Rugby in UUJ has been thriving this season. Here we bring you an update of the season so far from the club.
An excellent start to the student rugby season has been made by Ulster Jordanstown. The University of Ulster Jordanstown campus this year has 4 teams. 3 Male (A, B and Fresher teams) and 1 ladies team.
Both Men’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams are undefeated, although there have been a few fixtures that have been delayed due to bad weather. The ‘A’ team have started well winning 2 from 3, with the 3rd rearranged, wins against Ulster Coleraine 29-12 and away to Garda 10-13. The ‘B’ team also winning 2 from 4, with 2 being rearranged, wins against Dundalk 42-21 and Sligo IT 70-0.
“The back log of fixtures is a nuisance, as there will be matches needing played every Wednesday next semester, although this may also generate good continuity for the teams” Mike McKeever, Rugby Coach at Jordanstown.
The influx of Elite Athletes to the University has been great for the rugby club and for the individual and their home playing club. These Elite Athletes entered the university on reduced grades due to have achieved a level of representative rugby through club or school boy level and we are able to offer them strength and conditioning twice a week, skills and coaching lessons on the indoor 3G pitch and ample training kit.
James Thompson and Johnny Corscadden are two of the stand out Elite Athletes this season to date for Jordanstown rugby. Also worth a strong mention are Josh Pentland and Rory Sheard.
In order to field 3 male teams the clubs Senior Captains are required to do their bit and certainly do go over and beyond the call of duty at time, Stuart Russell and Steven Beattie are great leaders of the team on and off the pitch and provide good direction for the younger players in the club, as do the senior players in the club.
The university also have currently 28 players nominated forward to Ulster Colleges Trial who are due to play their interpro at the start of the new year.
“The ladies section of the club, are also developing nicely, numbers need to improve, though I am hoping that the recent win over local university rivals Queens on Wednesday night will attract some new faces to ‘try’ rugby out in the New Year.” said McKeever.
The Ulster Jordanstown ladies are fortunate to have a wealth of experience in the Irish Representative Amy Davis and several Ulster representatives this season. “It is all about building steps towards intervarsity competition in April – 2010” said Ladies Captain Immogen Porter.
“This is my 5th season with Ulster Jordanstown Rugby and so far the strongest looking in strength and depth of players, the interest and excitement in people wanting to play rugby. The University of Ulster and its students are clearly striding to be the leading University of sport on the island of Ireland.
“I must also give special mention of appreciation to Downshire High School, where I am on placement for my PGCE in PE that I am studying at University of Ulster, Downshire were very willing to arrange my teaching timetable so that it allow me the time off to coach on a Wednesday afternoon to coach at Ulster Jordanstown, Downshire is a school that also clearly thrives on Sport and rugby.”
Fixtures and Results
A Team fixtures
Garda 10 – 13 Jordanstown (Away fixture) WIN
Jordanstown – Carlow B (delayed – confusion with fixture venue)
Jordanstown 29 – 12 Coleraine (Home fixture) WIN
B team fixtures
Jordanstown 42 – 21 Dundalk IT (Home fixture) WIN
Jordanstown – GMIT delayed– pitch flooded
Jordanstown – Letterkenny delayed
Jordanstown 70 – 0 Sligo IT (Home fixture) WIN
The B team attempted to get the Letterkenny match played on the 9th December; this fixture was to be away to Letterkenny, this could not happen due to Letterkenny having exams on!
A and B teams are both undefeated – great start to the year!
Jordanstown 40 – 5 Queens University
A good win against a good Queens team, though Jordanstown only playing average at best, a lot to work on in the new year before inter varsity time!