14 Dec Match Report: Creed finishes rocky cup performance
The 2nds welcomed Coleraine to Belmont for the 1st Round of this year’s Crawford Cup…
High winds and driving rain greeted both sides for the warm up, with the latter settling down just in time for the kick off.
The previous league encounter between the two sides has been a tight affair and this pattern continued for the first fifteen minutes of this game.
CI were awarded a scrum in the Coleraine 22 and a set piece move involving Ross Hackney and Dan McVicker created the overlap for Robin Brown to finish in the right corner. The conversion from Pete McCausland drifted wide in the wind.
Both teams were opting to tap any penalties that were on offer, given the difficulty of finding touch in the gale. One such CI tap by McVicker led to a strong surge from Ricky Greenwood and Chris Davidson near the Coleraine line. The ball dribbled out the side of the ruck and it was scrum half McVicker who reacted quickest to pick up and score in a single movement. McCausland added a superb conversion from the touch line to give CI a 12-0 lead at halftime.
Coleraine’s play had not been without merit in the first half, as their forwards had carried strongly through multiple phases. They stepped up this tactic in the first part of the second half and combined this with good tactical kicking that penned CI back.
After a disallowed try and a series of CI infringements, persistent Coleraine carries on the CI line saw the visitors cross to make the score 12-7. The game followed a similar pattern for the next five minutes and Coleraine again got themselves in a scoring position, this time adding a penalty to make the score 12-10.
At this stage, CI had been without the ball for 20mins and it looked like the visitors were going to push on to claim the 2nd round place. The home side responded with some good running by Brown and Balmforth but handling mistakes stopped their progress at times.
As the game neared the end, McVicker opted to use the CI numbers on the blind side and some silky hands by Davidson released man of the match Creed to score the winning try at the corner. An excellent finish to top off a committed performance from the no.7.
A couple of minutes later, Coleraine were awarded a 22 dropout and the referee announced the last play. While a short kick was the only option left for Coleraine to chase the game, they inexplicably cleared long and CI kicked the ball out to win 17-10.
A good win for CI in difficult playing conditions. Hard work from Coleraine throughout, who maybe just lacked the creativity of CI at times. CI now await the second round draw.