Ards 2nds progress in Forster Cup
By STEPHEN NUTT
Ards go to town on Donegal Town
Ards welcomed North West visitors Donegal Town to Hamilton Park on Saturday, in the latest round of the Forster Cup.
Despite the late arrivals of Donegal, they were quick to get into their stride with their very abrasive style of hard running rugby forcing the home side into some robust defence in the early exchanges.
The first 20 minutes was a pulsating affair with Ards forwards pressing hard to get over the line. Eventually, a bubbling Jimmy Gray spotted a gap and burst through to dot down for an excellent unconverted try out wide on the left flank.
Ards re-gathered at the restart and fought their way back up the pitch for the very impressive Robert Hull to crash over the line to score the first of two well taken tries.
Donegal showed great resilience and battled their way into the Ards half to score a good try of their own.
As half time beckoned, Gray, who was outstanding in the loose and support play, secured some great ball for Mark McLean to whip out the backs before finding the safe hands of Andrew Savage. The inside centre showed his silky skills and neat footwork to dance his way through the opposition defence to score Ards 3rd, but unconverted try, as the halftime whistle sounded.
Tough opening first 40, Donegal were no pushovers despite their lowly rankings in the league table.
Ten minutes into the second half and that man Hull again, popped up to score his second on the day and ease the tension on the sidelines. The conversion was missed, but Ards were now taking more control as the game progressed.
Davy Chivers was a livewire throughout and never missed the opportunity to take the game the visitors. Gary Presho too was excellent in the lineout as was Gray.
On 55 minutes, a flurry of fierce exchanges amongst both sets of forwards resulted in the ball appearing in the hands of McLean who fed Adam Curry, then Savage and finally Adam Faloon who supercharged his way through the opposition to score another cracking 'Captain's' try for Savage to convert and take the weight of the ever present touchline jury.
But, true to form, Donegal had the last say when their enduring spirit rewarded them with a second unconverted try to leave the fulltime score 27 - 10 to Ards.
Well done to both sets of players for a very entertaining game of rugby.
The touchline jury man-of-match award went to Jimmy Gray for his no nonsense and winner take all performance throughout the game. Jimmy was the delighted recipient of a meal for 2 and a special wee bonus.
Thanks are extended to our visitors Donegal, the match day official and the ever present touchline jury for their unwavering support.