Clogher Valley v Academy, Clogher II v Instonians III & Clogher Valley U15 Blitz Day

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Clogher Valley 3 – Academy 3

Clogher Valley hosted newly promoted Academy for the first time in Qualyfying League One . Rather than the hoped – for early season appetiser, the fare served up by both teams was bland to say the least. It was the visitors who had the better of possession and territory in the opening quarter.Valley were penalised for coming in the side but the kick sailed wide. Academy deservedly took the lead after twelve minutes with a penalty awarded for a deliberate knock on. Stephen Bothwell equalised on twenty minutes after missing an earlier opportunity, and that was to be the end of the scoring !

Both teams struggled to find any rhythm because of the stop – start nature of the game which was frequently punctuated by penalties and unforced errors. The half time whistle couldn’t come to soon for the coaches to try to put things right.Unfortunately there was only a slight improvement after the break as Valley continued to leak penalties at an alarming rate. All Valley’s inspiration was coming from Ally Breen and it was he who instigated Valley’s best scoring opportunity.He linked with brother Andy before Philip Falconer was tackled into touch just short of the line.

Pictures Slideshow here from Clogher Valley V Academy – CLICK HERE TO VIEW – Pictures Courtesy Of Stephen Hetherington, Clogher Valley Photography. Should anyone want one of the pictures contact

Academy were reduced to fourteen men when Lynn was yellow carded. Valley camped on the Academy line but the visitor’s defence held firm.With penalties and mistakes still prevalent, the game drifted to a 3 – 3 draw and both teams were left to reflect on what improvements must be made before next week’s games.For Valley , Ally Breen was the pick of the back line while Matty Robinson and Matthew Keys were the most industrious of a strangely lethargic pack. Lots for the coaches an selectors to chew over after the Seconds impressive victory over Instonians.The Firsts are away to Bangor and The Seconds visit Ballynahinch next Saturday.

Clogher Valley II 40 – 5 Instonians III

Clogher Valley continued their good start to the season with an emphatic win over Instonians III at the Cran on Saturday.

The Valley went on the attack from kick off and were almost awarded when a pick up and drive from a lineout was held up over the line. However Philip Greaves did make the break through following a surge from Rodney Bennett from the resulting scrum. No sooner had Philip Holmes added the extras but the Valley men were on the attack again with great interplay between backs and forwards allowing Chris Robinson in for a touchdown. Greaves then got his second try of the game after Wayne Lyons had demonstrated some neat football skills to chip over the Inst. defence leaving the score at half time at 19-0.

Pictures Slideshow here from Clogher II V Instonians III – CLICK HERE TO VIEW – Pictures Courtesy Of Stephen Hetherington, Clogher Valley Photography. Should anyone want one of the pictures contact

After the break the Belfast side to their credit rallied but were undone by the Valley blitz defence forcing a spilled ball in midfield which was picked up and run in from the halfway line by Greaves completing his hat-trick. There followed another breakaway try following a forced error with winger Chris Henry this time running in from a similar distance. Lyons completed the Valley scoring with a try following a chip and chase assisted by Willy McKeown. An uncharacteristic lapse in concentration in the Valley defence allowed the Instonians winger in for a consolation try in the corner in the dying minutes.

The Valley second XV now face a difficult trip away to the current Junior League Champions, Ballynahinch III, which will be a real test of their title credentials.

Clogher Valley U15 Blitz

Clogher Valley U15 team got their season off to a start with the blitz session at their home ground on Sat morning. A competition between Ballyshannon, Omagh, Enniskillen and Clogher Valley was arranged to decide where each of the teams would play this season. The blitz never took place, Ennskillen could not field a team and Ballyshannon failed to appear, leaving Omagh and Clogher Valley tbattle it out on their own.

Omagh got out of the blocks like World Champion sprinter Usain Bolt and score two quick tries against the run of play, leaving the Valley side a little bewildered. The Valley got down to business with good rucking, securing the ball to release the backs, but on more than one occasion passing would become their achilles heel for this particular match.

Pictures Slideshow here from Clogher Valley U15s Blitz Day – CLICK HERE TO VIEW – Pictures Courtesy Of Stephen Hetherington, Clogher Valley Photography. Should anyone want one of the pictures contact

Despite long periods when they controlled the match, the Valley could not break the stern Omagh defence. The 2nd half saw both sides trading tries, but the Valley could not make their superior rucking become a match winning factor. Strong running from the Omagh pack would cut swathes through the Valley defence and much of the hard work appeared to have been for nothing. With Omagh running out the winners by 3 tries to one, the Valley can take heart that despite being rusty in certain areas, it was a good overall team performance and the season has only begun.

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