Academy 2 v Portadown 3
Academy took on their closest rivals in the league portadown 3’s and after a heavy defeat to the ports earlier in the season this potentially could put an end to any league aspirations for academy
From the first whistle academy were on the back foot defending numerous penalties lineouts and scrums ,with portadown missing 2 attempts at goal Things didn’t get any better when j Allen was yellow carded but to their credit the14 defended magnificentally and this lifted the home side
From their first attack academy scored a try after great work by the forwards releasing the backs for peter McHugh to score in the corner conversion missed
Academy back to 15 were well on top and got another try when portadown got offside under their posts giving the ref no option but to award a penalty try converted by halbert 12-0
With academies defence totally dominating they stretched their lead to 15-0 with a penalty by halbert,but another yellow card just before halftime made the team reshuffle 15-0 at halftime
Still down to 14 academy stretched the lead to 18-0 when halbert added a penalty,another pen was missed before on 58 mins halbert added another penalty to make the score 21-0,things didn’t get any better when on his club debut Mitch Atkins was yellow carded and again academy were down to 14 players
On 65 mins portadown got a try after mauling academy 20metres and from a resulting penalty and lineout scored in the corner conversion missed , in the final stages academy back to 15 portadown were down to 14 and academy were able to see out the final minutes
A great result but the most important aspect was putting what was worked on in training into the game credit to the whole team and especially those playing out of position
Man of match
Mitch Atkins for his great work rate and determination
Academy 2 v Grosvenor 3
With a strong 2nd xv academy travelled to Belmont to play grosvenor 3’s in a vital league match for both teams
The opening period of the first half was a tight affair with a Will Martin penalty seperating the teams but on 20mins Kyle dobbin got the first of his first half hat-trick in between a Robbie Martin try and another Will Martin penalty academy were in control of the match leading 34-0 and grosvenor down to 14 due to an injury the result was beyond doubt
The misery continued for the home side when they lost another player and academy capitalised on their numerical advantage scoring 4 tries in the second half Will Martin Adam Martin Phil Warke and Robbie Martin completing the scoring and after 70 mins on the clock and academy 58-0 to the good the game was ended
A great performance ahead if a tough game next week
Man of match
Kyle dobbin for his first half hat-trick
Academy 2 v Armagh 3
On a perfect afternoon for rugby academy 2’s took on Armagh 3’s at roughfort and from the off it was going to be a tough physical game
The game came to life on 15 mins when Matt Nicholl inside his own half took an intercept pass and the foot race began,he was dragged down 10 metres short of the Armagh line but was penalised for holding onto the ball,academy were then marched 20 metres for back chat and with the kick put deep inside the academy 22 from almost scoring academy found themselves defending deep inside their 22 and from the lineout were penalised again 0-3 down
Almost immediately Armagh were back inside the academy 22 and were awarded another penalty slotted over to make it 0-6
Academy tried to play a quick open game with Adam Patrick Cathal Davis especially making strong runs,academy were finding it tough going to get quick ball against a big Armagh pack,and right on halftime conceded a try to give Armagh a 0-13 halftime lead
The second half was a tight affair, and on a couple of occasions academy made good ground into the Armagh half but with a strong defence Armaghs confidence grew and on 65 mins scored a try and conversion to make the score 0-20 an uphill struggle for academy now, but to their credit never gave up but on 67 mins academy were reduced to 14 when Danny Barnes was sin binned inside the Armagh 22 for not releasing the ball, from that Armagh cleared their lines and a couple of phases later scored again 0-27
The last try was scored by academy on 77 mins cathal Davis scoring under the posts Adam Sloan converting making it 7-27 FULLTIME!!
It was a tough day for academy who struggled to get quick ball from rucks scrums as Armagh did enough to disrupt that part of the game,academy fought hard for the 80 mins and on another day would beat that Armagh team but unfortunately not today On the positive good strong runs from Adam Patrick cathal Davis and good defence from Matt Nicholl and Craig Davison
Still in with a shout of winning league so keep our heads up and get training
Man of match
Cathal Davis for strong running and scoring academy’s try
Academy 3 v Malone 4
Away to Malone on paper was always going to be a tough fixture and with a team made of players returning from injury,holiday and some playing out of position academy made easy work of Malone scoring 8 tries in the process
From the first whistle it was the Matt Nicholl show scoring all of academy’s 4 first half tries, the first a break by Robbie Martin finished by Matt converted by Danny laird the second and fourth were from quick tap penalties both converted by laird and the third pouncing on a loose ball from a Malone scrum underneath their post again converted by laird, Matt aside a good first half performance with everyone getting involved in the game dominating scrum and lineouts making it difficult for Malone to get any good ball
The second half got off to a slow start with academy playing deep into the Malone 22 but the final pass eluded them on a couple of occasions but graham dobbin got things going with a try conversion missed by laird
With academy’s pack dominating all facets of play driving Malone back into their 22 especially from rolling mauls the tries they deserved followed Chris Phillips Kyle dobbin and a great solo effort from Daniel laird
Malone got their consolation score but as a contest the game was all over Final score 7-50
A great result in which everyone got involved and played their part,as usual set piece was excellent and our defence was sound
Man of match
Matt Nicholl playing at 10 he scored 4 tries but kept the backline organised and in defence was strong
Academy 2 v Ards 3 – 14/12/2014
This was always going to be a tricky fixture for academy and with a Late cry off, ards 2’s not having a game and the elements making playing open rugby very difficult.
Playing into the strong wind and driving rain the early stages of the first half academy were pinned inside their 22, they defended stoutly but leaked the first try on 17 mins made by the strong running scrum half and winger combining for the winger to score,another try was scored when the ref deemed that the academy back row had blocked an oncoming player trying to block a clearance kick from at this stage was uncontested scrums from a quick tap pen Ards scored again
Academy made inroads into the Ards half but with some good defence and strange refereeing decisions Ards scored with the last play of the first half by the strong running winger taking a quick tap pen and breaking tackles he scored under the posts
Halftime 17-0 Ards
The second half started with Ards showing that playing into the elements they weren’t going to kick and drove from all areas of the pitch mostly deep inside their half and scored a breakaway try on 55 mins
Academy at this stage were dominating open play and lineouts,but with uncontested scrums the pack were finding it tough to get front foot ball.
After some good passages of play academy kicked a penalty from under the Ards posts and with indiscipline coming into the Ards game academy pressed hard for the next try that would get them back into the game,but it was just out of reach, the game was played out and the ref stopped it after a couple of head injuries to Ards players
Final score 22-3
A difficult fixture against a strong Ards team, with uncontested scrums after 15 mins academy found it tough to get front foot ball, conceding 3 first half try’s made it difficult to turn around but never gave up and maybe should have scored a try or two
Man of match
Phil Moffet for excellent game management
Academy 2 v Ballymoney 3 7/12/2013
Academy travelled to Ballymoney to take on the leagues bottom side and maintain a 4 point lead at the top of junior4
From the first whistle the game was physical encounter with Matt Nicholl showing the way with a thundering tackle on his opposite number,which lifted the whole team.
After dominating position but nothing to show Academy were awarded a penalty which Robbie Martin slotted over for a 0-3 lead this was followed by a well worked try with Simon Patterson scoreing under the posts again converted by Martin 0-10 Academy at halftime
The halftime chat was to keep up the intensity and stick to the game plan. This was maintained and after long spells of position with forwards and backs carrying the ball deep into the money 22 Matt Nicholl picked up a loose pass to score 0-15
Ballymoney were still a threat and tried to make the game more expansive but great pressure and tackling they were unable to make any headway.
In the following 15 mins Academy scored 4 more tries Patterson 1 MacDonald 2 and Robbie Martin 1 with the pick MacDonalds first a great counterattack by Matt Nicholl well finished by MacDonald.
Leaving the final score 0-35 at the final whistle.
A fantastic performance from the off with every single player playing great rugby as an individual and as a team the forwards dominating and the backs running riot
Credit must be given to money despite the score made academy fight for everything right up to the final whistle which made academy stick to their game plan
Great performances from boys playing their first games for some time Henderson and Patrick, some players playing out of position Robbie Martin scrum half and Ricki Press playing center
Best performance this season and hopefully we can maintain this after 2 great away wins
Man of match ( very close call)
Matt Nicholl followed by the rest
Academy 2 v Instonians 23/11/2013
In a game that would decide who went top of junior 4 it was the hosts who got off to a bright start scoring a try and conversion followed shortly by a penalty which put them into a great position after on 15 mins
After some good possession academy were awarded a pen which was put into touch 5 meters from the goal line a great catch and drive was finished by skipper Cooper scoring and converted.Academy working out how to keep possession and create chances and with that academy scored another try after an initial break by Adair and some great offloads it was finished by Warke for the lead 12-10 Academy
The second half started as the first the home team scoring immediately quickly followed by another try again Academy regrouped and Martin got in to reduce the deficit with his first try of the game,it was becoming a very tight game with inst down to 14 men and a couple of players struggling with injuries they stretched the lead with a try,conversion and a pen but Academy showed great character to score twice through Martin and with the last play in normal time Warke and converted for a slender lead 31-30 and with at least 3 mins injury time Academy closed out the game for a great win to move 4 points clear at the top of junior 4
Hopefully a win in which the team can take great pride in,they showed great belief,character and determination and a never say die attitude to play for 45 mins in the second half in a game which could be important in the outcome of the league
Man of match Clarke Cooper for his ball carrying and overall leadership
Academy 3 v BHSFP 2 – 16/11/2013
The correct decision was made at lunchtime sat when bhsfp rang Academy to inform them that they only had 7 players, they travelled to roughfort and a game of 12 aside was played with 5 Academy players dawning the blue jersey.
It was played with great spirit and both teams making the two 20min halves competitive and thoroughly enjoyable
Academy run out winners 52-22 ( according to branch website) in a game which some great tries were scored,with Andy Crowe,Pete McHugh and Craig Davison scoring for the home team and Paul Morris scoring for the High School
Overall the right decision was made and 25 lads got a game of rugby,played in the right spirit and another fixture fulfilled
Academy 2 v Ballmoney 3 – 02/11/2013
Academy 2’s took on bmoney 3’s at roughfort on a very wet blustery afternoon and it was the away team who were first on the scoreboard with a pen after 3 mins,a missed pen by money was followed by a long spell of Academy pressure which produced 3 tries by Dobbin,Nicholl and Ingram and should have had a couple more Corkey denied by the ref and after some dazzling running by MacDonald McHugh Press Dobbin was denied by a forward pass, bmoney not able to cope with Academy quick running and expansive game.
The second half was a more scrappy affair with the elements contributing to play,Academy still trying to play open rugby and bmoney playing a more forward game and for long spells both teams cancelling each other out.
Bmoney scoring 2 tries to Academy’s 1 and 1 pen,the game finished 29-15 to Academy.
A very good performance in very difficult conditions scoring 4 tries and responding well after a disappointing result last week
Man Of Match.
Matt Corkey. For his constant work rate in defence and pressure on the bmoney back row.
Academy 3 v Malone 4 – 19/10/2013
Academy 3rd xv took on Malone 4th xv on the new pitch 6 on sat
Malone started the game with a very young backline and scored a couple of early tries to race into an early lead. Academy found it tough to get any phases or momentum going,after Malone scored their 3rd try academy realised it was the Malone backs that we’re doing the damage, so it was time to play to academys strength the forwards and finishing the half strongly academy couldn’t find the score which they deserved
After a good halftime discussion on how academy were going to play the second half the players regrouped and immediately Ross Cameron powered over after some great forward play to get academy on the scoreboard. Malone were now rattled and academy dominated the rest of the game playing an aggressive ruck game which Malone found difficult to handle.
Academy lost some momentum when Andy Magee (shoulder)Andy Rea (back)had to leave the field injured and with Adam Sloan struggling our set piece began to falter. With the subs bench empty (only 3 out of 4 allowed) academy continued to press and scored again Peter McHugh darting over under the posts
Malone under the cosh academy could sense another score and pressed with Ross Cameron Peter Jackson Jonny Allen driving the Malone pack towards their goal line but a lost ball 1 yard short of another try Malone spread the ball to their 3/4s and scored a try to put an end to academy spirited fight back .
Overall after a poor start academy regrouped to dominate the game for long periods playing to their strengths and pushing a very young team close
Man of match jacko for some great tackling in midfield and good ball carrying
Final score. 12-27
Academy 2 v Donaghadee 2 – 12/10/2013
Academy took on dee 2’s at roughfort on Saturday,with a good crowd turning out to watch due to the 1’st no game and a late cry off by Holywood against our 3’rds Academy stormed into an early lead with two excellent tries both finished by Gavin Braiden.
It should have been a bigger lead but to some poor decision making Academy squandered two more scoring opportunities before dee scored an intercept try to close the deficit,this spurred Academy to score two more tries through Stevie Stewart and Chris Phillips both converted by Phil Moffet and it seemed Academy would push on to put together a big score but the game for the rest of the half became scrappy with both team cancelling each other out 24-5 at halftime.
The second half unfortunately continued in the same way the first had finished with Academy trying to move the ball and dee playing a forward orientated game,a good run by Steve Bigger and another by Stevie Stewart were both halted by some good dee defence and the game finished with dee scoring a late consolation try to finish the game 24-12 to Academy.
Overall a good win with Academy dominating,our set piece as usual was of a high standard but after an excellent start we struggled to maintain our intensity and this made it difficult for us to get quick ball and break down dee’s defence.
Man of Match – Matt Corkey
Academy 2 v Grosvenor 3 – 14/09/2013
Academy took on grosvenor at Roughfort on a near perfect day for rugby.
Straight from the outset Grosvenor showed that they were going to play a fast expansive game moving the ball at every opportunity,with nothing to show due to some great defence the game was going to be a close affair.
The deadlock was broken after 30 mins when grosvenor scored a try and converted it and just before halftime they stretched their lead with a penalty under the posts 0-10 at halftime.
The game came to life in the second half when j Kelly scored under the posts and converted by R Martin but almost immediately Grosvenor scored another try missed conversion,the seesaw game in full swing R Martin scored and converted to make it 14-15,both teams now believing that they could push on for the win. It was nip and tuck for the next 15 mins but after losing a ruck in our own half Grosvenor capitalised and scored followed with another try and conversion but again Academy showed great character scoring again scrum half P Warke diving over ,the game was over as a contest when with the final play Grosvenor scored another try and conversion to make the final score 17-34.
Overall a gutsy performance by Academy with good defence in the first half and showing great determination to push a good settled side the full 80 mins