Ards Rugby Club Notes: I, III, & U17s XV v Greystones Rugby, Portadown Rugby & Omagh Rugby

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Ards Rugby Club Notes
Match Reports And Scores
1st XV – Greystones 55 v 0 Ards
2nd XV – No Game
3rd XV – Portadown 18 v 8 Ards
4th XV – No Game
U19s – No Game
U17s – Ards 41 v 0 Omagh

The 1st XV suffered a heavy 55 – 0 defeat at the hands of Greystones in Brae in the AIL on Saturday, as injuries and unavailability continue to take their toll on an already torrid season.

The 3rds narrow defeat to Portadown in the Foster Cup was also disappointing as key players also became unavailable for varying reasons.

Meanwhile in the Youth section, Dayle Jones U17s continue to impress when they ran out emphatic 41 – 0 victors over Omagh, in the latest round of the Brewin Dolphin Cup.

The Minis also enjoyed a buoyant day away to Carrickfergus with some very impressive performances from the youngest members of the Club.

3rd XV- Portadown 18 v 8 Ards
Ards travelled to Portadown hoping to progress through to the Quarter Finals of the Forster Cup. Both teams have played each other in the league in recent seasons and Ards travelled knowing that Portadown had a large pack and useful half backs who could control a game.
Ards were without Darren Heron and Richard Hamilton in the pack; Willie Maynard and Chris Braniff in backs due to injury to and work commitments.
The game was played on the big pitch at Portadown in what can only be described as awful conditions.
In the opening 10 minutes both teams played a tight game using their forwards to drive ball up and then kick for field position. After one such drive by the forwards with captain Andrew Crozier and prop Michael McMenamin prominent, Portadown were penalised and full back Stephen Robinson stepped up to slot the penalty over.
Instead of capitalising and building on this lead, Ards seemed to go asleep, allowing the bigger Portadown pack to gain ground and put Ards on the back foot. Ards were reduced to 10 men when center Ewan Adair was sin binned for pulling a Portadown player back.
Portadown were now on the ascendency and taking advantage of the extra man, it was only a matter of time when the Ards defenses broke and on the half hour mark the Portadown prop barged over for a try in the corner (this report writer, who was also the touch judge, would have strongly recommended a video replay on the grounding of the ball, if there was such a facility at this level of rugby and if they had the authority to do so…as they were only a touch judge and not an assistant referee).The conversion was missed.
The first half finished Ards 3 v Portadown 5.
Half time offered Ards time to re-group and be made aware that this game was theirs for the winning. The second half couldn’t have started better for Ards when within 5 minutes of the restart they found themselves playing against 13 men after the Portadown center and hooker (a former Ards resident Stephen Graham) were sin binned in quick succession.
Despite an onslaught by Ards the Portadown line was not breached, this was down to smart play by the more experienced Portadown team, they conceded penalties in non crucial areas, they slowed play down and both out half and scrum half kicked wisely; whereas, Ards got into try scoring opportunities and then either knocked on, took the wrong option, gave turn over ball or were penalised.
Ards were not able to capitlalise on Portadown’s reduced numbers and with their full quota of players and against the run of play the Portadown winger scored an unconverted try in the corner after a probing kick by the Portadown out half which was poorly defended by Ards; Ards hooker Gareth Paden was sin binned (somewhat harshly) for his despairing tackle on the try scoring winger.
Ards were 13 -3 down, playing with 14 men and had 10 minutes left to stay in the cup. Portadown were playing the corners not allowing Ards to get on the front foot in the Portadown half, after retrieving one such kick winger Graham Martin burst down the right wing evading several would be tacklers keeping the ball alive by kicking ahead infield before being forced into touch, the back row of Ryan Mills, Andrew Crozier and Conor McCullough were all over the Portadown defence and flanker McCullough pounced on a loose ball to score an unconverted to the right of the posts.
Game on! Thought the Ards team 13 – 8 down and still 8 minutes to play. Ards attacked at every opportunity and out great pressure on the Portadown defence, centers J McKenzie and Adair and winger Garret Dynes bursting through only to be smothered up by a Portadown defender, Ards were just not getting clean enough breaks and the off load was being prevented by some ‘smart’ Portadown defending.
Ards were throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Portadown, but when try scorer and flanker Conor McCullough was sin binned for not staying on his feet in the final minute Portadown then scored a runaway unconverted try with an over stretched Ards defence, in the final play of the game.
This was a disappointing result for Ards who for large periods of the game dominated their opposition, however they were outsmarted by an astute Portadown team.
The 3rds may be out of the Cup but the season continues in the league with Banbridge visiting Hamilton Park on Saturday. Training continues on Thursday at 7pm. Good luck to Portadown in the Quarter Finals
U17s 41 v 0 Omagh
Ards second match in the league section of the Cup started on a cold and damp Saturday morning.

Ards set their stall out from the off, Danny Kerr took charge of the backs and moved the ball out at pace. Centers and wings pushed the oppositions back to and fro and it was only last ditch tackles that stopped the home side going over in the opening minutes.

It wasn’t long before the forwards got involved either with Mark Docherty and Jack Mac driving in from the 2nd row and the back row linking well with the backs, James Campbell and Jack Coulter who were getting around the park with ease.

As the match went on the home side realised that they could use this to help them with the match next week in the all Ireland Playoffs and used it to hone their moves.
The U17s face Malone at Hamilton Park on Saturday, in this must win All Ireland Quarterfinal playoff. Everyone is encouraged to come along and support the boys in this huge game. Kickoff is scheduled for 11am.
Mini Rugby
The Minis travelled to Carrickfergus on Saturday in the latest round of friendly matches to help develop the younger player.
The U8s had a an excellent day out, playing three short games and putting on a great display of open running rugby, as they played some of their best rugby to date. Strong running and tackling along with good support play ensured a bag full of tries were scored, much to the delight of the travelling Ards faithful, aka mums and dads. This was a very pleasing performance from such a young group of players and with some good nurturing and coaching from the ‘Three Amigos,’ should see this little band of ‘Desperados’ push on and develop into some scintillating players in the years to come.
Results of the three games were:- Game 1. Carrick 1 v 3 Ards. Game 2. Carrick 1 v 2 Ards and Game 3. Carrick 1 v 5 Ards. The Ards try scorers were Adam Matchett (4) Christopher Moore (4) Nathan Shultzer (1) and Carson Waycott (1)
Well done to all the boys and we look forward to more of the same in their next match when they travel to face Instonians at Shaws Bridge on Saturday March 5.
The U8s squad on the day was Jack McGimpsey, Adam Matchett, Luke Hunter, Nathan Shultzer, Christopher Moore, Andrew Kenmore, Carson Waycott, Ross Waide, Rhys Barrat and Mori McIlroy
The Ards Mini Rugby Tournament this season will take place on Sunday April 10 from 12 noon. Details on the Tournaments format are still being worked out and will be announced in the coming weeks. Any parent or guardian who would like to assist the Mini Committee in organising such a mammoth event or help out on the day would be very welcome and is asked to contact their respective coaches or forward their contact details on to the Mini Co-ordinator, Ian Caughey.

The Minis next set of friendly games are away to Instonians on Saturday March 5. Players should meet at Shaws Bridge, Belfast (Beside the Ramada Hotel) no later that 9.45am
Former Ards Mini and Youth co-ordinator Brian Faloon, has announced his engagement to his American girlfriend, Kristin Amundson. Brian and Kristin were engaged in New Orleans in November 2010 and plan to move to Kristin’s hometown of Minnesota USA in August where they’ll wed.
Apparently Minnesota has a thriving rugby scene and Brian will be hoping to put his rugby coaching skills to good use and help out at one of the local Clubs. Congratulations to Brian and Kristen on their engagement and good luck in the USA.
More good news and congratulations are further extended to Stuart Fergusson on the announcement of his engagement to Becky Holland. To prove Stuart is a romantic at heart, he popped the question to Becky in Rome on Friday when they were over for the RBS 6 Nations clash between Italy and Ireland. Great match, pity about the game!!!
The Annual Club Dinner will be held in the clubrooms at Hamilton Park on Wednesday March 16 from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £20 and places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. Please contact Teddy Sloan or Terry Atcheson for more information.
Tag Rugby
The Schools Tag Rugby Blitz for the Ards Borough has now been confirmed for Thursday March 17. Teams should arrive at Ards Rugby Club at approximately 10:00am to register, with the event itself kicking off at 10.45am. All Schools in the Ards Borough will be invited to enter a team and more details on the actual itinerary will be released soon.
Tag Rugby (non-contact) is for both boys and girls and can be played both indoors and out. Anyone who would like this great activity delivered to their school or clubs should contact Emma Hingston, the Sports Development Officer at Ards Borough Council on 02891 824000 or e-mail to book their place.
Fixtures – Saturday February 12

Ards 1st XV v Banbridge – AIL (Home)
Ards 2nd XV v Newry – League (Away)
Ards 3rd XV v Banbridge – League (Home)
Ards 4th XV v Malone – League (Home)
Ards U19s v TBC
Ards U17s v Malone – All Ireland Q/F Playoff (Home) Kickoff 11am

RBS 6 Nations Drinks Promotion

The Club will be running a drinks promotion for the Ireland v France and Scotland v Ireland games.

The France game is on Sunday February 13 while the Scotland game is on Sunday February 27. Both games have a 3pm kickoff.

All Saturday fixtures have a 2.30pm kick-off unless otherwise stated.
Please refer to the club website at for any late changes

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