U16s back to winning ways
U16 start new year with a convincing win over Cooke.
Ards U16s resplendent in the new playing jerseys sponsored by Rachel & Chris Smyth from Ulster Property Sales in Newtownards began the New Year as they finished last with a convincing win. With only 4 games left in the league, Ards travelled to Cooke for the first game of the year.
Cooke were reduced in numbers due to illness and it was the same with Ards who had just managed to make a team. But this did not deter both teams who have a respectful relationship for each other.
Ards got off to a flying start with the forwards using their size and strength to keep possession of the ball and not allowing Cooke to make full use of their inside centre who has serious pace.
Fortunately Cooke could not do the same with the Ards Captain and inside centre, Callum O’Hanlon, who showed his skill and speed with a total of 4 tries for his efforts on the day.
Cooke did not give up and challenged Ards at every turn and put pressure on the defences. Ards were lucky to prevent Cooke from going over after a prolonged period in the first half and Cooke were unfortunate not to have scored for their determination.
With the scores starting to runaway from Cooke and still 15 minutes left of the first half, both coaches agreed a new approach. The Ards score line was close to 30 points and it was agreed that in the interest of development, that both coaches would confirm scores.
With this new approach Cooke began to open the game up and challenged Ards defence again but Ards were too strong and continued to put the points on the board. Half time score Ards 40- Cooke 0
The second half began as the first with Ards going over in the first few minutes, quickly followed by another by James McDowell but this was disallowed as the ball was deemed to have been knocked on.
Cooke took the game to Ards after this and began to win more ball at the breakdown. Cooke took advantage of fatigue and a reduction in fitness from the Ards men, creating a large overlap, Cooke’s hooker went over in the corner for a well deserved try, the conversion was missed.
Ards replied with a further 2 tries and another 3 disallowed for various reasons, Cooke never stopped and continued to the end with grit and spirit.
Although the game was competitive, the friendship between these two teams was clear to see and each team wished the best for their upcoming fixtures.
A beautiful thing to watch as both teams walked from the pitch laughing and smiling. We look forward to hosting Cooke again. Final score Ards 57-Cooke 5