Instonians Seahorses RFC Notes: U19 I XV overpower Carrickfergus RFC U19 I XV in the league: Report LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Seahorses U19’s overpower Carrick in the league
Seahorses U19, 69 – Carrick, 0
This was the U19’s first outing in the New Year after the Christmas break. It was played under floodlights at Shaw’s Bridge on Tuesday 8th January after the Carrick pitches were declared unplayable. The original league game should have been played back in September at Carrick but they asked for it to be postponed as they had 4 representatives in the Ulster RDS squad.
For the first time in many weeks Seahorses were able to pick from an almost full squad. A number of players were back after lengthy layoffs through injury. Included in this was captain, Callum Lyle, who was back in the centre after a six week absence.
Carrick travelled with just 14 players which meant that Seahorses had to match them and take off one of our flankers. The first half opened with a couple of skirmishes by both sides. Eventually Seahorses were able to establish a foothold in the Carrick 22. A number of forward drives led to ruck five metres out and scrum-half Matt Wilson saw a gap close to the breakdown which he ghosted through. He was able to run round behind the posts without a hand being led on him. He converted the try himself which left Seahorses 7 points ahead after 9 minutes.
This score now set the pattern. Patient and destructive forward play again brought Seahorses to a scrum five metres out. The ball was moved swiftly along the backs and Connor Ferguson had too much speed and power for the defence. He ran in for an unconverted try wide out after 17 minutes.
From the kick-off Seahorses gathered again. Robbie Alexander made a great charge and when stopped he off-loaded to Luke Connolly who drew the remaining defence before feeding flying winger Jonny Spratt who sprinted round behind the posts to leave an easy conversion for Matt Wilson after 20 minutes. Michael Davidson was showing his versatility once again; this time he was filling in at full back as the two usual incumbents were not available. He was full of running and counter attacked strongly if any of the Carrick kicking was wayward. He was next to put his name on the scoreboard with a great try after 28 minutes. This time it was converted by Callum Lyle.
Robbie Alexander caught the kick off cleanly and set off in attack. Good inter-passing saw Connor Ferguson claim his second try. Next winger Stephen Rooney demonstrated his speed and footwork as he seared through for a try at the posts after 32 minutes. The last try of the half fell to Luke Connolly who burst through tackles for a score which was converted by Callum Lyle. This left Seahorses in a commanding 45-0 lead at half-time.
After the interval Seahorses were able to empty their bench and give everyone a run out. It was great to see Brendan McKenna and Hayden Nightingale back in action after lengthy layoffs. Both were stalwarts of the team last season but have had problems with availability this year. The half was just one minute old when big Andy Duncan gathered a ball and set off on one of his characteristic runs. He is extremely difficult to stop when he gains momentum. The run ended when he set the ball down between the posts for a most impressive try. Taylor Gillespie, at open side flanker had to stand down from the starting 15 to accommodate Carrick. When he came on after the interval he made up for lost time. Matt Wilson kicked down into the corner and the fielder failed to find touch, prop Curtis Sturgeon was unlucky not to score in the counter attack but was able to offload for Taylor to score in the corner. Five minutes later Curtis Sturgeon got his name on the score sheet when he outran the defence to charge over for a try. Taylor Gillespie finished the scoring with another try when he showed how good he is in at supporting the ball carrier. This left the score at 69-0 when the referee blew for no side. Eleven tries had been scored!
This was a very impressive win for the U19’s. Earlier in the season they would not have achieved it. As a team they have matured; they kept their shape and their patience and did not hurry things unnecessarily. This allowed them to play a real team game with good variation of tactics and wise decision making.

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