Grosvenor RFC Notes: III XV Victory @ Stormont V Belfast Harlequins + Hard fought victory over Letterkenny

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Victory over Quins at Stormont
Grosvenor 2nds kept their Junior 3 title ambitions on course with an important victory over rivals Harlequins at Stormont.

The extremely windy conditions and narrow pitch did not favour Grosvenor’s wide attacking style of play but none the less Matty Dick opened the scoring with a great flankers try after fifteen minutes, feeding off a break by Jack Adams. Grosvenor stretched their lead to ten points just before half-time and finished the job in the second half running in four more tries with Andrew McConville adding just one conversion from six attempts. Andrew’s kicking coach Marty McCullough was unavailable for comment after the match.
A fine performance with the back row trio of Matty Dick, Andy Gregg and James Bowman being the stand-out players up front while Matty Fitszimmons and Richy Henning get honourable mentions in the backs.

Hard fought victory over Letterkenny

This match was played on the muddy surface of the wee pitch at Belmont with a strong gusting wind blowing straight up the field. Not exactly ideal conditions for Grosvenor to take on Letterkenny and in particular their big physical pack. The match started at a hectic pace but Grosvenor failed to use the wind advantage in the opening quarter, trying to play rugby in their own half and losing possession through either the ball being blown away from the support runners or simpy knocked on. As a result it was Letterkenny who got the upper hand in proceedings early on and only stout defence kept them at bay. However after twenty minutes Grosvenor started to apply themselves better and Simon Fullerton dived over for a try from close range after Mark Cartmill had dispossessed Letterkenny under their own posts. Matty Little added the extras, follwed by a penalty to make it 10-0. Grosvenor pushed for more points as the half drew to a close but Letterkenny defended well and despite some great runs by Jim Neill and Andrew Robinson on the wings their line remained intact. Matty Little then converted a huge kick from half-way to make it 13-0 at the break.

Letterkenny started the second half strongly and used the wind advantage intelligently, pinning Grosvenor back in their twenty two and then rumbling towards the line with the ball never going beyond their scrum-half. They were rewarded with a converted try and a penalty which buoyed them considerably and brought them to within three points. Grosvenor’s tackle count went through the roof but the impact of the collisions was not intense enough to disrupt the Letterkenny forward surges or dislodge the ball. Letterkenny converted another penalty to draw level and with fifteen minutes deservedly took the lead with a well taken try. Grosvenor could have succumbed at this stage but to their credit they rallied and pounded at the Letterkenny line for the next ten minutes, finally getting their reward when Phil Hill forced his way over from close range to bring the scores level once again. Matty Little was faced with a very difficult kick into the swirling wind ten metres from the touchline. But he struck it superbly to restore Grosvenor’s lead with just a few minutes to go. Grosvenor gathered the restart and expertly retained the ball until the final whistle went.

The poor conditions spoiled the game as a spectacle and in the end this was a get-out-of-jail victory for Grosvenor against a very spirited Letterkenny side. However it was the kind of game Grosvenor would have lost last year and the fact that they got themselves back on track after going behind is a sure sign of progress.
Man-of-the-match goes to Matty Little for his superb kicking display.
Physio watch – Cat’s nail varnish this week was Luscious Orange

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