Omagh RFC Youth Notes: THE SHOW ISN’T OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U13 I XV 17 v Cavan RFC U13 I XV 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Report LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Cavan 15 vs 17 Omagh
Omagh 13’s travelled with the 15’s and 17’s to Cavan and due to the fact there were only two pitches had to wait until the others had finished to get their turn. Maybe this was fortuitous, as the bus journey there was well worn off by the time they took to the field.
A keen Omagh side were out of the starting blocks and on the front foot controlling the game from the whistle with great close forward running keeping the ball alive and excellent rucking keeping possession. Cavan did not have an answer to the Omagh forward play with strong runs from Brian Furey, Andrew Creane & Simon Creane and Glenn McKinley keeping the momentum in Omagh’s favour and Cavan pinned down in their 22. Cavan’s scrambled defence however kept the Omagh pack short of their line and for all their procession no points were put on the board.
In fact it was Cavan who scored the opening try against the run of play. With the strong wind at their backs and an out half with a tremendous right foot the ball popped up on the Cavan side and he dispatched the ball almost the length of the pitch. Omagh taken by surprise suddenly found themselves defending their line and despite a solid covering tackle by Cu Mhara Duffy, Cavan put the ball over in the corner. Up stepped the same Cavan out half and from the touchline kicked the ball as sweet as Tony Ward or Ollie Campbell might through the centre of the sticks for the extra 2 points.
Omagh to their credit fought back again but the killer pass eluded them and the score remained unchanged for the remainder of the half.
Omagh had “lent” two players to Cavan to make it a 15 a side game and at the interval changes were made with Gareth Glendinning and Jamie McElroy donning the Cavan shirt allowing Daniel Monaghan and Jack Gibson back for the second half. Credit has to be given to all 4 Omagh boys who played well for the opposition with Daniel Monaghan and Jamie McElroy running and handling well and Gareth Glendinning in particular a menace in defence and almost capping a strong second half performance with a try for Cavan! The change at half time though disrupted Omagh’s previous scrum dominance with Cavan taking three against the head.
Omagh found themselves immediately on the back foot and within two minutes Cavan again forced their way over in the corner for their second try. This was not converted but Omagh were now 12-0 down in a match in which they were by far the controlling team. A change of tactics was required and instead of pursuing the forward barrage Omagh threw it wide to instant effect. Quick ball through the backs with Daniel Monaghan and Matthew Murnaghan attacking the line lead to Scott Ballantine breaking through the Cavan defence. He fed ‘Cold Hands’ Joseph McGarvey who raced in to score in the corner to make the score 12 : 5 to the home side.
The difference was shortly to be 10. Up stepped the Cavan out half, when others may have kicked for touch, he firmly planted the ball over the bar against the wind for another 3.
Omagh were now up against it 10 points down and 10 minutes to play. At half time the ref had asked if Omagh wanted a shorter half to allow everyone away and luckily the coaches disagreed and the full half was played. Could Omagh claw back a win at this late stage? Of course they could.
Omagh forced their way back down the pitch with storming runs from Brian Furey and Philip Rainey ably supported by Adam Giles, Glenn McKinley and the Creane brothers. Conor Bratton and Jack Gibson also put in their fair share of carries with forwards and backs combining well to secure possession at the ruck. Omagh did manage to cross the line only for the referee to call the ball held up. It was not the Omagh players who then argued with the ref but a couple of Cavan players lost it with the ref and the five yard Cavan scrum was turned over to an Omagh penalty five yards out. Quick thinking Scott Ballantine took a quick tap and, before anyone had time to find their bearings, dived over the line to bring it to 15 : 10.
There was only minute to go and Cavan kicked long from the restart and chased well closing down Omagh in their 22. The ball found Aimhirgin Duffy, he fed Scott Ballantine who promptly punted the ball over the Cavan defence and well into their half. Scott Ballantine chased his own kick and was on top of their fullback as he got back on his feet. The Cavan player tried to pass out of contact but the attempted pass intercepted by “Cold Hands” Joseph McGarvey who showed a fine turn of pace for a “Fat Lady” to race in from the half way line for his second try to level the game 15 all.
Scott Ballantine “reluctantly” stepped up and firmly slotted the conversion through the posts for the win. Time was up at this stage but the referee gave Cavan a lifeline allowing one further play with an Omagh scrum following the kick-off but they carried the ball to touch from the back of the scrum for a deserved win.
This was a fine performance by the Omagh boys. Not only did they tackle well and outruck their opponents consistently but they also showed a never say die attitude which will stand to them. Michael Marechaux and Cu Mhara Duffy in particular showed that tackling is more about attitude and technique than physical size.
Great play by all the Omagh 13’s see you all at training Thursday Night

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