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Junior Cup Round 2

CI returned to the NorthWest on a cold, blustery day. A much changed side had scraped home at Malone2s the previous week, and a win today would set up a “winner takes all” match at home to Enniskillen on 25th March. A place in the semi final of the Junior Cup the prize. Again a number of regulars were missing, but this was another opportunity for a number of young players to stake a claim on a jersey.

As in our league game in January, CI played into the wind, towards the clubhouse in the first half. Just like the league game we started badly. From the kick off we made a mistake and conceded a scrum deep in our 20 metre area, right of our posts. From that position the home team pushed wide on our left, and eventually crashed over for an unconverted try. The game barely 5 minutes old.

Limavady 5 : CI  0

From the restart CI began to get into the game. A couple of carries and neat passing got us in a good area of the pitch. However, a careless pass lead to a turnover and, with the wind at their backs, Vady made us pay in territory. Playing close to our line we lost possession and were penalised… the penalty duly converted. This scenario became a pattern of the first half.

Limavady 8 : CI 0

CI did gain territory from the restart, The scrum was solid, although the lineout was poor and there were several turnovers in this area. After a period of possession we spilled the ball with a wayward pass, giving the home defence a scrum 15 yards from their line. Their number 8 picked up from scrum and ran through 2 tackles, making a break to close to halfway.. he did this several times during the game. He offloaded to their backline, one further pass and their winger was away, under the posts.

Limavady 15 : CI 0

From the restart we were again under the cosh. A lineout and maul close to our line, a break and pass for a score but Tyler, our hooker, intercepted and carried well, penalty to us, danger over. We moved into their half, with drives, mauls etc., keeping the ball in hand. This led to another penalty which we ran. A number of recycles left space out wide, allowing Lawton to crash over for a good score which he converted. 30 minutes gone.

Limavady 15 : CI 7 

The rest of the half CI were on the defensive and Joe Graham, who  was making his debut on the 1s, held his opposite number up, over the line, to save a certain score.

Half time.   Limavady 15 : CI 7

We were a little fortunate to stay close on the scoreboard. Still, we turned with the wind on our backs.

Josh Newell had already been replaced by Graham, and at half time another of our young players, Thomas Kane, was replaced by the evergreen Megarry, who joined Paddy Aiken in the 2nd row. The veteran was to play a key role in the 2nd half.

The second half saw a strong turnaround in our performance. We dominated possession and territory. We still made too many mistakes, but the tide was turning. A very kickable penalty was declined close to the Vady line. We ran the ball and after a few phases our outhalf, Raine, made a decisive break and touched down close to the posts. Lawton converted. 50th minute, game on.

Limavady 15 : CI 14

The pattern of the 2nd half was set. Apart from a rare breakaway, normally involving their 8, the game was very much in the Vady red zone. A kick in front of the posts was declined but the ensuing maul spilled the ball,, penalty to the home side and danger averted. Would that prove costly, 60th minute. Our tight head, Acheson, who had a strong game, came off with a bad cut. Megarry moved into tighthead and showed his usual tenacity in a role he seldom, if ever, has played.

From a series of attacks on the Vady line,Aiken crashed through, and with what looked like a side step, crashed over 10 yards to the right of the posts. Lawton added the 2 points. 65 minutes.

Limavady15 : CI 21

From the K/O Vady made a rare break into the CI red zone. Kane, who had returned to replace Achey, won a fantastic turnover penalty. We ran the ball. Loosehead, Charlie Shannon, crashed through, but his pass to Dowle never carried over, with the line at his mercy. Another line break,with backs and forwards passing and carrying, allowed Raine to feed Auchmuty in space. He pinned his ears back and crashed over in the corner for the try of the game,  Lawton converted from the touchline. Game over.

Limavady 15 : CI 28

Kane had another turnover in the ruck to allow us to end the game. A win, is a win, is a win.. they say. However, there is much to do before the Skins game.. we can’t give them a big start. However, a 3rd cup win in a row can’t be bad.Special mention to Kane, Graham, Auchmuty, and Tyler… all excellent. And of course Megarry.. no game without him, top man.