COLERAINE Academical Institution found themselves up against it this week as they took on Methody in the latest round of fixtures.
The First XV started slowly and conceded two relatively soft tries in the first 10 minutes. After this however Coleraine rallied had had a period of pressure in the MCB half. Conor Shiels and his centre partner Mark Gordon made some good breaks into MCB territory.
Inaccuracy however cost CAI at the last moment mistakes costing CAI points. MCB in contrast took the opportunities that presented themselves and scored two more tries to see out the half.
Inst dominated possession and territory for the first 20 minutes of the second half and only stubborn Methody defence and silly mistakes from CAI prevented the home side getting on the score board.
MCB however finished the scoring with two break away tries from deep in their own territory to leave the final score 36-0 to MCB. Excellent performances from Conor Shiels, Mark Gordon and Olly McDowell.
Coach Richard Beggs said: “We are obviously disappointed with the result but please with many aspects of our performance. We leaked two soft tries early on which you can’t do against a team of their quality.
“There were many positives to take from the match, as it went on we went toe to toe with them, I genuinely feel if we played them again next week there would be a different result!”
The Second XV started their game well. They won a penalty inside the Methody half, Andrew Wisner kicked to the corner and set up the ball for the lineout. A well rehearsed lineout left flanker George McKeag in space to score in the corner. Conversion missed.
Methody responded by testing the home side’s defence, but were unable to break down the wall of maroon shirts. After several phases, the home side won the ball back and started to attack Methody’s defensive line.
After 30 minutes Methody won a lineout in the CAI 22, they set up the maul and drove towards the line. CAI showed great resistance but were unable to stop the Number 8 breaking off the back and crashing over the line.
The extra points were added to send MCB into the lead.
Methody opened the second half the same way they had ended the first. By testing the CAI defence. However, the home side showed great physicality to match their oponents.
With CAI defending for their lives they eventually forced the turnover and cleared their lines.
Methody’s second try came from another well drilled lineout leading to the Belfast side mauling the ball over in the corner. The conversion was added.
The final quater of the game was dominated by CAI and played deep in the methody half. With strong running from George Mckaig, Jake Scott, Braddon Baillie and Alross Alejo the defensive line was put under pressure. But the home side were unable to convert this pressure into points.
CAI were down to 14 men for the final ten minutes, but this seemed to make the home side even more determined to add more points to the board. Eventually, in the last play, Braddon Baillie powered his was over the line to score under the posts. Conversion was added.
The Third XV are playing well this season and were hopeful of an upset against Methody, but it was not too be.
Methody started strongly but despite Jordan Vauls’ excellent rucking and man of the match Matthew Dinsmore’s best defensive efforts MCB managed to cross the line eventually. Having spent almost 10 minutes in the Methody 22 the ball got turned over and a Methody player ran the length of the pitch to score.
Coleraine continued to compete but Methody went on to score a couple more tries before half time.
A serious of injuries started to have an impact on the game with Joel Heggarty and Nile McWilliam having to come off at half time. Scrum half James Hemphill was next to come off but the Inst players’ head never dropped. However, a couple of mistakes led to two more tries from the visitors as their well drilled back pounced on the opportunities.
The game finished 48-0 to Methody but this scoreline flattered the visitors.
The Medallion side though had plenty to cheer about as they defeated Methodist College on their home 1XV pitch at Perrie Park. Turning territory into points Coleraine opened the scoring as a quick snap play the boys recycled the ball down the right touchline, exceptional offloading from James Milsopp, released Jonathan Booth who made the all important pass to put Peter Wisener in the corner.
With minutes to play in the first half, from a Coleraine lineout, Methody managed to turnover the ball and make a neat break through the midfield and finish a well taken try.
Methody made it 10-5 with a penalty after the break but five minutes from time Zak Hutchinson intercepted and touched down under the posts before Ali Telfour added the extras for the win, which should give them confidence in future games to come.