Match Report: CI Claim Crucial Coleraine Bonus
Saturday saw CI 1sts enter the first of a series of season-defining games that will round off league and cup competitions. The preparation for the summer cricket saw a venue switch to nearby Shorts for the visit of Coleraine. With 9 points required from the final two games to finish in the top 4, this home fixture represented the best chance of a maximum haul against an out of sorts Coleraine side.
CI started brightly with good possession in the early stages. A penalty kick to the corner and a solid line out platform saw Mark Scott carried over for the first score of the day. Scott’s second score was a carbon-copy result from a line out on the opposite side of the pitch to make the score 10-0 to CI.
In pushing for the third try, maverick CI outhalf Phil McVitty threw a short pass which was intercepted. However, McVitty showed great determination to chase down the breakout by the time the Coleraine player reached the half way line.
Some good pressure by Coleraine was then repelled by the CI pack who were awarded a scrum penalty to clear.
A good CI break just before halftime saw a long range pass from Stuart Fergusson lead to a promising attack on the right flank, but a knock on at the last moment preceded the referee’s whistle.
Halftime: CIYMS 10 Coleraine 0
Strong words from the coaching team at halftime ensured that CI entered the second period with renewed determination to be more clinical in closing out the game and upping the intensity.
The CI scrum had been in fine form all day, and a well timed shunt resulted in a knock on by the Coleraine number 8 at the base of a retreating set-piece. CI got the nudge on in the reset scrum from 15m out and the referee decided the Coleraine disintegration near the line was the only thing that stopped the score and awarded a penalty try. 17-0.
CI now broke loose in search of the bonus point against their demoralised opponents.
Good hands on a blindside overlap saw Neil Wallace cross for the all important fourth score. Coleraine then claimed a consolation score with a try up the left wing before Wallace crossed for his second.
The game was all CI now and another right wing combination with Ross Hackney and an improvused basketball pass sealed the Wallace hatrick.
CI’s final score saw a sweeping move from right to left that was finished off by Andy Hodgen. McVitty added a long range drop goal conversion as the final icing to make the final score 41-5.
Full time: CIYMS 41 Coleraine 5
A good performance by CI who ran in 7 tries and benefited from dominance in the set piece and a high penalty count from the opposition.
This win means that an away victory over Donaghadee next Sat will claim a top 4 berth and a place in the All Ireland Junior Cup. All efforts will now turn to preparation for this fixture at a difficult away venue.