Ophir 0 vs 53 Omagh Bowl
A perfect day for running rugby at the Valley leisure centre in Newtownabbey and Omagh were hoping their attacking backline would perform on the day
Ophir U15 (0) v Omagh U15 (53) April 6, 2013
Omagh youth sides were feeling a little low following the controversial exclusion of the U17 and U13 teams from their individual competitions due to an Ulster branch administration fiasco – not for the first time, so it was left to the U15s to try to keep the flag flying as they travelled to Ophir on Saturday in the U15 Bowl competition. Ophir had suddenly been reinstated to the competition and little was known about their game.
It was a perfect day for running rugby at the Valley leisure centre in Newtownabbey and Omagh were hoping their attacking backline would perform on the day. As it turned out it was a facile victory for Omagh in which they played some entertaining rugby and they enjoyed throwing the ball around. A good confidence booster for what
will surely become a more difficult competition.
Omagh kicked off with a slight breeze and the sun at their backs and it became apparent early on that Ophir were defensively a little under strength. Almost immediately Omagh drove Ophir off the ball – Jack O’Hanlon and Matthew McCay winning possession and scrum half Graham was unfortunate no to find his captain, Nathan Cummings at out half with a pass as there was a 4 man overlap and the chance went begging. However it was only a matter of time for Graham and Cummings to get on the same wavelength and the latter released powerful centre Andrew Hall who ran in a good try out wide from 30 yards out. Reece Stewart was close with the conversion. Ophir 0 – Omagh 5.
Right from the restart Omagh secured possession and Jack Rainey made huge yard before taking a tackle and offloading to winger Jason Adams who scorched in at the corner and had the time to run round under the posts to make the conversion easy for Reece Stewart making the score 12-0 to Omagh. Ophir were already looking ragged and their coach berated them for their poor tackling.
In quick succession Omagh were back in the Ophir half with good drives from the forwards – Jimmy Cai, Matthew McCay and Darryl Allen pushing play right up to the opposing try line where Jamie Rainey burrowed over for a good forwards try
Omagh were growing in confidence and began to run the ball from their own ‘22’ following the restart – it was a close thing when Cumming’s pass was almost intercepted only for the Ophir winger to spill the ball in what would have been a run in for the try. A lesson to be learned that against a stronger side Omagh must play the conditions and kick for position using the wind when available. To be fair it was almost an overlap for Omagh if the pass had gone to the Omagh hand.
From the ensuing scrum in the Omagh ‘22’, Jamie Rainey linked with Cummings who showed his silky skills by gliding past several would be tacklers, ball in two hands, before offloading to Phillip Ewing who in turn put winger Adams in for his second try at the corner – a great team score leaving Omagh 22-0 ahead in as many minutes.
The score continued to tick over at more than a point per minute as Graham collected the restart to feed Cummings who again made hue inroads before offloading to Jack Wilson. A maul developed from which Andrew Hall emerged with the ball to run fully 50 metres beating several would be tacklers to score under the posts. He converted his own try making the half time score 29-0. He is a strong, powerful runner as Ophir discovered on more than one occasion.
At this stage the referee was concerned that the Ophir side were giving up the ghost so he discussed the length of the game with both coaches – if it remained so on sided he would blow up early.
The trend did continue as early in the second half, centre Mark Monteith made a strong run before feeding Jamie Rainey. He made good yards before offloading to pack leader Phillip Ewing, who came on great angle to beat several defenders only to be stopped short of the try line, but Jimmy Cai picked to score close in. A great team score converted by Reece Stewart.
Despite scoring at will, Omagh butchered a few chances as several players developed ‘white line fever’ and ignored overlaps to be stopped short – against stronger opposition you must take every chance to keep the pressure on.
However it took Cummings again to show his ability to see a gap but also to find support runners when he ran 40m before sending Monteith in for a try in the corner. Hall produced a touchline conversion into the breeze to push the score to 43-0.
As the referee considered blowing up early, the forwards combined well with Cai and O’Hanlon setting up a 5 metre attacking scrum from which Darryl Allen picked up and strolled in for a deserved try.
From the restart came the last action and the final Omagh try – Andrew Hall took the catch and crossed the halfway line. Jack O’Hanlon took it on and fed winger Aaron Jeffrey who came back on an angle to feed Phillip Ewing to score under the posts.
Final score Omagh 53, Ophir 0. An enjoyable run out for Omagh with a man of the match display from captain Nathan Cummings – closely followed by Andrew Hall and the Rainey brothers. In fact everyone played there part in what should be a confidence boosting win – however more will be needed in the next round so a big night at training next week is needed.
Jack Wilson, Phillip Ewing, Jimmy Cai, Jack O’Hanlon, Matthew McCay, Jamie Rainey, Jack Rainey, Darryl Allen, Jack Graham, Nathan Cummings, Jason Adams, Andrew Hall, Mark Monteith, Aaron Jeffrey, Reece Stewart, Scott McIvor