Lisburn Get Their Rugby Season Under Way: Lisburn RFC 1st XV 19 – 27 Bangor RFC 1st XV

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Following their very successful end of year tour last season when they won the International Tournament hosted in Serbia by the Vojvodina Rugby Club, Lisburn Rugby Club continued their success into the new season by reaching the final of the Ophir Seven a side competition, held recently at Mallusk, where they were beaten by an all conquering Queens University side.

However, last Saturday saw the Corus sponsored Lisburn RFC launch their 2010 campaign with a highly competitive friendly fixture against Bangor RFC at Blaris. In good weather conditions, Lisburn tested their pre-season preparatory work and from the start attacked the Qualifying One side from all angles of the field. Lisburn were missing a number of their regulars, especially in the back line, but their enthusiasm to attack soon brought the expected reward when Graham Lee, making a welcome return in the Lisburn colours after a year out, drove over for the first try. Richard Dawson

Bangor had a slightly bigger team in certain departments and this setback gave them a new urgency which soon put Lisburn on the hind foot. A charge on the home line was repulsed with good defence however, a loose fly hack of the ball gave them possession from which they scored to make it 7-5. The ten minutes before the interval saw Bangor raise their game a notch and some weak tackling out wide saw the visiting midfield claim two tries, one of which was converted. The interval arrived with Lisburn trailing by seven points to seventeen.
Coach Bruce Cornelius had some words with the team during the half time break but unluckily, Lisburn once again fell off a first time tackle after the restart and immediately found themselves down by seven points to twenty four. The home side now started to take the game more to Bangor and soon reduced the deficit through a well worked try by Andy Hamilton, following good work by Graham Lee and hooker Pete Graham. Bangor responded with a penalty to extend their lead but Lisburn were now getting more and more of the ball and their strong running backs ran in another try with the touchdown going to centre Andrew Gibb. This was the final score of the game to make the outcome 19 – 27 to Bangor.

The Lisburn Captain, Chris Kidd, will be pleased with the competitiveness of this game which gave his team much needed match practice before the commencement of the league in two weeks time against Carrick. Next Saturday they travel to Larne for another “Friendly” as they continue their preparations, whilst Lisburn’s Second XV, captained by Thomas Thompson, get their league campaign under way with an away league fixture against Dungannon RFC 3rd XV.

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