Bangor RFC Notes: I XV 48 v Limavady RFC I XV 13: REPORT + SHOTS

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Despite having a slender lead at half time, a fluent Bangor side ran in five unanswered tries in the second to earn a valuable bonus point victory against Limavady.

Having had no rugby at Upritchard Park for the past two weeks, both the pitches and players were in good shape to welcome a Limavady side that has improved as the season progressed. With just a slender lead at half time Bangor found another gear in the second, running in five unanswered tries to win convincingly by 48-13, securing a valuable bonus point in the process.
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With a clear sky and no wind advantage for either side, Limavady got the game underway. Bangor appeared to be uncharacteristically slow out of the blocks, and the lack of recent game play was obvious as poor passes and dropped balls allowed Limavady to press into Bangor’s half. With just 4 minutes gone, Bangor conceded a penalty for offside, and the Limavady out-half duly converted the kick to take the lead 0-3. Another 4 minutes passed and Bangor again found themselves under pressure, giving away another penalty – this time for not releasing the ball. However, this time the kick went wide.

Bangor were no doubt relieved not to find themselves 6 points adrift, and soon started to produce better attacks, bringing them towards the Limavady twenty two. A mistake in the Limavady lineout allowed Jamie Clegg to steal possession, then following some quick passes across the back line, Davy Charles to run wide around two Limavady defenders and score in the right hand corner. The difficult conversion was missed, but Bangor were now in the lead by 5-3, with 14 minutes gone.

Bangor continued to press forward, and soon afterwards won a lineout inside their opponent’s twenty two. Having won the ball through Darren Lyttle’s catch, the forwards produced another excellent driving maul, eventually pushing over the Limavady line and Chris Schofield getting the ball down. Once again, the conversion was missed, and the score moved on to 10-3.

The visitors suffered a double blow on the half hour mark. First, they had a player yellow carded for persistently killing the ball. Then, from the resulting penalty, a quick tap and go provided the opening for Jason Morgan to drive over close to the Limavady posts. This time, his conversion kick was successful making the score a relatively comfortable 17-3.

The loss of a man for the following 10 minutes appeared to galvanise the remaining Limavady players, who threw everything into attack and were rewarded with a penalty which they kicked after just 4 minutes. A further 4 minutes later, and with the end of the first half approaching, Limavady forced Bangor into conceding another penalty. From the resulting lineout, Limavady passed the ball wide towards the left hand side, before chipping through the Bangor line. In the resulting chase for the ball, it was Limavady who got there first, touching down to the left of the posts, and with the addition of the conversion, the score was now 17-13.

As the half time whistle went, Bangor would have been pleased to have scored 3 tries, but disappointed to have let the visitors come right back into contention.

Anxious not to let Limavady build on their first half comeback, Bangor restarted the second half with a sense of urgency that was missing earlier. Within just 3 minutes, a good run by Darren Lyttle was followed up by Davy Charles who managed to hold off two Limavady defenders before scoring in the right hand corner. Although the kick was missed, this fourth try earned Bangor their bonus point, and extended the lead to 22-13.

In similar circumstances just 4 minutes later, another confident run through the backs helped Matt Leebody take the ball into the Limavady twenty two. This time he found Richard Corbett outside him, who took the pass and scored to the right of the Limavady posts. The conversion was good, and the score moved on to 29-13.

Although stunned by these two quick tries, Limavady regrouped and started to mount their own attacks. However, Bangor were now full of confidence and, despite finding themselves deep inside their own twenty two, they managed to win back the ball and mount a counter-attack. Chris Schofield made some hard yards before passing to Jamie Clegg. Clegg then carried the ball into the Limavady half before passing to the in-form Davy Charles who produced another sprint down the right wing to leave the defence trailing in his wake and score under the posts. With Jason Morgan’s simple kick, the score was now 36-13.

Limavady now threw everything into attack, pressing forward again. However, a wayward pass was intercepted by Jason Morgan, who found no Limavady defenders ahead of him, allowing him a clear run from his own twenty two to score under the posts. His added kick brought the score to 43-13, with 17 minutes of the half played.

Although the result was now not in doubt, the Bangor players were still playing with purpose. However, the circumstances surrounding Bangor’s next try added a bizarre and costly twist to what had become a great display of flowing rugby. As a result of an incident prior to this try, scored again by Davy Charles, one of the Limavady props was yellow carded. An incensed Jason Morgan was then reprimanded by the referee for sharing his feelings with the Limavady player. The referee then yellow carded Morgan, who continued to show his disapproval. At this point, the referee decided this dissent was worthy of another card, resulting in a red card.

Confusion and disbelief was felt by both sides. The game lost its rhythm and scrums were now uncontested. What was once good natured and entertaining, now became scrappy and disjointed. As the game fizzled out, the home side will have mixed feelings of delight and disappointment, and now have to wait and see what impact these events will have over the coming weeks.

Bangor team: C Schofield, M Coey, J Harrison, D Lyttle, R Corbett, N Hatton, J Clegg, C Stewart, R Armstrong (c),D Gordon, M Leebody, M Aspley, J Morgan, D Charles, C Morgan

Bangor scores: D Charles (4T), C Schofield (1T), R Corbett (1T), J Morgan (2T, 4C)

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