UUJ Win Derby Game over UUC
UUC travelled the long road from Coleraine to Jordanstown with the hope of reversing last years result in this SSI league.
The game kicked off late due to traffic delays but started at a frantic rate, within the first 2 minutes UUJ centre Thomas Knight broke through the UUC defence, as the covering defence came across he kicked and caught the ball and charged to the line, UUC’s defence did well and got back doing enough to hold him up and stop what would have been an excellent individual try. Two minutes later UUC were within 10 metres of the home side line when they were awarded a penalty which was goaled, 0-3
On the 11 minute mark UUJ had a scrum inside their 22, scrumhalf Connor Spence delivered a great pass under pressure from the visitors flanker and 9 to outhalf Josh McIlroy who set his way through the UUC defence supported by outside centre, Evan Burke and fullback Curtis McCartney, this attack combination held the visitors defence and Josh scored at the posts. converting his own try, 7-3
A mess up at the restart saw the visitors regain possession and pressure back on the home side but UUC were not able to breach the home side defence and on the 18th minute, McIlroy made a break supported by inside centre Knight who broke a number of tackles and scored at the posts, not held up this time! McIlroy converted, 14 -3.
UUC had started well in the breakdown area but the home side soon started to dominate this area and a turnover ball gave outhalf McIlroy the opportunity to put a kick in for winger Nathaniel Steele to chase but his kick went over the dead ball line.
In the final 4 minutes of the half UUJ forwards earned a penalty on their 10 metre line and scrumhalf Spence tapped and ran jinking his way through the UUC defence, he passed to supporting McIlroy who scored and converted his try, 21 – 3 and halftime.
Changes were made at halftime to the UUJ side and they came out fresh looking the bonus point try but UUC also started with the obvious intention of getting back into the game and their defence was good.
On the 53rd minute a dominant maul by UUJ took play up to within 3 metres of the visitors line and blindside flanker Ryan Dennison came low off the back of this maul and scored out wide, conversion missed, 26 – 3
UUC were not going to give up playing and and number of good backs moves and forward pressure saw them on the home try line, UUJ held off a couple of drives on their line but a missed tackle let UUC crash over by their openside flanker to score an unconverted try, 26 – 8
Within five minutes another missed tackle let the visitors cross the home line for an unconverted try, 26 – 13
This score seemed to waken the home side up and they kept play in the UUC half. With only 2 minutes of the game left UUJ were awarded a penalty just on halfway, McIlroy elected to have a shot at goal and as he set up the wind increased blowing against him, his kick fell just short and UUC played it, their outhalf put a massive clearance kick in which McIlroy had got back to cover but UUC chased up well in numbers and overturned the ball scoring under the posts, Final score 26 – 20
A great and exciting way to end this hard contested game, UUJ relaxed after the fourth try and UUC showed them a team cant take anything for granted but a very entertaining game for the large crowd who had turned out to watch this fixture
1. Ross Harkin (c)
2. Samuel Hicks
3. Jordan Elliot
4. Tinus Smit
5. Simon McSparrow
6. Ryan Dennison
7. Mark Brolly
8. Stewart Martin
9. Connor Spence
10. Josh McIlroy
11. Lloyd Johnston
12. Thomas Knight
13. Evan Burke
14. Nathaniel Steele
15. Curtis McCartney
16. Mark Bishop
18. Conor Murray
19. Eddie Kosh
20. Curtis Richard Thomas Badger