Banbridge RFC Notes: 650 Players Attend Mini rugby Festival + V XV 17 v Clogher Valley RFC III XV 10 + I XV 13 v Cashel 26 + U15 I XV 19 v Ballynahinch RFC U15 I XV 12 + U19 I XV 48 v Ballynahinch RFC U19 I XV 5 + U17 I XV 40 v Ballynahinch RFC U17 I XV 5: REPORTS LIVE HERE

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Mini Festival at Rifle Park

Banbridge held their Annual Festival of Mini Rugby last Saturday at Rifle Park. Over 650 players of primary school age from three clubs, Armagh, Ballynahinch and Portadown, joined the host club on a sunny morning when 72 games were played on 12 pitches.

This year the Festival was sponsored by Devenish Nutririon and the company’s representative Eamonn Whelan was on hand, not just to referee some of the games, but also to present the Trophy to the winning club.

The Fair Play Trophy is awarded to the Club which, in the opinion of the referees, has played in the true spirit of rugby, showing respect for their opponents and the referees. This year Armagh were adjudged the winners after a series of keenly contested games at all grades from U-6 to U-11.

Bann Minis now have two weeks’ practice in preparation for the Festival at Dromore on 19th October.

A hard fought win for Briggs’ 5s BANBRIDGE 5THs 17 Clogher Valley 3rds 10
September 28, 2013


The more experienced Bann pack started well and good carries through Kris Eadie and Thomas Thornton took play into the Clogher Valley half. However the Clogher tackling was effective and prevented any Bann scores in the opening period of the game.

The visitors mounted their own attack and were making good ground, mostly through their young mobile back line. With Bann on the back foot and having to defend strenuously one tackle was deemed high and Clogher opened the scoring with the resultant penalty kick.

From the re-start Bann secured possession and set up a ruck. Andy Cowan took the ball blind and linked with winger Matthew Copes who made good ground before recycling the ball through the forwards. Cowan then fed his back-line and Chris Nelmes broke through the defence to take the play to within fivemetres of the try-line. Bann remained here for the next ten minutes and put real pressure on the Clogher defence. After recycling the ball several times out-half Stephen Jackson moved the ball through the back-line of Michael Ross and Jake Fisher and only a deliberate knock-on prevented a certain score. However, the pressure did eventually tell and Fisher scored the opening try in the corner after good handling by the back-line.

Early in the second half Fisher added his second try when Jackson looped around Nelmes, who fed on to Ross and his pace put Fisher in at the corner. Bann were now in the ascendancy and playing their best rugby of the season. Gareth Briggs was leading his team from the front and through his accurate throw-ins Bann won good line-out possession. From such a set piece lock Paul Cairns was up-ended and Bann won a penalty. Cowan took the quick tap penalty and went to within three metres but he was well supported by wing-forward John Mullan who picked and drove to score Bann’s third try of the day. Clogher got a late consolation try but Bann held on to register their second win of the season.

Hard fought win for young U15s side Ballynahinch 12 BANBRIDGE U15s 19
September 28, 2013


Bann welcomed back captain Alastair McDowell from injury for the derby game with Ballynahinch. Jack Myles was moved to centre to add a bit of physicality to the midfield.

‘Hinch opening the scoring on the 10 minute mark after a period of pressure in the Bann ‘22’. A loose ball from a ruck was gathered up by the ‘Hinch No 8 who ghosted in to score under the posts.
The Bann boys rallied and from the third phase of play in the ‘Hinch half, Haydn Kerr found some space and with the ball under the arm raced in to score in the corner. Charlie Jones kicked an excellent conversion.

The half finished with ‘Hinch piling more pressure on but the Bann defence was holding firm with Jack McKinstry and Andrew Jardine putting in the big hits.

The second half started as the first ended with ‘Hinch again putting the Bann try line under pressure. Again the defence held firm with Jack Myles and Jamie Mullan smothering the attack. ‘Hinch found themselves over the line twice in this period only for some last gasp defending, with Matthew Neill and William Cousins holding up the ball carriers. Hooker McKinstry took one against the head and the impressive Jones cleared the danger. From the ‘Hinch line out McDowell read the call to perfection, stole the ball at the front and showed a turn of pace to run half the pitch and score under the posts. Jones added the conversion.

With five minutes left ‘Hinch again showed their determination and went through the phases to eventually find an overlap for their winger to score an unconverted try in the corner.

With ‘Hinch now pressing for the win a loose kick found Jack Dolaghan in space and the speedy winger left a trail of tired defenders in his wake as he scored in the corner from the final play. Jones narrowly failed to add the extras.

This was a much improved performance from the previous week. The team looked more structured and disciplined in defence. With McDowell back at the helm the pack was more organised and confident. McKinstry had a great game up front and showed how capable he is in the loose. Jardine in only his second game of rugby looks a tremendous prospect.

In the backs Jones was on top form as he showed all his skills from hand and boot. Dolaghan also impressed, with one notable try-saving tackle in the second half when he took man and ball when ‘Hinch had a clear overlap and showing his blistering pace to score his try.

Training is now on Monday and Wednesday nights from 7 to 8.30pm as we prepare for the league and cup campaigns.

Kennedy scores 21 to bring home the spoils Ballynahinch 5 BANBRIDGE U19s 48
September 28, 2013


Bann scrum half Aaron Kennedy opened the scoring with a penalty after five minutes.
Ten minutes later the Bann pack were camped on the ‘Hinch line. The defence tried to clear but the kick was charged down and captain Adam Kelly dived on the ball to score the first try of the day.

‘Hinch responded when a lapse in Bann’s concentration allowed them in to score an unconverted try. Within minutes Bann were back in home territory and, from a scrum, Kennedy fed centre Jonny Adams who dived under the posts, leaving the scrum-half to convert.

Right on half time flanker Richard Graham sprinted 30 metres up the pitch and popped to Kennedy who scored and converted, taking the interval score to 5-22.

Early in the second half prop Thomas Carlisle barged over to score an unconverted try.
Then from the move of the match winger Kenny Wiltshire made ground before linking with Graham who again found Kennedy with the scoring pass.

The referee indicated that he was to blow up the game 20 minutes early but Bann weren’t finished as centre Ben Cross twice crossed the line for individual tries, one from 20 metres out and the other from the halfway line. Kennedy converted both to give him a personal total of 21 points for the day.

Not the start the new coaches wanted Ballynahinch 42 BANBRIDGE U17s 5
September 28, 2013


With new coaches Jonathan Brown and Philip Jordan in attendance for their first game since taking over the roles, Bann’s Under 17 side got off to a bad start at Ballynahinch, conceding five first half tries through a mix of poor tackling and organisation.

After a few well-chosen words of wisdom from the coaches at the interval, there was a transformation after the break. A better structured defence contained the ‘Hinch attacks while the strong running of Adam Reaney and William Wilson began to test the home defence.

Eventually Bann broke through, creating an overlap to allow Wilson to touch down in the corner for an unconverted try. ‘Hinch had the last say, with a sliced clearance kick allowing them a converted try from the last play of the game.

But Bann will be heartened by their comeback and with their Ulster Youth representatives still to return from inter-pro action, they are capable of fielding a team to challenge for league and cup honours.

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