LAST Saturday at Newtownards Lurgan Tigers Under 15s rose superbly to the challenge by not only having to perform in terrible conditions they also came out on top comfortably by 30 points to 5.
This was the second match in Tigers’ cup pool. After defeating Coleraine last week the boys were keen to consolidate their position as group leaders but knew that Ards would not be a pushover, especially in such conditions and on their own pitch.
Tigers had the wind and rain at their backs in the first half. They deployed exactly the right tactics to take advantage of that – long probing kicks over and behind Ards, driving them back towards their own line time and again.
From an Ards line out the ball was gleefully snatched by Tigers’ flanker Victor Mackenzie who lost no time in diving over for the first try. Soon after that Barry McCambridge secured the points from a well taken penalty followed by a typical pick-up and charge try from Ryan Emerson which Barry converted.
Ards regrouped to secure a fine try after their big pack had forced the Tigers back through several phases, but that was to be their only score, Before the end of the first half Tigers collected a third try when Ryan Emerson put Barry McCambridge in at the corner to reach half-time ahead by 20–5.
Although in the second half Ards had the wind and rain behind them they were unable to capitalise. Tigers stood their ground in defence and harried Ards when they had the ball. Tactics were altered to reduce kicking into the wind, replacing that with a greater emphasis on running the ball. Despite the horrendous conditions there were remarkably few handling errors. In one excellent move the ball came out to Michael Watson who made good ground in typical style then released the ball to Cormac Sheehy at exactly the right moment for Cormac to speed round the outside for Tigers’ fourth try. In the last move of the match Cormac added his second and the fifth when he cut inside at a clever angle to take the final pass from Ryan Emerson. Seldom have players, coaches and supporters been so pleased to hear a final whistle.
Tigers Squad : Michael Boulos, Lewis Lawson, Nathan Dawson, Declan Foster, Motiejus Cizauskas, Harry Woods, Benjamin Greer, Ryan Emerson, Victor Mackenzie, Scott Wilson, Jonny Hunter, Adam O’Connor, Michael Watson, Max Hamilton, Cormac Sheehy, Barry McCambridge, Joe McKinley, Scott Dellar.