CRFC’s U13,15s & 17s made the short trip down the road to their nearest rivals Ballymoney and came away with a hat-trick of victories in a fairly one sided derby fixture.
U13s Ballymoney 10 Coleraine 43
Only able to front up with a 13 man squad, Ballymoney were keen to contest the points if Coleraine could offer up their two replacement players to even up the fixture but as the match progressed it was to turn out a less than even contest with Coleraine dominant right across the park. It was Ballymoney however who drew first blood with a try in Coleraine’s far corner through some good forwards pressure as the Coleraine boys were slow to get out of the blocks.
After watching a successful conversion and with a few wakeup calls from the Coaches, Coleraine finally sparked into gear and never looked back as slowly the try count mounted, with every try but one successfully converted by replacement kicker flanker Andy .Moore.
The Coleraine boys finally experienced how critical it is to contest rucks and with each breakdown seemed to relish contact with their opponents with No 8 Ryan Purdy especially countering with gusto and putting in some immense tackles in the loose. Another success story for Coleraine was the scrum with a newly formed pack holding firm against a bigger Ballymoney counter who often struggled to bind properly. The only criticism was Coleraine’s failure to often hook the ball beyond the second row, despite great front row hooking from Adam Oldcroft making life difficult for scrum half James Allen to recover ball for the backs. Centre and MOM Kye Friel was clearly too hard to handle for Ballymoney as he simply charged through their defence from within his own half to grab himself a total of two first half trys.
By the end of the first half, it was evident that Ballymoney had no answer to a lively Coleraine team and the second half was ended prematurely by the Ref in order to save too big a score over Ballymoney much to the disappointment of the young Visitors. Other Coleraine Try scorers were Inside Centre Kai Friel (2), No 8 Ryan Purdy (3), Hooker Adam Oldcroft (1), right wing Harry McAleese (1). Flanker Andy Moore (six out of seven conversions). Congratulations all round for the Rugby Avenue boys and special mention to Coleraine’s replacements who manned up to play for Ballymoney and who played well and fairly. Note has to also be made of Ballymoney’s srum half who impressed the touchline support and who looks likely to be a player with a future in senior rugby.
Two home fixtures against Portadown and Lisburn next as the half way point of the season’s league fixtures has been reached.
U15s Ballymoney concede points to Coleraine.
Ballymoney were unable to contest the fixture due to a lack of players meaning Coleraine took the points and a hotly contested training match ended with spoils going to Coleraine anyway.
U17s Ballymoney 8 Coleraine 15
Although not a pretty game of rugby, Coleraines fine start to the season nonetheless continued with a hard fought win against their derby rivals Ballymoney.
In fine conditions Coleraine started poorly allowing Ballymoney too much ball and putting themselves under pressure with strangely substandard handling from a normally silky backline. Panic rugby set in with the rucking not as competitive as should be and the backs stuttering with whatever scant possession they got.However the Coleraine’s side defence has been good all season and this continued as they only conceded one try in the first half.
After a stern talking to at half time from coach Daniel McCauley the Coleraine team started the second half much more determined. The introduction of centre Alistair Irwin sparked some life into the baclkine and he scored a fine try after several phases of play a clever lobbed pass from outside half Sam Beattie let this gifted centre off on one of his trademark runs, stepping two defenders to score under the posts. Conversion was missed so the score was level at 5-5. After a couple of missed opportunities by the Coleraine side Ballymoney managed to get into the Coleraine half and converted a penalty form an infringement at the ruck to give the home side the lead.
Still not firing on all cylinders Coleraine scored a second try for centre Alistair Irwin after a good run to score under the posts. This gave Coleraine a slender lead which was added to a few minutes from the end after a kick and chase saw the Ballymoney cover flatfooted as scrumhalf Stephen Irwin dived on the loose ball to claim the try. Final score 15-8
It might have been Coleraine’ weakest performance of the season but they still managed to secure victory which now makes it five from five to maintain their position at the top of the league. Some good performances came from MOM Alister Jinx at six with Alister Irwin his usual outstanding self in the backs and Chrissy Boreland putting in another consistent shift.
All three squads enjoy home advantage for the next two fixtures when Portadown and Lisburn make the journey to Rugby Avenue. All support greatly appreciated as these young teams continue to build in experience.