Impressive Win for Newry 1st XV: Report & Video

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Ards were the visitors to Telford Park last Saturday for their Ulster conference league
match and found themselves up against a Newry First XV which was showing quite a few
changes from the recent league wins over Randalstown and Ophir. The match saw the
return of Peter Jenkins to out-half and much local attention was focused on how various
new combinations around the pitch would work out, given the need for strength in depth in
the remaining but vitally important months of the season ahead.

Playing conditions were good, with a bright sunny day and a rapidly drying turf underfoot.
Newry started off playing into the breeze with a strong winter sun in their eyes. The city
boys tried to move it wide in the early phases and a great break by Paddy Wentworth up
the wing almost yielded a try on the 10 minute mark but for the Ards defence scrambling
back to stop what looked like a certain score. Newry soon got reward for sustained attack
when after a break by Marty Cunningham, Ards were penalised for the tackler not releasing
at the breakdown. Farrell slotted over the penalty to start the scoring. The lead was further
stretched when the Newry scrum-half tapped a quick penalty on the half way line and fired
a long pass out Paddy Wentworth who made a good 40 yards before being hauled to the
ground. The Newry attack followed in quickly so that several pick and goes later, man of the
match Cathal McNally barrelled over for a try which went unconverted. Ards, the pre-match
favourites in many eyes, upped their game and scored a deserved penalty to leave the half
time score 8-3 to Newry.

The third quarter started with another Ards penalty to leave the match in the balance.
Newry then hit a purple patch and started to dominate in set piece and loose play, winning
ball against the head in both scrum and lineout and forcing turnover ball in the ruck. Three
unanswered tries was their reward, with Sean Farrell, Andrew Stanley and McNally for his
second, all touching down in a 15 minute period to put the result beyond doubt. The final
quarter saw yellow cards apiece for both teams and Newry lost their tight head prop Neil
Robertson through injury. The home team played the last 10 minute with 13 men against
15 but still extended their lead with a last minute penalty converted by Gareth Madden.
Final score Newry 26, Ards 6. Rhys Botha, the Newry Coach expressed his satisfaction with
the result and with the improving standard of play shown all around the park. “We want
promotion this season, but to get it and sustain our progress into next season we need
strength in depth and that is what you saw out there today” he commented.

Newry’s next match is a vital home league encounter against Donegal next week. All
supporters are encouraged to get out and support their team who are now unbeaten since
the start of October.

Newry XV: A Stanley, C Stewart, N Robertson, D Austin, P Haughey, R Gordon, S Farrell, C
McNally, D Farrell, P Jenkins, D Doyle, G Madden, P Wentworth, M Cunningham, D Marshall

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