Instonians 1st XV beat Portadown 27-3 in opening Qualifying League 1 Campaign

4 minutes, 45 seconds Read

Saturday August 30th marked the start of a new season, and indeed a new challenge for the Instonians 1st XV, as they began their first league campaign in Junior Qualifying rugby. A sense of anticipation, as well as oubvious nerves, was evident at Shaws Bridge before the game, with senior squad players quieter than usual before a 2.30 kick off.

The match kicked off in bright and calm conditions, with both sides trading early possession and territory. Instonians received the first opportunity to effect the scoreboard after Portadown were penalised at the scrum, unfortunately Out Half Richard McCarthy pulled the kick wide and the 0-0 scoreline remained. Possession was fairly even for both sides afterward, with a lot of the action taking place in the middle of the pitch. Portadown started to gain a foothold in the game, testing the Instonians defence through repeated carries from their forwards. Thankfully the Instonians defence was up to the task, with Robert Whitten particularly prevalent, thwarting a Portadown attack with a well timed steal of the ball at ruck time.

In the second quarter of the match Instonians began to grow in confidence and move the ball into the wider channels, putting extreme pressure on a stretched Portadown defence. This resulted in several near misses within a 10 minute period, including an accidental offside at a rolling maul only metres from the try line, and some heroic last ditch defending from a committed Portadown defence. Eventually pressure told from another scrum, the forwards winning another penalty, and this time Richard McCarthy slotted it through the uprights. Instonians pressure continued, particularly evident through a fantastic counter attack, started by Matthew Kilpatrick break from his own ’22’, superb continuity between forwards and backs, and almost finished by Alan Whitten, only to be pulled down 2 metres from the try line. Unfortunately subsequent phases again did not produce a try, with the scoreline remaining at 3-0. In the final 5 minutes of the 1st half Portadown rallied and exerted immense pressure on the Instonian try line, culminating in hooker Glen Baxter being yellow carded for repeated team infringements. However despite being down a man, the Instonian line did not break, with some heroic defending by individuals, and a great sense of relief was felt throughout the ground when the referee blew for half time.

The 2nd Half began with an Instonians kick off deep into the opposition’s ’22’ with the clear tactic of keeping the Portadown side contained in their own half. Changes were made shortly into the 2nd half, with Josh Cregan replacing Alan Whitten at Tight Head, and David Scott replacing Richard McCarthy. A clear ‘change of gears’ was evident with Instonians, as pressure started to mount on the Portadown try line. Finally the line was broken in the 49th minute when Andy McKean finished off a dominant scrum from the forwards with a smart carry over the try line; David Scott added the conversion with a great kick from the right-hand side 15m line.

Instonians seemed to gain confidence from this, and it became obvious that this Portadown side were beginning to tire. Consistent pressure in attack, through powerful carries in the forwards and pace and skill from the backs ensured another opportunity was created with a break in midfield; the ball was moved to the sideline and young Zach Finlay rounded his opposite to score a try on debut, David Scott unfortunately could not add the extras. Two tries was obviously not enough for this side, it was easy to see that the players wanted more, and again they pushed their intensity higher to take the game out of Portadown’s hands. Relentless pressure in defence from Instonians produced a number of knock ons, whilst our own ball retention was of a high standard. The side slowly worked their way to the opposition line again, with the forwards battering the line with a number of carries off the base of the ruck; however it was Matthew Keane that eventually sniped over from close range for Instonians’ third try. After fielding the subsequent kick off and performing an excellent clearance into the opposition half, Instonians pressured at the line out, forcing mistakes out of the opposition. The intensity and willingness to counter quickly on turn over ball was there for all to see, and again Instonians broke the line and finished off the opportunity they created; Sebastiano Folla drawing a defender and passing to Paddy Pringle on a hard line, Paddy sold the dummy to the outside, and strolled over under the sticks..

Instonians continued to press for a 5th try, and almost took their overall score into the 30s with more attacking play, however they were to be denied by a knock on at a key time. Finally the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the match, and a great sense of pride and relief was felt by players, coaches and supporters alike. What followed was undoubtably the biggest ‘Rickety’ for a long time, as the players enjoyed their fantastic opening win.

A great start to the season against one of the division’s top sides, however the side faces another tough test away to Bangor RFC next week, and work to improve will resume on Tuesday.

Finally congratulations to those making their competitive debuts for the 1st XV this afternoon (hopefully many, many more caps to come!) : Fergal Lynch, Sebastiano Folla, Robert Whitten, Robbie Martin, Paddy Pringle, Zach Finlay, Fraser Wright & David Scott.

– See more at:

For images from the game CLICK HERE


Arab online casinos on ازينو على الانترنت with arab casino games.

Similar Posts