Jump to main content

Menu

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Review

The opening three rounds in Division 2C have been hugely competitive, with the leading seven clubs covered by a blanket of four points. Recently-promoted Omagh put 52 points on Bective Rangers to reach the heady heights of top spot.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE DIVISION 2C: Saturday, September 30

ROUND 3 RESULTS –

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Bruff 20 Sligo 20, Kilballyowen Park
Malahide 31 Tullamore 22, Estuary Road
Midleton 8 Bangor 15, Towns Park
Omagh 52 Bective Rangers 17, Thomas Mellon Playing Fields
Thomond 28 Seapoint 25, Liam Fitzgerald Park

This season sees the introduction of the #UBLTry of the Month award with a prize of 250 euro for each monthly winner and entry into the Try of the Year award.

Out-half David O’Grady’s 75th-minute penalty ensured Bruff shared the spoils with high-flying Sligo in a 20-20 draw at Kilballyowen Park. Defences were on top early on, with the scoreboard having a bare look until O’Grady and Jack Keegan swapped penalties after 22 and 25 minutes respectively.

The hosts retook the lead thanks to hooker John Hogan’s 34th-minute try following a strong burst through midfield, before his opposite number Shane O’Hehir used a late lineout on the Bruff 22 to dash down the blindside and finish off a well-taken try to the right of the posts.

Having got back on level terms at 10-all, it was Sligo who found an extra gear on the resumption. A Keegan penalty put them ahead for the first time before they put together a fantastic team try in the 50th minute. Captain Shane Boyle was involved three times in a sweeping, fast-paced move which began deep in Sligo’s half. Bruff halted their progress five metres out, but young prop Kuba Wojtkowicz succeeded in driving over from the ruck with Keegan adding the extras for 20-10.

Bruff reeled the round 2 leaders back in with a 54th minute try from Hogan, who had a fine game up front, and the hosts looked to have the edge in a grandstand finish when Sligo were forced to regroup after a second yellow card from referee Enda O’Shea reduced them to 14 men.

The levelling score came from the boot of O’Grady and although Bruff came with a late flurry, Sligo dug deep in defence with Ryan Feehily, Mike Wells and Mark Rooney, in particular, standing out for efforts to keep the line intact.

Unbeaten Sligo will host Omagh in a mouth-watering top of the table clash next Saturday. The Accies have the same won two-and-drawn one record as Ross Mannion’s charges after trouncing Bective Rangers 52-17 at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields in the third round.

A converted try from Peter Todd took Omagh through the half-century and capped off a brilliant eight-try performance from Phil Marshall’s men. Stewart McCain, James Catterson and Luke Hanson scored two tries each, with a Scott Barr try late in the first half giving them a 19-7 buffer.

The bonus point was safely tucked away after Omagh turned over a Bective scrum and rampaging number 8 Catterson supplied the finish. Centre Hanson then chipped in with his brace – his second score emanating from some brilliant work by debutant full-back Eoin Murnaghan who started in place of the injured Lee Warnock.

Bective responded with two more tries of their own, giving them a shot at a bonus point, but Omagh, who are adapting quickly to the Division 2C standard, had the final say when scrum half and captain McCain touched down from a terrific kick chase and front rower Todd also got his name on the scoresheet.

Fourth-placed Malahide are only two points off the summit after dishing out Tullamore’s third defeat of the campaign. The north Dubliners triumphed 31-22 at their Estuary Road base, getting on an early roll thanks to tries from wingers Marcus McAllister and Daragh Sweeney inside 10 minutes.

Tullamore’s defence was stretched by Malahide’s agile back-line, with full-back Dave Mongan making a real nuisance of himself in attack. Having been starved of possession, the visitors opened their account on the quarter hour mark when number 8 Kevin Browne scored to the right of the posts.

However, Rick Evans’ side snatched back control of proceedings with the livewire Mongan getting over for a deserved try. Conal Keane converted and added a penalty for a collapsed scrum, closing in on half-time, before the Tulliers rallied, backs Dylan Kelso, Tom Gilligan and Sam Burns all handling possession before the latter’s offload sent centre Aidan Wynne over for a much-needed try.

With a 24-10 deficit to overcome, Tullamore did produce a much-improved second half display, albeit that they initially allowed Malahide replacement Joe Moran to gallop over for a 43rd-minute bonus point score as he impressively outran Gilligan.

Half-backs Derek ‘Hopper’ Farrell and Burns touched down in a profitable nine-minute spell for Tullamore, the first try coming from a determined maul and the second one seeing Burns use his quick feet to score under the posts via a Gilligan offload. Lemeki Vaipulu and replacement Cyril Cornally carried strongly as Tullamore went in search of further scores, but Malahide, despite picking up a yellow card, had done enough to gain another five points on home turf.

Full-back Dean O’Brien’s hat-trick of tries inspired Thomond’s 28-25 bonus point success at home to Seapoint. The resurgent Soda Cakes trailed 18-13 early in the second period, but a thrilling three-try salvo moved them into a 10-point lead by the 70-minute mark.

O’Brien scored in the corner to bring Thomond level, good work from Ger Finucane and Darragh O’Neill paved the way for an Alex Slijepcevic score before the latter’s clever offload did the damage in the build-up to O’Brien’s third try of the day. A late Seapoint touchdown ensured a nervy final few minutes before Thomond were able to celebrate their second successive bonus point win.

Bangor ended Midleton’s unbeaten start to the campaign by taking a 15-8 verdict at Towns Park. It was the home side who hit the front in the seventh minute, Rob Smyth providing the assist for young winger Rian Hogan to squeeze over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Lewis Bret, who switched to scrum half for the trip to Cork, brought the best out of Bangor in response. The pack gave him quick scrum ball just inside the Midleton half and he caught out the home defence with his pace off the mark, breaking and sidestepping into the 22 and stretching over the line to complete a top-class solo try, converted with aplomb from near the left touchline by Nathan Graham.

Full-back Graham was successful with a penalty on the half hour before Midleton’s ace goal-kicker Stuart Lee, who uncharacteristically missed two previous kicks, landed a straightforward late penalty to keep the Corkmen hot on Bangor’s heels at two points down (10-8).

The second half was also evenly-contested, Bangor striking a psychological blow when holding Midleton scoreless while Graham was in the sin-bin. Indeed, the Seasiders used a 50th-minute lineout to drive infield towards the Midleton posts, Lewis Stevenson going close before getting his offload away for replacement Martin Withers to score his first try for the club.

Out-half Ross McCloskey blundered when hitting the woodwork with the conversion from straight in front of the posts, meaning that a seven-pointer would draw Midleton level if they could muster one. However, Bangor were the better team for the remainder of the game, getting on top at scrum time and frustrating the hosts with some well-organised defence. Midleton were left hanging on for a losing bonus point, with Graham just short from a long range penalty attempt.

Photos:

Midleton v Bangor – Bangor RFC
Omagh v Bective Rangers – Sandra Armstrong Photography & Omagh Accies RFC
Bruff v Sligo – Sligo RFC