Match report: Cooke v Ards 2nds
By STEPHEN NUTT
Cooke come from behind to defeat Ards
On a beautiful afternoon at Shaw's Bridge, Ards 2nds took on promotion chasing Cooke 2nds. The match started with Ards in the ascendancy and after concerted pressure particularly through the scrum, Ards found themselves on the home try line and after several attempts to break a resolute defence it finally cracked second row Keir Edgar crashed over for his maiden try in Ards colours, the conversion was missed. Cooke 0 v Ards 5
This stirred the home side and after several good plays, the home side crossed for their first score which was duly converted. Cooke 7 v Ards 5
Ards responded with Matt McFarland, Kristian Wallis McKimm and Edgar all showing their potential and being led by the ever excellent David Chivers as captain. With the Ards scrum in total control, Ards muscled their way over the line and the prolific Chivers had yet another score on his personal tally, the conversion was unsuccessful. Half time: Cooke 7 v Ards 10.
The second period started as the first ended with Ards pressuring Cooke through scrum and line outs; the pressure eventually told as Ards' other second row Adam McKee showed good strength to get over the line, this try was converted by Adam Carroll. Cooke 7 v Ards 17
Then came the turning point of the match as the home side who were ineffective in the scrum lost a prop to injury and amazingly to the Ards support, had no-one to replace him; the official called uncontested scrums which then allowed the home sides halfbacks , (who had been under constant pressure due to ards dominance in the scrum) to have the freedom to release their fellow backs and within a 10 minute period to go from being behind to scoring one converted and two unconverted tries. Cooke 24 v Ards 17.
Ards tried bravely and even with the introduction of fresh legs in Colm McCreedy but there was no way back for Ards.
Full time: Cooke 24 v Ards 17