U14's outplayed at Ophir
By Roger Corbett
A late flurry of tries by Ophir stuns Bangor into a disappointing 24-19 defeat
An eager Bangor U14 side made the away trip to Ophir, to conclude the Festive break. Coaches, parents and players were all keen for the boys to stretch their legs, after the over indulgences of Christmas and the lack of a recent game.
The match commenced with Bangor receiving the kick off, which was not dealt with. A resultant scrum for Ophir, on the edge of the Bangor 22, presented a good platform for them to run in the opening try of the match.
This was not the ideal start, and the young Bangor men were shocked into action.
From the restart, Bangor were keen to make amends. It was clear that Ophir were reliant on a number of physically big and strong ball carriers. However Bangor dealt with them well. At times Bangor produced some excellent counter rucking, and turned over the ball on a number of occasions. The Bangor scrum also out muscled the Ophir pack a number of times at scrums, winning a number against the head.
The continued pressure in the Ophir half resulted in a number of unforced errors from Ophir, and from a subsequent scrum Bangor No 8 Tyler Mahaffy picked the ball from the back of the scrum, and ran in an excellent 40m try.
Bangor continued with territorial advantage for the remainder of the first half. However a culmination of a spirited Ophir defence and errors from Bangor, meant Bangor did not cross the Ophir try line for the remainder of the first half.
On commencement of the 2nd half, Bangor were keen to try and keep the ball away from the contact area. Ophir were still reliant on their big forwards, and were keen to continue with a tussle up front between the opposing packs. Ophir appeared to now match Bangor in the scrum.
There were two well worked try’s scored by Bangor. Sam Lennon ran in a try into the corner, after some great hands, and Tyler Mahaffy also scored his second try of the game, with another strong 40m run in.
However Ophir were not going to give up the game without a fight, and in the last few moments of the game, Ophir scored two tries, resulting in a final score of 24 - 19, in favour of Ophir.
There are no doubt a number of lessons to be learnt from the close encounter, and the young men will be keen to put this right against Cooke, next Saturday 5th January at home.
Thank you to all the travelling support. As always this is much appreciated.
Training as usual, Wednesday 2nd January at 7pm.