Nutty Krust Tournament Rainey Old Boys’ RFC U18’s v Clogher Valley U18’s Wednesday 11th March 2020

Nutty Krust Tournament Rainey Old Boys’ RFC U18’s v Clogher Valley U18’s Wednesday 11th March 2020 To follow INTOUCH RUGBY on Facebook CLICK HERE to Follow InTouch Schools & Clubs […]

Nutty Krust Tournament Rainey Old Boys’ RFC U18’s v Clogher Valley U18’s Wednesday 11th March 2020

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The first of this season’s semi-final games got underway in the Nutty Krust U18 Tournament under the floodlights at a cold and damp Chambers Park when the Clogher Valley U18 team played the Rainey U18 team on Wednesday evening. The Clogher Valley team recorded a well contested 24-7 victory with the scoreboard having read 14-0 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 a member of the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department.
Both teams started the game in a very positive manner attempting to play with the ball in hand. However, the prevailing conditions ensured that a number of handling errors crept in and the opening seven minutes became error strewn. That was until the Clogher Valley centre, Dillon Flynn, ran a great line, following a 22m scrum, to outwit the Rainey defence and touch down for the opening try of the game. Finbar McElroy added the conversion to see the Clogher Valley team into a 7-0 lead. The Clogher Valley team went on to dominate possession and territory for the next fifteen minutes with forwards such as Tommi Coulter, Conall Rice, Jamie Allen and Andrew Crawford all carrying strongly. Quick ruck ball presented their back line, with Robbie Mills to the fore, with the opportunity to play some enterprising rugby. However, good defensive work from Rainey players such as Seb Hastings, Fionn O’Donnell and Joel Bell, ensured the Clogher Valley team scored no more points. That was until their winger, Finbar McElroy, fielded a loose Rainey clearance kick and outpaced a despairing Rainey defence before off-loading the ball to Stuart Douglas, who was running a great support line. Stuart finished the attack off with a try under the Rainey posts. Finbar added the conversion to increase the Clogher Valley lead to 14-0. The Rainey U18 team responded positively and Abban McCloy displayed great skill and dexterity before his final pass to Tom Crozier went to ground and the opportunity for a try went amiss. That ensured it was the Clogher Valley team that took their 14-0 lead into the half time break.
The Rainey team got some territorial gains early in the second half through the good work of Seb Hastings and Fionn O’Donnell. This created the opportunities for both Abban McCloy and Cameron Young to ask questions of the Clogher Valley defence but good work from Robbie Mills, Stuart Douglas and Dillon Flynn ensured their line remained intact. Indeed, the Clogher Valley back division, with that mid field trio to the fore, then created the opportunity for Ronan McElroy to run in for an unconverted try which extended the Clogher Valley lead to 19-0. The Rainey team then made good use of the wind in their back s with Cameron Young and Tom Crozier demonstrating some great skills with the boot to ball. Following a penalty to the corner the Rainey team secured possession from the ensuing lineout. Their back division, alongside good work from Seb Hastings, created a number phase plays and Jake Finlay finished one such play off with a try. Adam Brown added the extras to reduce the Rainey deficit to 19-7. Close to the end of the game Robbie Mills secured the 24-7 win for the Clogher Valley team when his pack turned Rainey possession over inside the Clogher Valley 22m area. Robbie took off running out of defence and backed himself to run a good 75m before touching down for an unconverted try and, with it, a place for the Clogher Valley U18 team in the final of the 2020 Nutty Krust U18 Tournament on Wednesday April 1st.
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 Matthew Wickham. All the players, as well as their coaches, received a Nutty Krust loaf on departure.
Former King’s Scholar’s RFC, Ulster Junior and Portadown RFC player, Andy Gray, a member of the Nutty Krust Committee, presented the Nutty Krust “Man of the Match Award” at the post match ceremony. The Man of the Match Award went to Tommi Coulter, the Clogher Valley RFC U18 No 8.
The second semi- final of 2020 Nutty Krust Tournament will see the City of Armagh U18 team play Dungannon FC U18 team at 7-45pm on Wednesday 25th March under the Chambers Park floodlights. All supporters and visitors will be made to feel very welcome.