Match Centre - February 11, 2017 - 3:00 pm

All Ireland League 

Cashel RFC
Banbridge RFCBanbridge RFC 1sts XV

@ Old Rd

Match Details

CASHEL   10      BANBRIDGE   13

Two Andrew Magrath penalties in the final nine minutes won this game and lifted Banbridge back into the Division 2A play-off places.

It was over a year since Bann had won a game out of Ulster, their last success out of their home province having come early in January 2016, also at Cashel, when a late Adam Ervine try took them home on an 18-20 scoreline.

A first minute converted try for the home side in last Saturday’s match suggested that an extension to that losing sequence was on the cards. But Bann battled their way back into the game, with a solid defence denying Cashel a chance of adding to that first touchdown, and ultimately their greater share of possession and territory had its reward.

Bann secured the ball from Cashel’s opening kick-off but Magrath’s attempted clearance kick was charged down and home flanker Ed Leamy followed up to collect the ball and dive in at the posts, with Ollie McGlinchey adding the conversion.

A misfiring lineout saw Bann fail to capitalise on good field position on two occasions but the threequarters sprang into life on the half hour, setting Adam Ervine off on a run down the left flank. His grubber and follow-up forced the defender into touch just inside the Cashel “22”. This time the lineout worked efficiently and when the ball was recycled under the posts, Adam Doherty made the half-break before his off-load went to ground. Chris Allen picked up, twisted out of the tackle and dived over for a try which Magrath bettered off the tee.

That should have the left the sides tied at the break, but when the ball was kicked away after Bann had been penalised, the ten metres that the referee moved the penalty brought it within McGlinchey’s range and the scrum-half slotted over for a 10-7 home lead.

Front row brothers Michael and Peter Cromie were heavily involved as Bann laid siege to the Cashel line at the start of the second half but a scrummage offence let the home side off the hook. With 15 minutes left Bann mounted another onslaught with tap penalties from Josh Cromie and Stephen Irvine forcing Cashel to scramble their defence. But the good work was again undone, this time as Cashel won a turnover at the ruck.

With nine minutes remaining Magrath slotted over a simple penalty after a well-placed kick by Doherty had taken play back inside the home “22”. That spurred Cashel into creating their most threatening period of the game but Bann broke out of their own “22” to win a penalty 35 metres out. Magrath held his nerve to split the uprights and although the referee added six minutes of playing time Bann held out for the win.

Bann coach Daniel Soper was pleased with the way his side had defended. “We had a session with Les Kiss on Tuesday night when we focussed on our defence and that helped, giving the guys a lot of confidence,” he said. “We gifted them those seven points at the start and then stupidly gave them another three points by kicking the ball away. So really we should have been able to stop them scoring at all.

“We did a lot of good things and put ourselves in positions where we should have been able to create a score, especially in the second half. But it was pretty much like the Highfield game at the end of January where we had good field position but were unable to convert that into points. So we need to take a wee look at that – in the past scoring tries hasn’t been a problem for us but just of late it has been a wee bit.

“I thought the guys were really trying hard on Saturday to try and play with a bit more endeavour and a bit more width. There was evidence of what we’ve been trying to do in training and that was good, but individual errors let us down at times.

“The next game (at home to Nenagh) is a pretty big challenge for us but if we can improve again we might be able to claw Nenagh back and hope that someone else can do a number on Highfield at some stage.”

Bann team against Cashel:- Adam Doherty, John Porter, Andrew Morrison, Jonny Little, Adam Ervine (Capt), Andrew Magrath, Josh Cromie, Michael Cromie, Peter Cromie, Stuart Cromie , Chris Allen, Colin Bickerstaff,  Robin Sinton, Ryan Hughes, Stephen Irvine. Replacements:- Tim Savage, James McCrum, Kallan Martin, Richard Graham, Josh Agnew.



Richard Graham← Colin Bickerstaff
Kallan Martin← Christopher Allen
Josh Agnew← Jonny Little
James McCrum← Stuart Cromie
Timothy Savage← Peter Cromie