Nutty Krust Tournament Clogher Valley U18’s v Malone U18’s Wednesday 26th February 2020
The fourth of this season’s quarter-final games got underway in the Nutty Krust U18Tournament under the floodlights at a cold but dry Chambers Park when the Clogher Valley U18 team played the Malone U18 team on Wednesday evening. The Clogher Valley team recorded a well contested 34-10 victory with the scoreboard having read 17-3 in their favour at the break. A sizeable crowd had gathered to watch an entertaining game which featured quite a few talented players on both teams. Among the group watching the game was Jonny Gillespie from the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department.
Clogher Valley started the game well and an early line break from Dylan Flynn took play deep into Malone territory. Robbie Mills, Conal Rice and Taine Haire all combined to present Robbie with the opportunity to touch down for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-0 lead with six minutes on the clock. The Malone team responded well to that early set back. With good possession and go forward ball being secured by players such as Patrick Phelan, Tom Stanfield, Conor Henry and Oran O’Neill, the Malone team pressurised Clogher Valley into conceding a penalty. Timmy Cunnane converted the ensuing kick to reduce the arrears to 5-3. The Clogher Valley team then made good use of an attacking scrum and Joel Busby eventually forced his way over the Malone line to touch down for a try. Zak Kyle added the extras to see the Clogher Valley team into a 12-3 lead. The Malone team came back strongly with players such as Sam Green, their impressive hooker, and Lewis Brown to the fore. However, the Clogher Valley defence was well-organised and thwarted Malone attacks on a number of occasions. With the last play of the first half the Clogher Valley team secured possession in the Malone 22m area. They moved the ball quickly through various sets of hands before Taine Haire scored an unconverted try to leave the half time reading Clogher Valley U18’s 17 Malone U18’s 3.
The Clogher Valley team started the second half where they left off in the first half-on the attack. Great interplay and handling between forwards and backs presented Stewart Douglas with the opportunity to run in for an unconverted try and increase the Clogher Valley lead to 22-3. Five minutes later, and despite the best of defensive intentions from Sam Green and Aaron McClure, the Clogher Valley lead increased to 27-3 when Conal Rice took advantage of good work from Robbie Mills and Terry Coulter to touch down for an unconverted try. Malone went on the attack but found no way through the Clogher Valley defence. Indeed, a turnover ball out of defence saw the Clogher Valley team take play, via a penalty, deep into Malone territory. From the resultant lineout Joel Busby secured possession and a clever off-load found Conal Rice who was delighted to touch down for another try. The Zak Kyle conversion saw the Clogher Valley team into a secure 34-3 lead. The Malone team stuck to their hard running game plan and took play back into the Clogher Valley “Red Zone” They disrupted a Clogher Valley defensive scrum and Nathan Murphy showed great awareness to gather the ball and cross the Clogher Valley whitewash for a try. Timmy Cunnane was successful with his conversion which left the final scoreboard reading Clogher Valley 34 Malone 10.
The Clogher Valley U18 team will next play the Rainey U18’s in the second of the Nutty Krust semi-final games on Wednesday 11th March.
As usual with the Nutty Krust Tournament the players all received a post-match meal which was sponsored by Jim Hewitt Meats, prepared by the staff in “Scrummies” kitchen, and organised by the ever present Sid Rowe, assisted by Jonny Wickham. All the players, as well as their coaches, received a Nutty Krust loaf on departure.
Jill Irwin, representing the Nutty Krust Tournament sponsors, Irwin’s Bakery, presented the Nutty Krust “Man of the Match Award” at the post match ceremony. The Man of the Match Award went to Joel Busby, the Clogher Valley RFC U18 No 6.
The first match in the semi-final games in the 2020 Nutty Krust Tournament will see the Armagh U18 team play the Dungannon U18 team at 7-45pm on Tuesday 10th March under the Chambers Park floodlights.
The second match in the semi-final games in the 2020 Nutty Krust Tournament will see the Rainey Old Boys’ RFC U18 team play Clogher Valley RFC U18’s at 7-45pm on Wednesday 11th March under the Chambers Park floodlights.
All supporters and visitors will be made to feel very welcome.