UUJ lose out to QUB
Wednesday saw the last of the Provincial “Student Sport Ireland” games and the fixture between UUJ and QUB was to decide the league.
QUB had already won the league but UUJ would have snatched it from them had they produced the win, the easier task was for QUB who only needed to at least produce a losing bonus point to secure the title, their task was simple, defend and make the visitors make the mistakes!
Both sides were evenly matched, defences were good and breakdown areas heavily contested, it was not until the game was 17 minutes old that QUB gave a kickable penalty away goaled by UUJ 10, Josh McIlroy, , 0 – 3.
Much of the next 10 minutes played out in the middle of the Park until the QUB 10 saw a space in the visitors defence and chipped a lovely ball through for his right winger to collect and score in the corner, conversion missed, 5 -3.
UUJ showed their domination in their pack and some 3 minutes later earned a penalty which was kicked to the corner for a lineout, a good catch and maul saw them drive QUB to their line when hooker Phelim Trainor broke from the back and crashed through the defence to score an unconverted try, 5 – 8.
In the last few minutes of the half UUJ gave away a penalty which QUB kicked, halftime score 8 -8.
The second half started as the first, great defence by both sides but UUJ started to force the game and maybe too many players not giving the pass making the home sides defence easier work, again much of the game was played in the middle of the pitch until UUJ gifted the home side an easy converted try 10 minutes into the half, 15 -8.
Again UUJ came back but still forcing the game losing scoring opportunities and again it was QUB who were to take advantage and score an unconverted try, 20 – 8.
The game had 20 minutes left and the home side defended their lead well with the visitors making good attacks into QUB half, great work by UUJ 9, Peter Weir and the UUJ back row of Adam Baird , Mark Brolly and Stewart Martin saw QUB having to defend their line for long periods but it was the UUJ forward pressure again saw them drive forward and a good individual run by prop Ross Harkin score close to the posts, converted by Curtis McCartney , 20 – 15.
Unfortunately UUJ ran out of time and this was to be the last play, a great game to finish the league in and QUB were worthy winners of the game and League. UUJ got a losing bonus point which should secure their runners up position.
The teams now have along break until Cup competitions in March but there will be friendlies again in February
1. Ross Harkin (c) (City of Derry)
2. Phelium Trainor (Rainey Old Boys)
3. Troy Wilson (Academy)
4. Tinus Smit (Bangor)
5. Michael Holgate (Rainey Old Boys)
6. Adam Baird (Ards)
7. Mark Brolly (Tullanure)
8. Stewart Martin ( Queens)
9. Peter Weir (Lisburn)
10. Josh McIlroy (Rainey Old Boys)
11. Nathanial Steele (Ballymoney)
12. Robet Gacek (Portadown)
13. Evan Burke ( Navan)
14. Thomas Knight (Ballymoney)
15. Eoin McParland (Newry)
16. Samuel Hicks (Clogher Vally)
17. Simon McSparron ( Strabane)
18. Ryan Dennison (Banbridge)
19. Curtis McCartney (Belfast Harlequins)
20. David McClelland ( Rainey Old Boys)
21. Jamie Wilson (Holywood)