16 Sep CIYMS 33 Cooke 19 15/9/2012
A large crowd turned out for CIYMS 1st XV’s first home league game of the season against local rivals Cooke.
The weather was conducive to running rugby and was complemented by a fantastic playing surface. CI made three changes to the starting line up which trounced Academy last week with Thomas Horner, Steven McReynolds and Mark Scott making their first start of the season.
Cooke were first out of the traps opening up a 12 point lead taking advantage of some awful tackling from CI in the midfield. As the half went on a shell-shocked CI started to play their way back into the game. Scrum-half Michael Wilson showed some excellent skill and pace to score down the blindside putting CI’s first points on the board after 20 minutes. With David O’Hara receiving some attention Wilson stepped up to try and convert his own score. He missed the conversion to leave the score 12-5 in Cooke’s favour. Shortly after their opening try CI lost inside centre Joel Semple with a gruesome dislocated elbow and he was replaced by Phil McVitty. CI again suffered another injury with hooker Alan Whitely having to be replaced by veteran utility forward Stef Rodgers. This saw a reshuffle in the front row with Stuart Ferguson taking over at hooker and Rodgers slotting into his usual prop berth. Just before the half time whistle, outhalf David O’Hara slotted a fifty yard drop goal to leave the score 12-8 to the men from Shaws Bridge.
After the break however it was CI who took over; scoring three excellent tries and opening up a 19 point lead over Cooke. A good break down the wing saw Michael Wilson go over in the corner. Phil McVitty, powered over from 15 yards carrying three defenders with him and CI’s tries were rounded off with Michael Wilson taking advantage of a ball which popped out on the Cooke side of the scrum to touch down . David O’Hara who kicked well all afternoon converted two of the three tries. At this stage CI looked strong with the forwards dominating their counterparts and providing excellent set piece ball for O’Hara to launch the dangerous back line.
In the last quarter of the game, with Mark Scott in the sin bin, Cooke applied consistent pressure to the CI line. Despite some excellent goal line defence, Cooke managed to score on the blindside from an overlap and converted to bring the score to 27-19.
However the “black and white aces” held firm and finished the game as the stronger team. Two penalties from David O’Hara extended the CI lead and the game finished 33-19.
It was overall an excellent performance from CI who now have a two week break from league action and a training trip to Marbella! Again thanks must be paid to Katie Hannon for all her work and the catering staff for the pre match lunch.
We all wish Joel and Alan well in their recovery from injury and hope to have them back in the squad soon.
Final Score: CIYMS 33 Cooke 19