U12s Take on Boyne RFC in Drogheda.
After a draw in Dundalk and victory against North Meath, Virginia U12s again traveled into Leinster to face Boyne RFC. The visitors weathered early pressure with the backs defending well, and after some tough tackling from Cai Walker, Finn Lotscher and Aaron Kierans they established themselves in the Boyne half. As Boyne tried to break out Enda Maguire intercepted a loose pass to score the first try. Virginia rucked well in the first half, and forward pressure from Sorcha Higgins, Ronan McKeown and Evan Charters kept up the pressure on the hosts. A powerful drive from Rioghan Smith earned a penalty, and quick thinking from Amanda McQuade put Michael McKeown-Boyle in position to drive over for a second. The hosts however were not done, and a try just before the break made it 2-1 to Virginia at half time. The second half was a different affair as the Cavan team tired. Boyne were soon level, and laid siege to the Virginia line for almost the whole of the second half. Some stout defence though, led by replacement Robert Lochaden, enabled them to hold out for a 2-2 draw at full time.
In a second match, the rest of the squad, including many new players took on a Boyne Development team. The result was a thrilling end to end encounter, and a feast of running rugby which resulted in a high scoring affair. Virginias forwards put in a spirited performance with Killian Collins, Aaron Cooke, Adrian Lynch, Rebecca Snell, and Niall Branagan all heavily involved at the breakdown trying to secure possession. Some great distribution from scrum-half Jason Henderson, and darting runs from Conor Hetherton were the basis for many scores. Aaron Mannion crossed the line four times, with Cian Doughty adding two more, and one apiece from Ibykan Ajetummobi and new boy Jack O’Brien. Some loose tackling though at times cost Virginia, with the final score 8-8. All in all a great workout as the team travel to face Banbridge and Dromore in two weeks time.
Lurgan RFC just too string for a well drilled Virginia side
Virginia 10 Lurgan 24
On Saturday last Virginia were hosting league leader Lurgan. It was a good opportunity for the Ramor outfit to close the gap at the top of the league. Under perfect condition both teams offered an enjoyable game of rugby for all present to witness.
Virginia started stronger, with a dominant pack they put Lurgan under huge pressure in the opening quarter. Good running from the loose forwards put Virginia on the front foot and allow them to play in Lurgan’s half. Their effort were rewarded when prop Shane Doughty crashed over the line from close. The tough conversion was missed leaving the score at 5-0. Only on a couple of occasions did Lurgan threaten Virginia line and on one of them their powerful 2nd centre scored after a quick tap penalty was taken played on Virginia’s 22metres line. With the conversion the score was now at 7-5 for the visitors.
But Virginia responded well and even though their forwards were dominant they struggled to convert their domination into points. Once again against the run of play Lurgan managed to score after a turnover ball was quickly whisked through the back line for a score in the corner. The score was now 12-5 for Lurgan after the missed conversion.
Virginia responded once again through their forwards and they found themselves near Lurgan line. After few unsuccessful attempts at breaking the visitors defense, 2nd row Gerry Flynn finally wiggled his way past a few tackles to ground the ball. No conversion and the score was left at 12-10 at half time.
The start of the second half was a tense affair, everybody could sense that the next score would be crucial. Unfortunately it was going to be the visitors who managed to put themselves on the score board. After Virginia couldn’t secure possession on a lineout Lurgan found themselves only 5 metres from Virginia’s line. After few rucks they found an opening and score under the post. 19-10 after the easy conversion.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Virginia went on the attack again but the pack was tiring and the intensity of Virginia game dropped a bit allowing more time to Lurgan’s defense to organise themselves. Despite a lot of possession Virginia could not score and it was Lurgan who managed to add more point through a last try at the last minute of the game giving a final score of 24-10.
A disappointing return for the host who really gave a good account of themselves against the league leader. Virginia have now a week to prepare themselves for the reception of Carrickfergus on Saturday 17th of November.