Coleraine departed the Junior Cup on Saturday, losing out by one point to Dromore in what was an entertaining encounter at Sandel Lodge.
It was a spirited game, both sides playing open expansive rugby, and in the end Coleraine missed out on a win as they watched two difficult penalty opportunities go wide.
Dromore progress in the cup whilst Coleraine now turn their attention to the demanding issue of the league, starting with Grosvenor this weekend.
Whilst Coleraine have been involved in the Conference League the other teams in Section 2 of the Kukri Junior League have been playing through the fixture list.
Coleraine are in seventh position despite having only played two league matches, one other team having already had six games. Larne are top of the list on 16 points after five games. The Coleraine squad were disappointed with the result on Saturday and felt that it was not a true reflection of the game. There were several opportunities to clinch the match but in the end it was Dromore to take the win, 17-18.
The game started with a solid attack from the home side, Bokkie Carstens sprinting through the defence to score a great try. Mikey Poskitt converted leaving the score 7-0 after two minutes. Five minutes later Dromore took advantage of a strong forward attack to score an unconverted try.
Coleraine scrum half Cameron Fulton suffered a head injury and was replaced by Josh Christie, resulting in a reorganisation of the back line. Just short of the half hour the visitors created a sustained attack deep into Coleraine territory and scored a converted try in the corner. 7-12
As the half drew to an end Dromore claimed three points from a well taken penalty. 7-15
In the final minutes of the half Carstens again produced the goods for Coleraine after a period of powerful attack, pouncing over the line to score. Poskitt converted to leave the half time score 14-15
In the second half Coleraine missed out with a penalty immediately after the re-start and the next score went to a Dromore penalty from the Coleraine 22.
Coleraine attacked and were rewarded with another penalty from the Dromore 22 line. Poskitt was on target.
Coleraine maintained the pressure and had two further penalty opportunities in the dying minutes, from difficult angles at 30 metres and 35 metres, but both agonisingly drifted just wide. Dromore held on and took the win.
This weekend Coleraine entertain Grosvenor as they get back into league action and training this week will be pointedly targeted at producing a win.
The Seconds are away to CIYMS and an early kick-off of 1.30pm In other games at the weekend the results were Coleraine 3s 43-7 Holywood 2s and Coleraine Cobras Ladies 26-5 Harlequins, played on Sunday.
Coleraine First XV: A Nevin, S Evans, S Jefferson, DD McAllister, D Ramage, K Greenlaw, G Neely, B Hughes, C Fulton, B Carstens, S Callaghan, M Poskitt (Capt), B Cochrane, A Clarke, C Jinks. Replacements: A Hogg, J Christie
Meanwhile, Rugby fever came to Coleraine Rugby Club this week with the visit of the Guinness PRO12 rugby trophy thanks to Specsavers Coleraine.
As an official sponsor of the Guinness PRO12 match officials and referees, Specsavers is also the official optician and hearing services partner of the Guinness PRO12, providing expert eye care for players and officials, ensuring no ‘should’ve gone to Specsavers’ moments on the pitch.
The partnership also highlights the importance of eye and hearing care in sport, especially playing a contact sport like rugby.
Store manager Stephen Ball, Specsavers Coleraine says: ‘We were delighted to bring a bit of excitement to Coleraine Rugby Club with the Guinness PRO12 Trophy.
“There has been a fantastic buzz about the country with the Rugby World Cup being on and the PRO12 tournament allows the local community to also enjoy some of that action.
“The trophy tour has also given us a chance to get out and meet schools, clubs and specialist facilities in our local community, reminding them of how important eye and hear care is when playing sports, and that we’re here to ensure they can be future stars on the pitch with a healthy eyesight!’