20 Feb CIYMS RFC v Dromore RFC 17th February 2018
Belmont was bathed in bright sunshine, the pitch was in perfect condition and a gentle breeze drifted down the ground. Perfect conditions for running rugby. What a difference a week makes in Ulster Rugby weather.
A large crowd attended the pre-match lunch and they ensured a lively atmosphere throughout the game. The ground was packed.
CI were 2 points clear of Dromore ,the sides sitting 3rd and 4th respectively. Hence a massive game for both teams, with Top 4 positions at stake.
CI made 3 changes from the side that travelled to Enniskillen. Matt Butler picked up a knock in training and was rested and both Subs changed, with Elliott Boyd and Simon Bailie joining the 17 man squad.
Other players unavailable thru injury included Tim Acheson, Paddy Aiken, and Aaron Kilpatrick.
The game kicked off with CI playing into the sun and breeze. What followed next was another try fest at Belmont. 10 tries in total.
The match started at a hectic pace as both sides tested opposition defences.
CI pressed forward. Solo break from outhalf Beverland. Try. Kilgore converted.
Dromore replied. Missed tackle in midfield by CI. Try. Steenson converted.
Another attack from the away side. Speculative kick bounced backwards over retreating defenders head. Dromore retrieved the ball. Try ..Steenson converted.
CI regained ball from kick off. After some pressure, a half break and pass put Devlin away. He scored close in. Kilgore added points.
15 minutes in and 4 tries.
CI began to dominate and created a few good chances. The scrum from the homeside began to dominate. This gave the pack go forward ball and some big carries by the back row.
From a sweeping attack fullback Burns burst thru a tackle and put away Raine on the wing. Try. Kilgore added 2.
Kilgore in the centre was having a good game. Dromore attacked in midfield. Kilgore ripped the ball off his opposite number and cleared the danger. That was not the only time he took ball off the opposition and he proved a thorn in their side all afternoon.
Just before half time Dromore pressed into the CI half and they won a penalty. Steenson converted.
A tremendous first half from both teams.
CI conceded a penalty shortly into the second half. Steenson converted.
Despite dominating the game CI were in a match.
However, the home side continued to dominate. Woods at tight head was giving his opposite number a torrid time. The scrum and maul were now real weapons, as was the ball carrying of the tight 5 and number 8. This created space out wide.
Another sweeping move and Burns came in from fullback to scorch over. Try. Kilgore added 2.
CI were in total control and another flowing move, through several phases, led to a half break by lock Tipping, who then fed Irvine to run in. Try. Kilgore converted.
Immediately back on the attack, another piercing move and Dromore infringed. Kilgore swept over the penalty.
Tails up and sun on our backs, the pressure on Dromore was relentless. CI took a ball against the head, a rarity in today’s game. After a few phases MOM Cory Tipping rounded of a superb game to score near the posts. Try. Kilgore again obliged.
75 minutes gone and Dromore must have been hoping for the final whistle.
More pressure on the away team tryline. Scrum to CI. The scrum moved forward and as the Dromore front row buckled, McConkey, the CI 8, lifted and scored a well deserved try.. Kilgore again.
80 minutes gone.. last play. Dromore won a penalty, kicked for the corner and mauled over for a deserved try. Steenson added 2.
Full time 52..27
A superb game of rugby, 10 tries in all. CI have scored 20 tries in our last 3 home games.
Difficult to single out any star performances as there were so many. Special mention to Kilgore who kicked 8 from 8. 4 of those from out wide.
The bar bounced until late..