Coleraine move to the second round of the Powerade Towns Cup after a hard fought victory over Randalstown at the weekend.
The drama went right down to the last minute as the visitors had a conversion attempt to force a draw and extra time, but Coleraine breathed a sigh of relief as the shot drifted just left of the posts and secured a narrow 14-12 win for the Bannsiders.
The ‘Cookstown’ sponsored Coleraine players were pleased with the win, as reward for concerted effort throughout the game, even with the narrow margin, and are looking forward to finding out who they face in the next round.
On Saturday Coleraine attacked from the off but within three minutes were reduced to 14 men as Russell Smyth was yellow carded for his adjudged action during a tackle. Randalstown pressed home their advantage, almost crossed the line in a well orchestrated break but spilled the ball short of the line, allowing Coleraine to clear their lines.
Coleraine had their chances on 20 minutes from a 10-metre lineout, but lost possession and two minutes later, still attacking, they were awarded a penalty which Cartstens slotted between the posts from 25 metres. Another penalty, three minutes after, went wide.
Coleraine kept up the pressure but the Randalstown defence was solid and denied every attempt at the line. Randalstown lost their number 8 to a yellow card before the break but still they denied the Coleraine attack.
In the last minute of the half the visitors had a chance at the posts but the penalty attempt was just wide, leaving the Coleraine men with a narrow three-nil lead.
Within ten minutes of the restart Randalstown were reduced to 14 men due to injury. At the same time Coleraine’s Mikey Poskitt attempted a long range penalty but dropped just short of the posts.
Coleraine were still on the offensive 20 minutes into the half when Brian Cochrane almost made it over the try line in the corner. They were awarded a penalty and Carstens made sure of the three points.
The visitors then showed their skill from a lineout just in the Coleraine 22, a concentrated attack allowing them across the line beside the posts for a converted try and the lead, 7 points to 6.
Coleraine again attacked from the restart and were rewarded with another penalty which Carstens converted from just inside the visitors’ 22 to retake the lead.
With 35 minutes on the clock Randalstown seemed certain to go in front again with a penalty opportunity in front of the posts but this drifted just left.
Coleraine then attacked from a scrum in the Randalstown 22, rolling steadily towards the line, scrum half Archie Kettyle spinning the ball to a charging Scott Moffatt to score on the wing. Carstens was just wide from an awkward angle and Coleraine retook the lead at 14-7.
The match seemed secure but, from the restart, Randalstown were looking for an opening and caught Coleraine unawares as the winger dodged through the defence and out-sprinted everyone to score. Both sides held their breath as Randalstown took the conversion from wide on the wing and Coleraine were relieved to see the ball drift left of the posts leaving the final score at Coleraine 14-12 Randalstown.
This weekend Coleraine travel to the University of Ulster. The Uni will be keen to claim their first league win of the season and are sure to push the Town to the limit.
The match kicks off at 2.30pm and as usual the players will appreciate support on the sidelines.
On Saturday the other club results were Coleraine Seconds 30-10 Malone Thirds,
Grosvenor Thirds 35-17 Coleraine Thirds
Coleraine First XV: S Best, R Smyth, M Hunter, K Greenlaw, D Ramage, A Neely, B Mullan, S Douglas, A Kettyle, B Carstens, B Cochrane, S Patterson (A Dysart), M Poskitt, A Barr (S Moffett), A Chambers. Subs: A Dysart, S Moffett.