18 Dec CIYMS v Cooke 16th Dec 2017
CI entertained Cooke in a pre Christmas derby.
The weather was a little damp but the gentle breeze made it perfect conditions for an open game.
A big crowd watched the game, many of whom having enjoyed a Bernie McGrath turkey dinner in the pre match festivities.
This was a game both sides needed to win to cement their position in mid table.
Both teams had a few absentees, most notably Cartmill the Cooke 15 and the CI captain and talisman Calum Irvine, concussed after a viscous head butt from the Inst 15 in the previous match.
Both sides had penalty opportunities early on,to no avail.
6 minutes in.. a beautiful break by Matt Butler, playing 13, lead to a 2 v 1. Matt duly fed Pete Raine who scored beside the posts. Matt Kilgore converted.
CI were on the front foot in all areas.
15 minute.. several phases into an attack .. the CI 10, Paddy Beverland, broke blind… 3 v 2 overlap 25 metres out. He drifted through a gap and scored at the posts.. Kilgore converted.
25 minute.. CI attacked again but were turned over in mid field. Slick handling from the Cooke 10 put away their right wing who himself fed inside for a score in the corner. A well worked try showing their attacking capability, though against the run of play.
30 minute.. Cooke began to get into the game and pressure led to a penalty, duly converted.
CI pressed again, and made several breaks through the Cooke defense.
Nearing half time we broke blind.. 3 v 1 overlap 15m out. It seemed harder not to score but that happened. It resulted in the first of 2 Cooke yellow cards, but no try.
Were CI going to rue missed opportunities?
Whatever the Cooke Coach said at half time seemed to work.
They came out flying.
CI were camped in their own half for 20 minutes.
The Cooke pack began to move forward for the first time in the game.
Several times they came close but crushing defense, turnovers at the ruck etc.. helped protect the CI line.
The home lead looked very precarious.
61 minute.. CI turned over a ruck close to their line. A good kick and chase led them into the Cooke red zone.
Several phases led to the away defense being stretched.
Matt Kilgore crashed through in mid field and off loaded for Matt Butler to score a well deserved try at the posts. Kilgore converted.
CI regained control.
They pressed close to the visitors line and could have scored another 2 tries but for simple mistakes.
Cooke were now reduced to running the ball from deep but couldn’t get out.
As they tired space opened.
75 minute.. another offloading move led to space out right.
Beverland jinked through a half tackle and scored again near the posts. Kilgore converted.
A well deserved bonus point win for CI, leap frogging Cooke, for the moment , into 5th spot. Cooke worked hard and looked dangerous out wide but the CI work rate must have pleased both our coaches.
The bar rocked that evening.. Merry Christmas.