Virginia 1st XV 16 – 14 Monaghan
This was the first game of a double header against Monaghan in the Ulster Qualifying 4 League. After a long season Virginia entered this match one point behind Monaghan in the league and this added some extra spice to the near season end fixture. It was the home side that got off as the stronger side putting the vistors on the back foot with some strong carrying from the recently returned Chis Corrie and Killian Cahill and it wasn’t long before this pressure yielded a couple of penalty chances however it was only on the third attempt and a change of place kicker did Virginia get on the score board. Virginia kept applying pressure on the visitors and after getting a penalty close to the line quick thinking from scrum half Cian Wogan saw a gap in the cover defence he breezed through it and powered through two Monaghan defenders and placed the ball down for the first try of the game, Gary Daly got the conversion.
This seemed to kick Monaghan into gear and after a good scrum by the visitors and some sloppy defending by the home side the Monagan hooker crashed over the line and got under the posts leaving the conversion a formality .
Virginia didn’t panic and went on the attack and only for some poor decision making in the back line they would have got another try . This is how it ended at half time with Virginia leading by three points.
The second half continued with Virginia being the stronger. Monaghan were giving up penalties and the referee sent one of their players to the sin bin. Soon after Cian Mc Enroe slotted over two penalites to push Virginia ahead by nine points. Cian Wogan in a man of the match performance had the ball down behind the Monaghan post but the Referee harshly jugded that he was over the dead ball line .
The visitors now were upping their game and Virginia were defending like their lives depended on it with Sean Meehan and Enda Brady putting in some crucial tackles however Monaghan eventually made their dominance pay with a converted try but it came too late as with there was only a minute left. Virginia played that minute in the Monaghan half and were relieved to hear the final whistle. The game ending with Virginia two points ahead.
The rematch will take place on the 9th of May in Virginia at 2.30 in what is sure to be a very
good game of rugby.
C.Corrie,F.Brady,K.Cahill,P.Shaffrey,F. O Reilly,E.Brady,S.Meehan,B.Gilmore (c),C.Wogan,G.Mc Nally,O.Lurcher,G.Daly,N.Patterson,J.Igoe,C.Mc Enroe