Qualifying League Section 3
Hard Earned Win For 1st XV
Lurgan 7 Limavady 24
Following last weeks disappointing Towns Cup exit to Portadown, The North West Independent Clinic sponsored Limavady 1st XV returned to league action to face another Mid-Ulster side in the form of Lurgan RFC.
Last weeks battle against a Qualifying 1 team certainly took had an effect on Paul O’Kane’s team selection with captain Daniel Irvine and the versatile Jack McCool missing through injury. With Gerg Jordan still in New Zeland, and prop John McCollum in South Africa there were recalls for Chris Tinney in the second row, where he partnered John Purcell for the first time this season, and winger Tom McClelland. This saw Michael Rice go to loose head and Clive Scott move to tight head, and Robert Lamberton moving to outside centre.
Sheagh McLaughlin got a rare start in the back row with Sam Mackey taking over at No 8 and scrum half Jamie Miller taking over as captain for the day.
The Limavady defence has been quite strong this year and despite the numerous changes, the defence held firm and watertight with the homeside starting strong as they went about to average the 83-0 drubbing they took last October when the two sides last met. Limavady absorbed this pressure and broke the deadlock after 6mins. Peter Wilson and Stewart Roddy combined down the left handside and out half Luke Faulkner finished the move with fine aplomb to give the league leaders the lead. With the conversion missed Lurgan had a chance on 10mins to cut the lead to two points, but Nolan saw his penalty go wide of the target.
This was certainly an improved performance from the homeside from the previous encounter, but the game turned on its head in a two minute spell just after the half hour mark. First it was John Purcell who stormed through for try number two, and before the Mid-Ulster Men could get their bearings together, No 8 Sam Mackey scored an almost identical try. Peter Wilson converted Mackey’s try for a 17-0 lead and went chasing that precious bonus point, with Mackey again and Lamberton both going close before the break. On 36 minutes Limavady’s Faulkner picked up a yellow card for dissent, but held out one last Lurgan assault to lead 17-0 at the break.
With Limavady still a man down at the beginning of the second half, Lurgan sensed that this was their chance to get back into the game, but with a dis functioning lineout and a stern and mean Limavady defence, they were unable to get the scoreboard ticking over. The one area they were on top was at the scrum, as a make shift Limavady front row came under more pressure with every scrum.
On 57minutes centre Robert Lamberton had to make way with a head injury, so going down to 14 men with more than a quarter of the game left wasn’t the ideal situation for the lead leaders. Lurgan fought that they did eventually break the Limavady rearguard on 70mins when their dangerous right winger got through, but referee called play back for a forward pass much to the annoyance of the Pollock Park faithful
With Lurgan camped in the Limavady half for all of the second half, they eventually got the score their play deserved when they were awarded a scrum on the five metre line when their scrum half was held up on the line by his Limavady counterpart, and stand in skipper Jamie Miller. From that resulting scrum, Lurgan drove the visitors back over the line and their No 8 got the touchdown to which Nolan added the extras. At 17-7 going into 6 minutes of added time, the buoyed up homeside went in pursuit of another score and a bonus point, but it was the visitors who were to have a final say in this game. After taking a quick penalty, Jamie Miller set speedster Tom McClellend away and he raced clear to touch down below the posts to secure a hard earned bonus point win. Peter Wilson kicked the conversion to make the final score Lurgan 7 Limavady 24.
Team. P. Wilson, T. McClellend, R. Lamberton, J. M. Miller, S. Roddy, L. Faulkner, J. Miller. M. Rice, A. McIlmoyle, C. Scott, J. Purcell, C.Tinney, S. McLaughlin, P. Browne. S. Mackey.
After weeks of inactivity the seconds were back in action with a home game against Ballynahinch 5ths. Any team coming from Hinch is always a strong one and to come out on top on an 8-6 scoreline. This win was a first one by any Limavady team over any Hinch team in quite sometime. On a day when every player played their part in an epic team performance, it was a try from Luke Montgomery and a penalty from Richard Robinson to get the lads over the line.
To cap off a fine day for the club the under 14’s got the better of Dungannon under 14’s 19-12.