PSNI RFC I XV 29 v Civil Service RFC I XV 16

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Civil Service arrived at Newforge, for the second of the three scheduled matches against PSNI this season, short of a number of first team regulars after injuries in the Lurgan Game. With Chris Summers, Chris Davey, Andrew “Boney” Sloan, Ben Scott and Johnny Bradshaw all missing through injury Jonny Wilson was drafted into the side for his club debut at fullback alongside Chris Wightman, Alastair Montgomery, Davy Harris and Matt Thompson all promoted from the 2nds after great showings against Ophir last week.

The match began in typical style with the big PSNI forwards lead by their blindside flanker attempting to smash their way through the Service defence. Service absorbed this early pressure with Phil Patterson, Moore Holmes Jnr, Pete Hoskins and Simon Curry all putting in important tackles to deny the PSNI and early score.

After weathering this early pressure it was in fact Service who created the first scoring chances. Firstly Club Captain Dan Cartland was unlucky to be called back by the referee after his kick and chase exposed the PSNI with no fullback. Next it was a skilful run from Simon Curry cutting the PSNIs defensive line open, however no supporting players were able to reach him in time and the chance was lost. PSNI then missed a kickable penalty before the scoring was finally opened by Dan Cartland.

Service no.8 Phil Patterson caught the PSNI fullbacks clearance kick and ran through five defenders before being tackled, his quick presentation of the ball allowed Service scrumhalf Alastair Montgomery to flick the ball into the arms of Dan Cartland who beat a further three defenders before touching the ball down for a try. Peter Hoskins was unable to convert.

116 pictures here courtesy of Civil Service Rugby – CLICK HERE –

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The score marked a turning point in the first half and for the next 20 minutes the young Service side pressed for a second try and camped on the PSNIs 22. Peter Hoskins struck the wood work with a penalty and Phil Patterson, Moore Holmes Jnr, Matt Thompson and Alastair Montgomery all had great chances to score before Dan Cartland final broke through the PSNI defence to score and give Service a 10v0 lead.

With the half time break looming a momentary lapse of concentration from Service allowed the PSNI centre to break through 2 tackles and cut a line through their defence before off loading to the winger to score.

Halftime Score Civil Service 10 PSNI 7

The second half began the way the first had ended and Moore Holmes Jnr quickly extended Services lead with a penalty. However the experienced PSNI side rallied and after some valiant defence from the young Service team PSNI scored to bring them to within a point. With the game balanced on a knife edge the Service player’s repulsed a series of determined PSNI attacks.

Disaster struck for Service with 10 minutes left of the second half. After weathering sustained pressure they had forced the PSNI back onto their try line with Matt Thompson forcing the PSNI fullback into touch, from the resulting line out instead of forcing their way over for a third try the ball was turned over and shipped to the PSNI winger who ran the length of the field to score. With the seconds ticking away the Service players pushed forward determined to reduce the 6 point gap but as they pushed forward they were hit on the counter attack again and the PSNIs fourth try of the game secured them a win that had looked so unlikely at half time.

Final Score PSNI 29 Civil Service 16

Service Scorers
Dan Cartland 2 tries
Moore Holmes Jnr 2 Penalties

Intouch Rugby would like to thank Linzey Grierson for video footage of the game and to Rebecca O’Flaherty for the photographs

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