ON the back of a string of recent wins a confident Lurgan under 9’s team travelled on Saturday to Ballyclare for their mini rugby festival.
Match 1: Lurgan Tigers 2
Civil Service 1
The Tigers started slowly and a good tackle by Charlie prevented an early score to Civil Service. A break by Lurgan saw Angus Cunningham stopped just short of the try line. Civil Service continued to pile on the pressure but Lurgan players Ethan Thompson and Matthew Daly managed to hold the ball up. It was Lurgan to get the first try with a strong run down the line by Reece Whithorn. With end to end rugby continuing Civil Service broke through to equal but with the help of an excellent pass from Reece over the head of two players to Finn Rankin, the Tigers secured the win.
Match 2: Lurgan Tigers 5
With one win under their belt the Tigers were up against an unfamiliar Instonians. The Tigers soon got into their rhythm and excellent passing from Matthew Daly to Charlie through to Reece Whithorn sees him push through for the first try. The second try quickly followed again the passing being crucial from Rhys to Angus to stride from the half way line to go over. With the close of the first half Jack Gardiner managed to scramble through the Instonians defence to give the Tigers a third try. From the base of the ruck Charlie secured the ball and saw the opportunity to break for the fourth try. The Tigers were disciplined and well organised, listening to the advice from the coaches and with Instonians defenders holding on, Seby Best’s persistence on the try line paid off and he drove over for the fifth and an another win for the team.
Match 3: Lurgan Tigers 4
After a short break the Tigers were drawn against Carrick and started were they left off with good passing from Andrew Watters to Charlie Williamson for the first try. Lurgan kept up the momentum with good play by Johnny Gough and Matthew Daly and out of the scrum the ball was passed out to Finn and with his head down with a clever dummy run the defenders were left behind and the second try scored. The Tigers regrouped and with Instonians still hoping to score a good hold up of the ball by Michael Waite prevented this. After a pounding tackle by Jack Gardiner and the ball ripped out by Finn Whithorn he drove over for the third. Lurgan continued to put in the tackles and good driving by Ethan Thompson at the back of the ruck help get the ball out to Charlie Williamson who saw the gap and went for the fourth try.
Match 4: Lurgan Tigers 6 Bangor 1
With three wins out of three and a final match against Bangor could the Tigers go home from Ballyclare unbeaten? Confidence was high and all the hard training throughout the season was evident as quick and precise passing saw the Tigers run in a series of tries from Angus, Jack Gardiner and Angus Cunningham again. From the second half whistle the Tigers exploited their strengths and the excellent passing continued by all team players allowed Angus the break and the 4th try. The Tigers were unstoppable and a ball out wide to Finn sees him dart up the pitch with a clear run for the fifth try leaving Bangor defenders in his wake. Bangor were deflated and Lurgan’s final try came from a series of passes from Jack B to Seby to Jack to go over.
Thanks to Clive Gardiner, Phil Rankin, Chris Boyce, Michael Daly and Andy Williamson for all their commitment, hard work and support given to the boys. Definitely a team to watch in the future.
Team: Finn Rankin, Andrew Watters, Ethan Thompson, Joshua Blair, Johnny Gough, Angus Cunningham, Jack Gardiner, Ethan Geddis, Seby Best, Matthew Daly, Michael Waite, Jack Boyce, Reece Whithorn, Charlie Williamson.