Newry Rugby I XV Conclude The 2010/2011 Season With Win & The Best League Performance In living Memory!!!

3 minutes, 10 seconds Read

It started out with a few faltering steps away to Ballyshannon last August –a trip that ended in defeat – it finished at Telford Park last Saturday with another comprehensive win for the Newry men and the best league performance by Newry Rugby Club in living memory. The final opposition in a long season were Virginia Rugby Club and if the high-flying Newry men thought that victory would come easily the visitors had other ideas and a match as competitive as any seen during the season was served up to the delight of a large crowd of spectators. Newry started off in their usual competent manner and were dominant at the set piece with the front row trio of john Collins, Colin Stewart and Neil Robertson dominating the early exchanges in the scrum and Sean Farrell stealing lineout ball on the Virginia throw-in. A generous supply of ball had its reward after 10 minutes when a sniping run from scrum-half Donal Farrell broke through the defensive line allowing him to off-load to number 8 James Warren, who touched down in the corner for the opening score of the match.

A touchline conversion from Farrell followed to claim the full seven points. This seemed to rally the Virginia men and they fought back to earn a penalty which was successfully converted to narrow the gap. The Newry men belatedly started to realise that they were in a match and upped the ante with a second try, scored by Rhys Botha with a superb one man effort carving up the Virginia defence from the half way line and touching down in the corner. Farrell successfully converted again, this time from over on the left touchline. The final word in the half however went to Virginia who were unfortunate not to score a try but who had to settle for another penalty to leave the half time score 14 to 6.

The third quarter saw the visitors really get their act together and they started to successfully challenge in both scrum and lineout – making for an evenly balanced final 40 minutes. However it seems that since Newry found their scoring boots earlier this season they just can’t stop racking up the tries and the third try of the match was nailed by Neil Robertson after some bulldozing forward play for which the visitors just had no answer. Unfortunately for Virginia their challenge finally faded when they lost their loose-head prop to injury and Newry saw out the final quarter safely with converted winger Rik “Flash” Gordon touching down after a lovely piece of backs interplay for the final try of the match, which was duly converted by Farrell to leave what was to be the final score of 26 points to 6 in favour of the city men. Newry finish with second place in their league secured and will now take their place in qualifying league 3 of the newly restructured Ulster leagues next season.

Newry Coach, Rhys Botha was interviewed afterwards and asked for his comments on what has turned out to be an exceptionally successful first season in charge of the city men. “Looking back, a slow start has cost us the league title” he observed, “still it is better to have a strong finish than a strong start as we are now focusing on next season and promotion to Ulster Qualifying league 2. In the fullness of time this club deserves to be playing All Ireland rugby and that is ultimately where its aspirations must lie”. Big aspirations indeed! But if any club can fulfil them then it must be the fast growing Newry club, which is already recruiting talent for the season ahead.

Newry: C Marshall, D Doyle, J McEvoy, P Jenkins, R Gordon R Botha, D Farrell, J Collins, C Stewart, N Robertson, G Toal, D Austin, C McNally, S Farrell, J Warren.

Similar Posts