Match report - Ards 1sts v UUC
Students taught a lesson by Ards!
Ards 1sts ended the year with a convincing win over the Ulster University students from Coleraine on Saturday. Ards Captain Andrew Foster returned after injury, fellow prop Matt Kane and outhalf Mark Banford returned to the starting line up after work commitments. Playing with the wind on their back and towards the Comber Road Ards start brightly and after receiving the kick off took the game too UUC.
After 2minutes UUC were penalised for offside, Ards full back Paul Cox made a good touch kick deep into the UUC twenty two, from the resulting lineout Ards powered towards the UUC line and flanker Onisi Burekama crashed over to score with Cox converting. Ards 7 v UUC 0
This early score gave Ards confidence and they dominated the early exchanges, in the 9th minute winger Matt Neill finished well in the corner after chasing a Banford kick, Cox converted from out wide. Ards 14 v UUC 0
Ards followed this score up in the 13th minute when second row Gareth McBurney ran in following a great line break by Banford, the conversion was missed. Ards 19 v UUC 0
To UUC’s credit, they rallied and started to get some territory in the Ards half leading to Ards’ McBurney being sin-binned in the 22nd minute, the resulting penalty was converted by the UUC outhalf. Ards 19 v UUC 3
Ards responded well and again went on the offensive, in the 30th minute the dominant Ards scrum set the platform for outhalf Banford to break through the UUC defence to score to the left of the posts, Cox added the extras. Ards 26 v UUC 3
Ards finished the half with another converted score, following successive scrum penalties in the UUC twenty two, Ards scrum half tapped to himself and scored under the posts, Cox converted. Half time: Ards 33 v UUC 3
Content with the job they'd done in the first half, Ards knew their game was going to have to tighten up as UUC would be looking to take advantage of the wind.
Ards adapted well, with powerful drives by the forwards with Captain Foster to the fore ably assisted by fellow forwards, Kane, Ross Torney, Tom Arthur Donnan and Graeme Taylor.
In the 55th minute the Ards scrum again showed its dominance with no8 Burekama getting his second try of the day with a pushover score following two scrum penalties, the conversion was just wide. Ards 38 v UUC 3
UUC rallied again and attempted to play territorial rugby by kicking deep, the Ards back three of Cox, Neill and Adam Coulter were up to the task and counter attacked well, however in the 70th minute a mistake by Ards on the halfway line saw UUC seize on a loose ball and break away for a converted score. Ards 38 v UUC 10
Ards regained the kick off and attacked straight back, taking play deep into the UUC half with driving play from substitutes John Dowey and Josh McFarland. An infringement at a ruck saw UUC reduced to fourteen men. Ards kicked the resulting penalty into touch but UUC defended the lineout well and repelled this Ards attack.
Ards scored in the final play of the he game when Centre Trevor Devlin was put in well by Banford following a great break down the blindside, Cox added the conversion.
Final score: Ards 45 v UUC 10ts