Pic: Shoots By Si
VIRGINIA RFC MATCH REPORTS
U16s Round Of Regular Season In Style
Having already retained the Ulster League South title a much changed Virginia RFC team took to the field in Dungannon Park last Saturday, on a morning where the weather finally convinced some that spring was on the way.
They were up against a big Dungannon RFC side and initially found themselves under pressure, but strong defence from Ryan McGuigan, Killian Collins, and Ryan Moloney kept the hosts at bay as Virginia found their feet and worked their way into the game. The breakdown was crucial and led by Adrian Lynch the forwards speed and ferocity took the game to Dungannon, with Fionn Needham, Luke Morris, and Diarmuid O’Reilly all giving great accounts of themselves. Luke Doyle at Scrum Half constantly foraged for the ball and his tempo began to stretch the hosts defence. Niall Carolan as ever orchestrated the play and great hands by Jack Vaughan put Alfie Jackson in space before a crunching tackle prematurely ended his involvement. Unbowed Virginia attacked again and Niall cut his way through the defence to touch down for the first try. Virginia continued to have the upper hand in this period, and before long a great run by Ciaran Levy-Valensi saw him scythe through the opposition defence to double the advantage. Dungannon however then worked their way back into the game, and just before the break scored under the posts, the conversion cutting Virginias lead to 10-7 at the break.
Ronan Baldwin came on for Virginia at loose-head at the start of the second half for his competitive debut, and gave a great account of himself, as the attrition of the first half began to take its toll on his team mates in the pack. The breakdown began to be dominated by the hosts and they soon found themselves 19-10 in front after two quick trys. It was Virginia turn to introduce fresh legs, and Callum Finane and Michael McKeon-Boyle again turned the tide at the breakdown. Robert Lochaden came on at centre, and his link play began to test the Dungannon defence, eventually allowing Cormac Monaghan to burst through in the corner to cut the deficit. Niall then put Virginia back in front, before a rampaging run by Mark Gibney began to take the game away from the visitors. Virginia were now firmly on top, and in the last quarter it was Dungannons turn to tire. An electric piece of acceleration from Niall completed his hatrick, and then Cai Walker and John Smyth both touched down to rub salt in the wound. Four conversions from Michael made the final score a somewhat flattering 48-19 to Virginia.
They now move through to the Quarter Finals of the Ulster League Play Offs, where they’ll have a home tie next weekend against opposition to be confirmed.
Virginia RFC U14s Retain Ulster South League Title
Cavan RFC 0 Virginia RFC 80
Virginia didn’t have far travel this morning to take on their old rivals Cavan RFC. It was great day and the conditions were great to play rugby. It was the first time these two teams met in the league, and was an important game as Virginia needed the win to retain the South League crown.
Virginia were the first to get on the scoreboard within the first few minutes scored by Killian Smith after Virginia robbed the ball in the line out and passed out wide. Virginia’s second try came from Kieran Duffy straight from the kickoff after the ball was caught by Mathew Byers who made a good few yards then passed to Kieran to score under the posts. Some great forward play followed by Gordon Lochaden & Darren Kavanagh in the ruck, the ball was then passed to Kieran who burst through the middle to score his second try under the posts. Virginia kept Cavan in their half with some great tackles and It wasn’t long after that Cavan spilled the ball resulting in a Virginia scrum. The ball was passed out wide off the back, and a try and third conversion by Malachy Walker brought the score to 26-0. Mathew Byers got on score sheet by scoring under the posts, and the next try came from more great forward play before the ball was passed out to Jack Carroll to score.
In the Second Half Cavan started with a scrum in their half which Virginia won to allow Kieran to break away from the back of the scrum and complete his hatrick. Malachy then added his second try, and as injuries plagued Cavan the scoreboard ran away. Tries from Nathan Tobin, Patrick Sheridan, Glen McCabe and Tyrone Tynan and a final conversion by Darren Kavangh completed the scoring. Malachy ended with stats of 9/10 with the boot to make the final score 80-0.
Virginia now have a home Quarter Final in the League Play Offs next Saturday against opposition to be confirmed.
Squad: Darren Kavangh, Gordon Lochaden, Eoin Bogan, Matthew Byers, Conan Fitzpatrick, Patrick Sheridan, Glen McCabe, Oscar Erikson, Jack Carroll, Killian Smith, Nathan Tobin, Malachy Walker, Ben Curran, Tadgh Barry, Ruairi Flynn-Connelly, Harry Leddy, Anthony Monaghan, Philip O’Dowd, Istavil Da Sousa, Tyrone Tynan, Kieran Duffy, Diarmuid Donnellan