Clean sweep for Dalriada rugby teams against Antrim

RugbyDALRIADA 1st XV ran out 35-0 winners on Saturday against a spirited Antrim team.

The game came only several days after their tight encounter with Schools' Cup winners Ballymena Academy.

In a game in which the coaches decided to go with a number of players in different positions and some younger players getting the opportunity to play 1st XV rugby.

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With tries from John Laughlin (2), David Campbell, Ben Henderson and an outstanding try from debutant Jack Magee beating four defenders. John Laughlin kicked well in hitting five conversions. For his all round play in attack and defence Ben Henderson was awarded man of the match.

Dalriada 2nd XV got their 1st win of the season in a cracker match Vs Antrim Grammar. The team where boosted by some players with 1st XV experience players Sam Kyle, Andrew Skelton, Timothy Marx and Matthew Dunlop who all made a positive impact on the game.

The game started off reasonably slowly with no points scored in the first 10 minutes, with several simple mistakes stopping either team from scoring. However Number 8 Andrew Skelton got the scoring started though a bruising run down the wing fending off several feeble tackles, he just failed to convert.

The second try came from Andrew McWilliams after the forwards picked and drove, with Andrew using his big unit to cross the try line.

McWilliams, Skelton, Kyle and Timothy Marx all made a lot of ground each, with strong runs, with Marx converting the metres into points as he crossed for the 3rd try. The next try, and arguably the best try of the match came from usual Scrum Half. Matthew Dunlop, at centre as he sliced thought the line, Handing off two, stepping another and breaking through another defender for the try. Andrew Skelton, following a strong 30 metre run, though several defenders off the back of a scrum, scored his second try after the ball was put through a few phases.

The second half continued the same, with Dalriada controlling all the possession. Jack Finnerty crossed the line for two almost identical tries. Both came off a dominating Dalriada scrum, where the ball was passed though the hands to Dunlop who sucked in a few defenders, off loading out of the tackle for Finnerty to finish. Centre Stuart Fallows then ran a perfect line to cut through the defence to claim a try of his own.

Finnerty finished off his set for a hat trick. The final try of the match, was from Captain, and Scrum Half, John Allen, who spotted the line when a forward drive came up just short.

Out Half Nathaniel Steele converted 4 tries, with Andrew Skelton claiming the conversion from 1 of his 2 tries, but mention must be given to Dunlop's conversion attempt, as he was left apologising to the team after missing a conversion right in front of the posts. The final score was left at 60-0. Man of the Match went to prop Sam Kyle who showed his 1st XV experience and physical strength to keep Dalriada in possession and moving forward. With the score at 60-0 referee Mr Devlin decided to blow early

Dalriada Medallion XV played Antrim Grammar away on Saturday.

Dalriada started slowly with several players in unfamiliar positions. They made life difficult in first half with slow ruck ball allowing Antrim to organize defence. When they did get quick ball to the backs, good handling and offloading to support runners let Peter Dunlop, Ryan Malcolmson and Henry Loan score, Peter Dunlop converting two.

The second half was much improved with quick ruck ball, accurate passing from Mathew Steele to Ryan Malcolmson at outhalf again,allowing him to break the defensive line on blind side, with great support from Stephen Glenn to score in corner.

At times made it difficult for themselves in allowing Antrims big centre to make breaks, but defensive work and comittment was decisive again in keeping a clean slate.

When organised they were prepared to run from anywhere and with good support in offloading Henry Loan Peter Dunlop, David Malcolmson and Matthew Steele scoring, Peter Dunlop converting. Henry Loan rounded off a good game by scoring his third leaving the score 57-0 to Dalriada. Man of Match was awarded to Mathew Steele.

While the under 14's enjoyed a substantial win, they ran in seventeen tries against a spirited and brave Antrim Grammar . In near perfect conditions the game kicked off and from the opening few minutes the very talented back line of Strang, Sparks, Finnerty, Jamieson Knipe and McCaw opened up the Antrim backs scoring 10 tries between them with Strang and Sparks sharing the conversions.

The power of the Dalriada forwards led by captain Malcolmson controlled things in the scrum before releasing the backs who time after time penetrated the Antrim backline showing their quick hands and clever footwork.

Coming into the final quarter the forwards also got on to the score sheet and Dalriada scored at will to leave the final score man of the match was Johnny Jamison.

The under 13 game was played with reduced halves but even so Dalriada still ran out 55-0 winners. The young men got off to a good start with Stephen Bingham scoring first.

The ball was spread through the backs from a scrum and when it came to Stephen Bingham the Antrim winger struggled to deal with his pace.

A minute later, the other wing, Louis Warke, took the ball from a kick and simply outpaced the whole opposition. More tries came before the half time whistle and Jacob Curry managed to cross the line twice.

Both came from pick and goes by the forwards. Then it was Stephen Bingham's turn to get a bit more of the action. Running through one tackle and side stepping the other, he showed he not only has pace but skill too.

Then captain, Alan Montgomery, picked off the back of the scrum and ran straight through the defence. Dalriada led 36-0 at half time. The trusty boot of Matthew McConaghie helped bolster the score.

In the second period, the ball was kept in the forwards a bit more.

It took longer for Dalriada open the scoring in the second half, but they got there in the end with Alan Montgomery and Louis Warke each scoring their second try of the game. Antrim got a bit more of the ball in the second half and the big hits started coming in from Matthew Lockhart, Angus Johnston, Aaron Christie, Alan Montgomery, Matthew Kernohan, Mark Young and Aaron Eymere. In the last play of the game Ben Lyle broke through the defence and popped inside to Angus Johnston to cross the whitewash. The final score was 55-0. All in all a very pleasing result for Dalriada who are in for a much harder task this week when they play a well prepared Sullivan team at home in Ballymoney.