1st XV – Belfast Harlequins 30 v 22 Ards
The large crowd at Deramore Park was thoroughly entertained by a match which
saw Belfast Harlequins win by 30 points to 22 against a spirited Ards team.
It was Belfast Harlequins who showed most endeavour in the opening
encounters and they took the lead after 4 minutes through a penalty by
Michael Heaney. Following the restart, the home team was quickly on the
attack again and a scything run by ‘Quins’ centre Michael Allen saw him
race between the posts for a converted try after 5 minutes.
The next 20 minutes of play belonged to Ards and their attacking flare was
richly rewarded with an unconverted try by David Armstrong after 14 minutes.
Penalties by Ards fullback Jason Morgan on the 21st and 25th minutes saw
Ards take a narrow lead. Harlequins scored the final points of the half from
a penalty in the 29thminute by Keith Piper. This left the half time score
at 13 points to 11 in Harlequins’ favour.
From the re-start, it was Harlequins who were first to score when centre
Michael Allen went over for his second converted try after 44 minutes. Ards
were quick to respond and an excellent move was rewarded by a Jason Morgan
try after 47 minutes. Morgan added a further 3 points when Harlequins were
penalized in the 60th minute.
Five minutes later Harlequins centre Willie Stewart scored an impressive
individual try and scrum half Michael Heaney added the conversion. In the
final exchanges each team added a further 3 points through penalties and the
match finished at the same competitive high tempo as it had started.
The season begins in earnest on Saturday when Ards welcome County Kildare
side Naas, to Hamilton Park in the first round of the All Ireland League
program. The last time these two sides met at Forenaughts in November last
year, Ards just edged their hosts by 16 points to 13 in a closely contested
outing. This was also Ards first win in last seasons AIL and helped
kick-start their season and ensured their survival in the senior ranks.
This season is also likely to be a hard slog for all concerned but unlike
previous seasons, there wont be any relegation from the AIL as the IRFU will
be increasing the number of senior clubs in Ireland from 48 to 52.
Good luck to all the Ardsmen this season, and let’s hope they can get the
season off to a real flyer.
3rd XV – Ards 35 v 11 Rainey
After last weeks defeat away to Dromore, Ards 3rds hoped to turn things
around when they played host to Rainey in their 3rd league game of the
Changes to the team were made this week which saw the return to action of
hooker Darren Heron, No.8 Andrew Crozier and centre Ewan Adair these
experienced players made the world of difference to in what turned out to be
the best performance of a3rd XV pack in recent seasons.
The first score of the day went to out-half Michael Taylor, who was playing
his last game for Ards prior to going to Australia for 1 year on Tuesday;
Michael scored a excellent try in the corner after an initial break by
himself and winger Chris Braniff, the conversion was missed.
The Ards pack were finding the refereeing of the break down hard to
understand and try scoring opportunities were missed due to numerous
penalties awarded against them for various reasons including hands in the
ruck and not rolling away; after such an infringement flank forward Conor
McCullough was yellow carded. These penalties did not reflect the game and
it has to be said that Ards had the upper hand through out the half.
Returning No.8 and captain Andrew Crozier proved how much a leader he is and
even with McCullough sin binned Ards scored a second try after a typical
storming run by Crozier in which he just swatted aside the opposition, the
conversion was missed.
Just prior to half time Rainey got their first points of the when they were
awarded a penalty for yet another infringement at the breakdown, this was
converted by the Rainey out-half.
Half time: Ards 10 v 3 Rainey
The second half continued much the same as the first with the Ards pack
rampant and all forwards getting plenty of ball in hand, big carries by
Mathieu Wilson, Richard Hamilton and Michael McMenamin were rewarded when
the referee awarded Ards with a penalty after he found Rainey guilty of foul
play, Taylor converted.
The advantage of this penalty was cancelled out after Ards were yet again
penalised by the referee for an infringement from the resulting kick off.
The Ards driving game was coming to the fore and after a strong line break
by out half Taylor and inter play between centres Tim McCandless and Adair,
winger Stephen Robinson went over in the corner for a well deserved Ards
try, scrum half Graham Martin missed the conversion.
With Ards on the ascendancy Rainey were reduced to 14 men when their 2nd row
had to leave the pitch with a leg injury, which is hoped not to be too
Ards really began to up the pace of the game and were dominant in all facets
of play, the scrum was strong and hooker Heron was finding his man all the
way down the lineout.
Ards next try came when hooker Heron defied the critic’s on the touch line
and broke through from the half way line only to be tackled by the last
Rainey man but his off load to the supporting Crozier was perfect and the
big man cruised in under the posts, out half Taylor was successful with this
conversion. Ards 25 Rainey 11.
Rainey’s heads then began to drop but to their credit they tackled and
hassled away. Ards were now playing with some confidence and out half
Taylor scored another fine try when he crossed the line for his second try
of the day, the resulting conversion was missed.
Ards were then reduced to 14 men 2nd row Will McCutcheon had to leave the
match with a foot injury, both teams were now even with 14 men.
In the final minutes of the game Ards winger Chris Braniff scored a fine
solo try in which he ran at the Rainey defence chipped the last man and
retrieved his kick to score to the left of the posts, this was just rewards
Braniff for an industrious day in which he saw him coming off his line
looking for ball.
All in all this was a great response after last week’s poor performance at
Dromore, the return of the experienced players was great but it has to be
emphasised training continues for the 3rds and 4ths on Tuesday at 7pm and is
now a criteria for selection.
The 3rds have no game next week but are encouraged to support any of the
other club teams who are playing and to attend the disco in the clubhouse on
the evening of Sat 2nd October, 8-late.
R Hamilton D Heron M McMenamin I Presho W McCutcheon M Wilson C
McCullough A Crozier G Martin M Taylor C Braniff T McCandless E Adair S
Robinson W Maynard
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.
The U17s get their league season going on Saturday 9th October with a visit
to Hamilton Park of North Belfast side Ophir. Ophir are another developing
side and should provide stern opposition for the young Ardsmen. Kick-off is
The U15s have been put into a development structure and details on their
games should be known soon.
The Minis host Ballynahinch Minis section next Sunday and all players are
requested to be at the club at 1.30pm.
Parents and guardians are requested to contact their respective coaches to
assist with catering arrangements please.
Registrations and subscriptions are still being taken on Sundays and
everyone is encouraged to register as quickly as possible. Registration
forms can be downloaded from the club website at www.ards-rfc.com
Mini rugby at Ards is open to both boys and girls and is held on Sundays
from 2 – 3.30pm 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.
Get Well Soon
Club head coach Cois Beukes has undergone more surgery to help relieve his
current medical condition and is now making slow but steady progress with
His family would like to express their sincere gratitude to all the many
people who have been sending messages of good will and hope that Cois will be able to receive visitors in the near future.
We wish Cois a speedy recovery and look forward to him regaining control at
the helm soon.
Kelly Steps Up To The Mark
Assistant coach Laurence Kelly, will be deputising in Cois absence. Laurence
is a level 2 IRFU accredited coach and has plenty of coaching experience
particularly with Sullivan Upper Grammar School in Holywood where he has
been coaching for a number of years.
Good luck to Laurence and his team, as they prepare for their first AIL game
of the season against Naas on Saturday.
Michael Taylor will be taking some time out and heading out to Australia for
a year long working holiday. While on his travels he intends linking up with
another Ards old boy Gavin McCullough who is still enjoying the highlife in
the Land of Oz
Both Gavin and Michael have played Youth and Senior rugby at Ards, and both
are very well thought of young men who will no doubt equate themselves very
nicely with our colonial cousins down under.
Have a great time boys and keep in touch through the club website.
The latest round of scores have now been added to the player stats ‘wagon
wheel’ on the club website and a new leader has emerged in the guise of
Jason Morgan. Jason added to his running total at the weekend with an
excellent display at Deramore Park.
The fourths return to action next week, so it could be all change on the
leader board come Saturday teatime.
Schools Tag Rugby
Schools tag rugby is now up and running once again 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 or e-mail email@example.com to book their place.
There will be a fitness workshop for all coaches working with young players.
The workshop will focus on fitness and conditioning for stage 1 and 2 of the
long term player development pathway (For 6yrs to 14yrs approx.).This will
be based on the newly updated fitness and conditioning content in the Mini
and foundation coaching courses.
The focus of this workshop is physical activity and movement skill
development. The evening will concentrate on stages 1 and 2, but will also
investigate physical development from birth to stage 1. We will investigate
Physical activity levels and guidelines, the windows of opportunity, PHV,
Fundamental movement skills and the most appropriate content for 6 to 14yr
Topic 1 – Physical activity levels and guidelines for children in the 4
Topic 2 – Assessment and development of movement skills in children.
Presenter – Des Ryan (I.R.F.U. Fitness Education Manager)
The workshop will have theory and practical content. The evening will be of
great use to coaches who would like to know what is the most appropriate and
practical method to develop young players at stage 1 and stage 2 and how to
get that message across.
The details are as follow –
Title: Assessing & Developing Fundamental Movement Skills
Presenter: Des Ryan (I.R.F.U. Fitness Education Manager)
Date – 6th October 2010
Time – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue – Malone RFC
Date- 13th October 2010
Time – 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue – Dungannon RFC
Ards 1st XV v Naas – AIL (Home)
Ards 2nd XV v Malone – League (Home)
Ards 3rd XV – No Game
Ards 4th XV v Lisburn – League (Away)
Ards U19s v Ballynahinch League (Away)
Ards U17s v Ophir – League (Home) Kick-off 11am
Ards Minis v Ballynahinch (Home) Sunday Kick-off 2pm
All Saturday fixtures have a 2.30pm Kick-off unless otherwise stated.