Coleraine strengthen second place grip

Coleraine First XV coach Richard Boyd.
Coleraine First XV coach Richard Boyd.

Coleraine strengthened their second place league position with a bonus point victory away to Lisburn at the weekend.

It was always going to be a tricky encounter and Lisburn fought back strongly in the second half before the whistle blew for a 26-34 win. The early dominance of the Coleraine side saw a four try feast and a bonus point secured in the first quarter before the Lisburn resurgence. There was some tenacious defence in the face of the reinvigorated home side before a final try clinched things for Coleraine, sponsored by “Cookstown”.

Speaking after the game head coach Richard Boyd said: “This was a hard fought victory over a very competitive and hardworking Lisburn side. We have been starting games off very well in recent weeks and to have a bonus point by the end of the first quarter was extremely impressive.

“I thought our backs were excellent again and without regulars Brian Hughes and Dijon McCorkell the pack worked tirelessly but have some areas they must improve upon at training this week.

“We showed real character to close the game out in tough weather conditions and difficult circumstances to secure a valuable five points on the road. This means we gained another league point on Carrick and will look to keep the momentum going next Saturday against Ballymoney.”

Both sides had to cope with poor weather conditions during the game at Lisburn and it was a rampant backline that caused most damage to the home side in the opening stages. Tries from Nial Irwin, Alan Clarke and Bokkie Carstens were backed up by Josh Christie’s fine effort from a five-metre scrum.

Lisburn were stunned but not defeated by this assault and worked hard to narrow the deficit in the remainder of the match. As they closed in on the Coleraine score, captain Mikey Poskitt scored the final Coleraine try and closed out the opposition resurgence. Final score Lisburn 26-34 Coleraine.

Coleraine have now closed the gap to league leaders Carrickfergus to six points with eight games played each.

This weekend Coleraine entertain Ballymoney in the league, in a match that will also decide the winner of the Tweed Cup, played between the two clubs annually. Coleraine 3s and Ballymoney 4s also have a game for the Robinson Cup at Coleraine.