Lurgan Tigers 7 Monaghan 8
LURGAN Tigers under 8’s produced a superb performance despite losing to Monaghan at Pollock Park last Saturday morning.
Monaghan got off to a fast start running in a few early tries as the young Tiger side were caught at times in the initial stages by the strength and pace of their opposition.
The half time score of 5-1 to Monaghan meant changes were needed as coaches Philip McMath and Stuart Robinson gathered the side together and changed a few key tactics in an attempt to get back into the game.
These changes paid off immediately as Lurgan quickly clawed their way back to 5-5 with tries from Mitch McClelland, Noah Parks, Ben Mitchell and Peter Bird backed up with a solid defence including Ryan Matthews, Callum O’Neill, Andrew Moriarty, James McMath, Jude Matthews, Sam Stevenson, along with a few debutants.
Monaghan soon restored their lead at 6-5 but the spirited Lurgan side clawed back to level yet again with an excellent try by Nial Creggan. Some great end to end rugby kept the sides level going into the last few minutes, with one instance in particular where Lurgan were camped on their own try line and keeping their strong visitors out with at least five or six great blocking last-gasp tackles.
Monaghan eventually added to their score and added another soon after to forge ahead 8-6. Back again came the Tigers and a Ben Mitchell try closed the gap to 8-7 in the last minute. Despite being roared on by the large home crowd the young Tigers could just not get that last gasp score, but were certainly a proven equal match for their larger opponents.
Every member of the Tiger team gave his all and the applause at the end was certainly proof of this.
Try scorers: Mitch McClelland (2,) Ben Mitchell (2), Noah Parks, Peter Bird and Niall Creggan.