tuesday evenings at the Club from 6.45pm. Spread the word, all abilities welcome regardless of experience.

The U13s will train on Sundays from 2pm and expect to get a number of fixtures arranged in the near future.

Ring Dayle Jones, the Youth Co-ordinator, on 07754 077827 for more details, or just bring your boots, and turn up on the night


The Mini section has now returned to action with training on Sundays from 2 – 3.30pm. Their first game will be against Holywood on Sunday 19th September.

Registrations and subscriptions will also be taken on Sundays and everyone is encouraged to register as quickly as possible. Registration forms can be downloaded from the club website at

Mini rugby is open to both boys and girls and everyone will be very welcome.

For more information about playing Mini rugby at Ards, please contact Ian Caughey on 07917 646980 for more information.

Gala Dinner In Support Of Cois Beukes

The Gala Dinner in support of Cois and his family, will be held at La Mon Hotel on Thursday. Early indications are that this will be a sparkling packed house event, with all proceeds raised going to Cois and his family, as they continue to cope with a serious medical condition to Cois, during this time.

Schools Tag Rugby

Schools tag rugby is expected to get up and running shortly now that the schools have returned from their summer break, and anyone who would like tag rugby (none contact) delivered to their school should contact Emma Hingston, the Sports Development Officer at Ards Borough Council on 02891 824000 to book their place.

Player And Team Stats

Player and team stats are now up and running on the club website for the 1st and 2nd XVs. To view, click on the Seniors on the homepage, then statistics and then the team you want to view.


Ards 1st XV v Ballynahinch – UCL (Away)
Ards 2nd XV v Ballynahinch – League (Away) Kick-off 1pm
Ards 3rd XV v City of Derry – League (Home)
Ards 4th XV v Malone – League (Away)
Ards U19s v Instonians – Premier League Qualifier (Away)

All Saturday fixtures have a 2.30pm Kick-off unless otherwise stated.

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