Famous Victory Over Bangor RFC + Club Man Rab Weir Tribute: Grosvenor RFC Notes

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This young Grosvenor side really came of age at Upritchard Park today and secured a deserved victory over Bangor in front of a bumper home crowd.
Bangor took the lead early on with a penalty but after that it was all Grosvenor and play seldom moved out of the Bangor half for the next thirty minutes. Grosvenor quickly drew level through a well struck penalty by Peter Rowntree and only desparate defence by Bangor prevented Grosvenor scoring a try. The forwards created a sound platform with prop Phil Hill, who is playing some of the best rugby of his career, leading the way with some terrific charges into the heart of Bangor’s defence. Fellow prop Jack Adams was never far behind in borrowed boots two sizes too big while hooker Lyle McFarland gave a fine display of arrows at the lines-out. The match really came to life after twenty minutes when scrum half Brendan Parke made a scintillating break making forty metres before being hauled down. Grosvenor recycled quickly and only a loose final pass prevented a score in the corner for winger Chris Cahoon. Grosvenor kept the pressure on and five minutes later what looked like a certain try was prevented by a high tackle on Peter Tees in the right hand corner, but the referee thought otherwise. With five minutes to go Bangor made a rare incursion into Grosvenor territory and only stout defence by the Belfast men kept them out. HT 3-3
Bangor started the second half strongly and were camped in the Grosvenor 22 for the opening ten minutes. Robin Coates and captain Alain Douglas in centre were prominent in defence and kept the big Bangor centres quiet. Bangor’s outhalf tested the Grosvneor back three with a series of bombs and wide kicks but they fielded them all beautifully and managed to make ground with some exhilerating counter attacking, including one forty metre break by Andrew Robinson. Phil Hill was then yellow carded for repeated infringements by Grosvenor and Bangor immediately capitalised scoring a try in the left hand corner. Conversion missed. Instead of firing up Bangor this further motivated Grosvenor and their 14 men managed to pile the pressure on Bangor with Peter Rowntree orchestrating things at out-half, kicking deep to the corners and bringing in crash runners up the centre. John Lutton and Peter Dawson in the engine room worked their socks off while in the back-row Fra Graham, Andrew Kelly and Philip Stoops tackled everything that moved. Brendan Parke made several more sniping breaks, one of which alomost brought a try under the posts. But Bangor killed the ball and the ensuing penalty brought Grosvenor back in the game. Phil Hill returned just as the Bangor prop was yellow carded and this time Grosvenor had the advantage which they took gratefully. Andrew Kelly made a superb break from a scrum and the ball was worked close to the Bangor line. Another penalty was conceded and Peter Rowntree knocked it over with ten minutes to go to give Grosvenor the lead. The last ten minutes were nail biting for the Grosvenor supporters but they need not have worried as this young side expertly closed the game down and secured a well deserved win.
Grosvenor were naturally delighted by the victory which springboards them nicely into the new year. However it was the manner of the victory which was particularly pleasing for the coaching team and supporters. The decison making was excellent and the old bad habit of playing high octane high risk rugby has been replaced by a brand of patient, intelligent and controlled rugby.
Man-of-the-match. All fifteen Grosvenor players put their hands up today in what was a marvellous team performance but Brendan Parke just pips Phil Hill, Peter Rowntree and Peter Dawson.
Jug Watch. Excellent hospitality for the alicadoos both before and after the match but alas no jug for the players. 7/10

Rab Weir in historic act
Playing rugby in his sixth decade for Grosvenor (5th for the club) Rab Weir made a little bit of history yesterday when he was substituted for the first time ever in his career.
The new laws and the fickle finger of team selection finally caught up with the disciplinarian referee and propping legend, who claims he once gave Waffle a torrid time in a School Leavers vs Club match in the 1980s. Coach Mikey Morris said ‘Rab answered Grosvenor’s call yesterday to help us get a 4th XV out but he was starting to blow a wee bit in the second half so I thought it best to let one of the younger guys on. I suppose you could call it a mercy substitution.”
An unhappy Rab was said to be considering ‘a strongly worded letter’ to committee, citing that he was not knackered but on the verge of getting his second wind.


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