Ards 2nds progress in Foster Cup
By STEPHEN NUTT
Ards 2nds produce the goods despite the weather
Ards welcomed Provincial 6 table toppers Carrickfergus, to Hamilton Park in the first round of the Foster Cup on Saturday and everyone could have been forgiven for thinking we were in the middle of a monsoon season, as the incessant rain fell vertically downwards from the heavy clouds making handling a hazardous business.
Ards were determined after their performance against Queens to look after possession which they did so admirably and this was one of the reasons why they won the game. More importantly, every player gave 100% commitment with forwards and backs complimenting and combining well in the various phases of play.
It was fairly even in the opening 15 minutes before Robert Hull burst through the Carrick defences and scored a superb opening unconverted try, far out on the left flank. Ards 5 v Carrick 0
Ards were good in the set piece with Andy Rigby and Lewis English dominating the lineout with some excellent takes in the treacherous conditions. Adam Curry showed great vision and skill with crisp passing and box kicks, to keep Carrick on the back foot in their own half for long periods of the game.
On 36 minutes, an Ards penalty was reversed for apparent back chatting, to give Carrick a pop at goal and they duly collected the 3 points. Ards 5 v Carrick 3
Nothing much else happened in the remaining minutes as the game was blown for half time.
In the second half, a neat restart kick from Andrew Savage, deep into the Carrick 22, forced a knock on and an Ards scrum. Ards showed their dominance and a pickup and drive from the base by Lewis English, resulted in an excellent try for the young man as he crashed over the try line to dot down for Ards second. The conversion was missed in the difficult conditions. Ards 10 v Carrick 3
Shortly afterwards, the Carrick skipper appeared to be yellow carded but was strangely allowed to return to the field of play 2 minutes later.
Ards continued to pile on the pressure with Andrew Savage looking very smooth at 10 controlling just about everything he laid his hands or boot on.
Ards 3rd try came from a powerful forwards surge which released Adam Fry to score under the sticks and help Adam Carroll slot one over the bar to add another 2 points to make it Ards 17 and Carrick 3 at the final whistle.
This was a great performance by the Ardsmen, captained and marshalled well by Davy Chivers, in appalling conditions. Phil Shields, Caleb Surgenor, Davy Reid and Davy Chivers, were solid in the front row. Stevie Cullen and Rigby, ‘locked out’ in the second row and Jimmy Gray, Lewis English, Robert Hull and Adam Fry were great in the back row.
Adam Curry, Alex Gaw (lost to a warm up injury early on in the game) Andrew Savage, Oren Kisby, Chris Bridge, Adam Curry and Adam Coulter were all outstanding, with Coulter particularly good under the high ball and line breaks.
After the game, the touchline jury nominated Andrew Savage as their Man of The Match. Andrew received a gift voucher to be redeemed at any of the Horatio Group of restaurants.
Thanks are extended to Carrick for an excellent game, the match official and the ever present touchline jury for their unwavering support